Folic acid – why is it so important for moms-to-be?

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Folic acid – why is it so important for moms-to-be?

Are you preparing for pregnancy or are you already pregnant? Surely you have heard a lot about folic acid. Why is it so important for moms-to-be to take it? Find out everything you need to know to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.

Folic acid – why is it so important?

Are you dreaming of having a baby? Are you wondering whether it will be a boy or a girl? First of all, you certainly hope that it will be healthy. And very rightly so, because health is the most important thing. Every future mother should be interested in supplementation of a vitamin commonly called folic acid. Researchers have shown that women who increase their intake of folic acid before pregnancy and in its first weeks, when the child’s nervous system and spine are forming, are more likely to give birth to healthy children without neural tube defects.

Neural tube defects

What problems in the child can we avoid by consuming folic acid? Neural tube defects are defects in the fetus’s nervous system and spine. These defects include neural tube defects, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. These are very serious defects that cause incapacity or disability. Importantly, these defects can occur early in pregnancy, when you may not yet know that conception has occurred. That’s why it’s a good idea to supplement with folic acid. According to doctors, neural tube defects mostly affect children of healthy mothers and families where such problems did not happen before. A lot depends on you!

Folic acid in food

Importantly, folic acid is also found in foods. Folate is found in dark green and orange vegetables. These include:

  • beans
  • cabbage
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • cauliflower

It is a good idea to include these foods in your diet when you are preparing for pregnancy. You should also check which breakfast cereals and juices are enriched with folic acid. But don’t base your folic acid supplementation solely on your diet. It would be difficult to get enough folate this way, so experts recommend consuming folic acid supplements.

Folic acid supplementation – rules

There are opinions that every woman leading an active sexual life should supplement folic acid. It is indeed a safe solution, but it is assumed that it is best to start supplementation as early as 3 months before conception. When to stop? Many doctors recommend taking folic acid until the end of the second trimester of pregnancy. 0.4 mg per day – this is the recommended dose of folic acid. It is most prudent to consult the dosage with your gynecologist. The dosage may be different for women who smoke, are overweight or who have been taking hormonal contraceptives for a long time

Folic acid also for mothers

It is not the case that folic acid is only necessary for the proper development of the fetus. The mother-to-be will also benefit from this supplementation. Better functioning of the digestive system or reduced risk of anemia are some of the benefits of folate supplementation.

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