Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy

When taken before conception and during pregnancy folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 has been proven to decrease the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Doctors recommend that every woman of child-bearing age take at least 400 mcg every day. During pregnancy, the recommended daily dose jumps to 600-800 mcg. But because it's difficult to eat enough foods to supply the amount that experts recommend you need to take supplements.
 
Women who have had a baby with a neural tube defect have a higher risk of having others with the same disability. Doctors will prescribe these women to take a much higher dose of folic acid, a five milligram tablet starting one month before conception, if possible and they should continue taking the folic acid through the first three months of pregnancy. It is important that the supplements be taken before conception since development is rapid and the foetus' neural tubes close during the first four weeks of pregnancy.
 
You can find folic acid in whole grains, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and some legumes. It is in fortified   breads, cereal, pasta, rice and flour. It is important to note that the delicate folic acid in foods is destroyed by overcooking, so eat your vegetables lightly steamed, micro waved, or raw.
 
Fatigue and weakness are symptoms of folate deficiency anaemia and iron deficiency anaemia. A mild folate deficiency may leave you ill-tempered or jittery.
 
If you find it difficult to take folic acid supplements, whether it's due to morning sickness or otherwise, then try WaterBaby. This 500ml drink will provide you with your recommended daily intake of folic acid as well as other vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy.
 
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The information contained on MummyPages is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.