Why You Need More Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet
By (BIM) Mark Smith
Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom - expert advice & tips: Healthy Pregnancy
By Jill Tomlin for Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom - expert advice & tips
If you’re going to the store for an ovulation predictor kit, add orange juice, beans, liver and broccoli to your shopping list. These foods are natural sources of folate, an important B vitamin for your pregnancy diet that prevents birth defects. Don’t like liver and broccoli? Fortunately, vitamin B is available in pill form.
Where to Get Folic Acid
Since most women can’t get enough of these foods in their pregnancy diet for optimal folate benefits, the March of Dimes and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that women of childbearing age take a daily supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid.
When to Take Folic Acid
Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, which cause malformations of the brain and spinal cord and can lead to conditions like spina bifida (which causes paralysis and poor bowel function). Folic acid also may prevent heart defects and Down syndrome.
Once you are pregnant, your doctor will likely encourage you to increase your intake of folic acid, but check with your doctor before you decide to up your dose on your own. Doubling up on a multivitamin could be dangerous, cautions obstetrician Dr. Charles Lockwood.
Why Stick With Folic Acid?
Jill Tomlin, a Topeka, Kansas native, writes about health issues for a variety of national publications, including Baby + You.
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