Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

folic acidThe second you get pregnant, the first question your doctor will ask you is “when was your last period” and then he/she will ask you, “are you taking prenatal vitamins”? Hopefully you will have the right answer to both! Prenatal vitamins have the essential vitamins your body needs while pregnant, and most importantly, they contain folic acid. It has been shown that adequate levels of folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects in your unborn fetus. The good news is, folate (the natural version of folic acid) is found in a lot of foods we eat such as green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes and beef liver. The bad new is that the amount of folate absorbed by your body is not always enough. Fortunately, supplemental forms (aka vitamins) of folic acid are well absorbed and vastly available.
There are hundreds of prenatal vitamin brands out there and thankfully in addition to pill form, they can now be found as liquid or gummy. Yes, I will admit, I am one of those peps that even at the age of 30, still chokes on pills so I opt for anything in gummy form. No one brand is superior than the other as long as it has the appropriate amount of folic acid you need. Here are some guidelines to go by:
1. Most of you will fall into this category: For primary prevention in low risk pregnancy, you need 0.4 mg (or 400mcg) daily. It is recommended that you start supplementation one month prior to pregnancy, or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
2. For women with a child previous affected with a neural tube defect, it is suggested to have 4mg per day, and beginning supplementation one month prior to getting pregnant and continuing through at least the first trimester.
3. For women with pregestational diabetes (that is diabetes diagnosed prior to becoming pregnant, or women taking valproate or carbamazapine, should take 4mg of folic acid daily starting one month prior to conception and continuing through at least the first trimester of pregnancy.
*Please do not use this supplement or any other supplements if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction after previously taking them.

Prenatal Vitamins

gummyprenatalprenatalvitpillThe second you get pregnant, the first question your doctor will ask you is “when was your last period” and then he/she will ask you, “are you taking prenatal vitamins”? Hopefully you will have the right answer to both! Prenatal vitamins have the essential vitamins your body needs while pregnant, and most importantly, they contain folic acid. It has been shown that adequate levels of folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects in your unborn fetus. The good news is, folate (the natural version of folic acid) is found in a lot of foods we eat such as green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes and beef liver. The bad new is that the amount of folate absorbed by your body is not always enough. Fortunately, supplemental forms (aka vitamins) of folic acid are well absorbed and vastly available.
There are hundreds of prenatal vitamin brands out there and thankfully in addition to the pill form, they can now be found as liquid or gummy tabs. Yes, I will admit, I am one of those peps that even at the age of 30,  I still choke on pills so I opt for anything in gummy form. No one brand is superior than the other as long as it has the appropriate amount of folic acid you need. Here are some guidelines to go by:
1. Most of you will fall into this category: For primary prevention in low risk pregnancy, you need 0.4 mg (or 400mcg) daily. It is recommended that you start supplementation one month prior to pregnancy, or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
2. For women with a child previous affected with a neural tube defect, it is suggested to have 4mg per day, and beginning supplementation one month prior to getting pregnant and continuing through at least the first trimester.
3. For women with pregestational diabetes (that is diabetes diagnosed prior to becoming pregnant, or women taking valproate or carbamazapine, should take 4mg of folic acid daily starting one month prior to conception and continuing through at least the first trimester of pregnancy.
*Please do not use this supplement or any other supplements if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction after previously taking them. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your physician.