When trying to conceive it is advised that women take folic acid supplements daily to ensure that they receive at least 400 micrograms. Folic Acid (known as vitamin B9) has been instrumental in significantly reducing the risk of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects (also known as NTDs).
While folic acid may be found in certain foods the only way that you may be sure you are receiving the correct amount is to take a supplement as it would be near impossible to receive enough through food alone.
Why Take Folic Acid Before Pregnancy
Many women don’t even know they are pregnant for the first four weeks however it is during these twenty eight days that many birth defects as well as spinal cord defects start to develop. When planning to fall pregnant taking folic acid should be of supreme importance.
Official guidance suggests taking folic acid at least until the end of the first trimester although many women continue to take it throughout pregnancy.
Those at Higher Risk of NTDs
If you or your partner have a neural tube defect, if you have had a previous pregnancy affected by a NTD or there is a family history then it may be that you are advised to take a slightly higher dose of folic acid (5mg) while trying to get pregnant and at least through the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
You may also be offered additional screening tests by your midwife or GP.
An Important Campaign
Statistics and guidance are important for individuals to know and understand their options and the advice you’ll receive from your GP, Family Planning clinic and midwife is invaluable.
This campaign however offers a completely different look at the issues as this Mum tells the story of her lovely son Noah and his struggles with Spina Bifida and other health complications. Noah’s mum feels that she didn’t receive enough information about the importance of folic acid early in pregnancy and hopes to raise more awareness about this issue.
To read more please visit Hugs For Noah.