folic acid and pregnancy

I’m sure all pregnant women and their families would want them to have healthy babies and one of the most important things a woman can do to help prevent serious birth defects in her baby is to get enough folic acid every day especially before conception and during early pregnancy. Numerous studies have shown that women who get some amount (400 micrograms) daily before conception and during early pregnancy reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%.

The most common neural tube defects are spina bifida. Spina bifida is a major birth defect of a baby's spine. It happens when the spine and back bones do not close all the way. When this happens, the spinal cord and back bones do not form as they should. A sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby's back. Much of the time, part of the spinal cord is in this sac and it is damaged. Most children born with spina bifida often have lifelong disabilities and need many surgeries. In the developed nations, they may live full lives with the quality of healthcare available but it is a fact that such babies have a lower chance of surviving in our country. It occurs within the first 28 days of pregnancy (which is usually before most women would know they are pregnant). This makes it critical for all women of childbearing age to get enough folic acid – whether or not they are planning to become pregnant. This is also because only 50% of pregnancies are planned, so any woman who could become pregnant should make sure she's getting enough folic acid.

Folic acid, sometimes called folate, is a B vitamin found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kontomire and lettuce. It is also present in beans and various nuts, rice and orange juice. It can be found in eggs, cooked beef and chicken among others. Eating a balanced diet should make us sufficient in folic acid but women who are planning to get pregnant and are concerned as to whether they are eating enough folic acid should discuss with their doctor. After discussions, the doctor may recommend taking supplements if necessary.

Let us bear in mind that most, but not all, cases of spina bifida can be prevented if adequate intake of a simple vitamin folic acid is ensured before and during pregnancy.


This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola