The Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Posted by Signature Medical Group on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in Obstetrics/Gynecology

If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, health experts say you need an ample amount of folic acid.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as folate.

Babycenter.com says: "Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) - serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which your baby's spine and brain develop. NTDs affect about 3,000 pregnancies a year in the United States.''

"Neural tube defects occur at a very early stage of development, before many women even know they’re pregnant - which is why it's important to begin taking folic acid before you start trying to conceive.''

At Signature Medical Group, our OB/GYNs will answer all your questions about folic acid and other topics related to pregnancy. We're at several convenient locations in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Bolivar, Mo., areas.

You can get folic acid by taking vitamins.

Babycenter.com says: "To reduce your baby’s risk of developing a neural tube defect, experts recommend that you take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day, beginning at least a month before you start trying to get pregnant.''

"In fact, because half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, the CDC, the U.S. Public Health Service, the March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and other experts strongly recommend that all women of childbearing age get 400 mcg of folic acid every day.''

"Some groups, such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health, suggest boosting your intake to at least 600 mcg daily once you’re pregnant.''

"Check the label of your multivitamin supplement to be sure you’re getting enough. If you’re not, you can switch brands or take folic acid separately. (Never take more than one multivitamin a day.)''

At Signature Medical Group, our OB-GYNs are eager to help you with all aspects of your pregnancy. Make an appointment today to see us.