Pregnant Women Need Folic Acid
Research has shown that if women take 400mcg of Folic Acid 3-4 months prior to and during pregnancy, the risk of neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida is reduced by up to 75%.
In Canada as a country alone, 1 in 750 babies born have the disabling birth defect Spina Bifida. ALL women of child bearing age should consume Folic Acid every day to help prevent neural tube defects.
Preparing to have a baby can be very happy event even though over half of al pregnancies are unplanned. Whatever the situation, Folic Acid supplementation will help to prepare for the birth of a healthy child.
What is folic acid?
Folic Acid, Folate or Folacin all refer to the B Vitamin required for optimal health. Folic Acid is especially important for proper development of the spinal canal and the brain during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy.
How to ensure a healthy intake of folic acid
Folic Acid is naturally found in green leafy vegetables (spinach, brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce, broccoli, etc.), in dark yellow fruits (oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, etc.) in meat and alternatives (chicken liver, lentils, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, lima beans, kidney beans, chick peas, etc.) and in grain products such as whole wheat bread and bran cereal.
Be careful not to lose this essential nutrient in the process of storage, cooking or preparation. Eat vegetables and fruit raw, cook vegetables in as little water as possible, store vegetables in the refrigerator, ripen fruit in a loosely closed paper bag, then refrigerate, when stir frying use high heat so vegetables start to cook immediately, but be careful not to overcook them.
You are at risk for having a baby with a neural tube defect if you:
- have had a previous pregnancy where your baby had a neural tube defect
- or your partner has a neural tube defect such as Spinal Bifida
- or your partner's family has a history of a neural tube defect
- have a pre-existing medical condition known to increase the risk, such as diabetes
- are taking an anticonvulsant
If you are High risk, then you should be taking in ten times the recommended dose of 400mcg once per day. This dose may require a prescrition from your physician.
ALL WOMEN OF CHILD BEARING YEARS SHOULD CONSUME GOOD SOURCES OF FOLIC ACID AND BE TAKING A MULTI-MINERAL VITAMIN FORMULA CONTAINING A MINIMUM OF 400MCG (0.4MG) OF FOLIC ACID EVERY DAY!