The Importance of Folic Acid for a Healthy Pregnancy

Everyone needs folic acid. But it is essential for both pregnant women and women trying to conceive. Folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9 that is crucial for proper DNA development, which helps protect your baby from serious birth defects.

This vitamin is also important for mom. It helps build red blood cells to prevent anemia, preeclampsia, blood pressure disorders and cell changes that could lead to cancer. 

Protect your baby with folic acid

Folic acid is important for healthy placenta growth and your developing baby. Doctors typically recommend between 400 and 800 mcg per day to support healthy fetal development. Its primary benefit is to protect growing babies from neural tube defects, which include defects of the spinal cord (spina bifida) and brain.

Women should begin taking folic acid early. Neural tube defects occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy, before most women realize they are pregnant. Women who take folic acid supplements one month before conception and at least during the first trimester of pregnancy reduce the risk of neural tube defects by approximately 70 percent. 

What are other signs of folic acid deficiency?

Folate (naturally occurring folic acid) deficiencies in women are subtle, but can lead to devastating birth defects. The most common signs of folate deficiency in women are persistent anemia, mouth sores, tongue swelling, fatigue or gray hair.

In addition to neural tube defects, folic acid also helps prevent cleft lips, cleft palates and certain heart defects in babies.

Taking the recommended dose of folic acid is the most important thing you can do to protect your growing baby. Taking this vitamin early — before you become pregnant — is essential to ensuring your fetus grows into a healthy, happy baby.

Kofinas Fertility Group supports your healthy path to pregnancy with medications and care tailored to your specific needs. We are there every step of the way to ensure you and your growing baby are healthy. If you would like to speak to someone about beginning your path to parenthood, contact Kofinas Fertility Group today at (718) 340-3611.

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