by Internet Medical Society

Pregnant women develop food cravings from the beginning of their pregnancy. This is the time when you need to be extra careful about what you eat. It’s important to discuss your health with a gynecologist in Vashi, Navi Mumbai as soon as you notice the signs of pregnancy.

Your doctor will most certainly recommend 400 micrograms of folic acid for regular consumption before and during the pregnancy. This supplement prevents the risk of birth effects, especially in the spine and brain of your baby, during pregnancy.

Folic acid is a man-made vitamin B9 supplement that helps with the spine and brain development of your fetus. It also promotes red blood cell growth in your body. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, and citrus fruits are natural sources of folic acid.

How Much Folic Acid Does Your Body Need?

You should start taking folic acid in the initial stage of your pregnancy since this is the time when your baby’s spinal cord and the brain develop. Note that birth defects are highly likely to occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy, which is why healthy eating and adequate rest are important at this time. It also prevents the premature birth of your baby.

Folate is not only necessary for pregnant women, but ladies who are planning to conceive should also incorporate folic acid into their diet to prevent the risk of premature birth after conceiving.

Before pregnancy and within the first 3 months of pregnancy, you are supposed to take 400 mcg of folic acid. You can increase the dosage to 600 mcg after 3 months of pregnancy. For breastfeeding women, 500 mcg of folic acid is the ideal dose.

How Does it Help the Mother and the Baby?

The intake of folic acid during pregnancy is highly recommended for the baby’s development. It also keeps the mother healthy. Here are a few common benefits of folic acid for pregnant women.

  • Prevents the risk of Spina Bifida as well as Anencephaly
  • Reduced risk of miscarriage and premature birth
  • Avoids fertility problems in women
  • Decreases the risk of birth defects in babies during the initial stage of pregnancy
  • Protects the mother from heart strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of heart problems

In addition to the supplements, your doctor recommends foods rich in folic acid to keep your body in good shape. These foods include egg, okra, avocado, fortified cereals, beets, citrus fruits, and more.

According to the CDC, one should start taking folate-rich foods a month before they conceive and continue until they deliver the baby. In fact, you should keep eating folic supplements after delivery. Women who are in their childbearing age or want to conceive should add folic acid to their regular diet.

If you are taking a multivitamin tablet daily, ask the pharmacist whether the supplement has the recommended amount of folic acid. If you are not taking multivitamins, get folic acid supplements. You need these pills for at least the first few months of pregnancy to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.


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