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folic acid supplement

Should I Take Folic Acid Supplement During My Pregnancy?

Should I Take Folic Acid Supplement During My Pregnancy? Folic acid is an important nutrient when it comes to conceiving a child. Let’s dive in to know more about folic acid – what it actually is, how it helps during your pregnancy, the amount you should take, and which foods give you the best and affordable amounts of folic acid.

Folic acid is an important nutrient when it comes to conceiving a child. Ever wonder how much folic acid you need to take during your pregnancy? How about integrating into your daily diet? Or the benefits it offers you and your child? Don’t worry mummies, we’ve got you covered with this little article piece here.

It’s no secret that good nutrition is essential during pregnancy – which is why mummies-to-be need plenty of fruit, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein for their diets. By now, you should be aware about the importance of taking daily prenatal vitamins. One of the most important ones is the folic acid pill.

You might not have thought much about folic acid before because better-known vitamins and minerals tend to be at the forefront when it comes to pregnancy supplements, but this B-vitamin, which is also known as folate in food form, is critical when it comes to growing a healthy new-born.

Let’s dive in to know more about folic acid – what it actually is, how it helps during your pregnancy, the amount you should take, and which foods give you the best and affordable amounts of folic acid.

 

What is folic acid? What does it do?

Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate, a B-vitamin (specifically vitamin B9) which is found in certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Folic acid is found in vitamins, too. These include fortified foods such as bread, pasta, and cereals. This nutrient helps the body break down, use, and create new proteins – these are the building blocks of our cells. It also plays a role in DNA creation and the formation of red blood cells.

 

Why is folic acid in pregnancy so important?

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, folic acid helps the embryonic neural tube, the precursor to your child’s brain and spinal cord, to properly close. This also assists in the formation of baby’s heart and circulatory system and helps lower the chances of defects for your child.

Folic acid is water-soluble – this means your body isn’t able to store an excess amount. It gets passed through your urine instead, which is why you need to regularly incorporate enough folic acid into your diet to avoid a deficiency when you’re pregnant. It’s especially important to get enough folic acid as early on as possible since most birth defects develop in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

 

How does folic acid benefit me?

There are lots of benefits of folic acid and loads of research have shown that when this nutrient is started in the months preceding pregnancy, it has important health benefits for expecting mummies. Taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk* of:

  • Miscarriage – Research has shown that some women have trouble getting or staying pregnant because of a folic acid deficiency.
  • Neural tube defects – Three birth defects that are linked to insufficient folic acid are spina bifida, a spinal malformation, anencephaly, a type of brain damage and, less common, Chiari malformation, which causes the brain tissue to extend into the spinal canal.
  • Congenital heart defects – These conditions, which affect 40, 000 infants a year, can include a hole in the heart’s wall, valves which are too narrow or blood vessels which are formed incorrectly.
  • Gestational diabetes – This type of pregnancy-related diabetes can sometimes be treated with changes in diet, exercise, and close monitoring.
  • Preterm labour – A diet that’s rich in folic acid may help prevent labour before 37 weeks.
  • Cleft lip and palate – Folic acid may help prevent this mouth defect in which the lip has an opening in it and doesn’t form properly.

 

What kinds of foods are rich in folic acid?

Think of your daily prenatal vitamin as a nutritional backup plan during pregnancy – it’s useful on days when you feel too sick to eat. Now, it’s important to know that a vitamin or supplement cannot replace a healthy diet. Therefore, it’s vital to consume folate-rich foods when you’re expecting, since they are also full of many other important nutrients for your new-born like fibre, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Speaking of folic acid supplements, Frisomum Gold® is formulated with DualCare+™ essential nutrients (that includes Folic Acid!) to support physiological changes during pregnancy and provides a good foundation for your ever-growing little one. Frisomum Gold® is also low in Glycemic Index (GI) to help pregnant mums maintain a healthy weight throughout their pregnancy.

Adding to the supplement, here are some food sources which are rich in folic acid, which you can integrate in your diet.

  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Avocado
  • Legumes
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Oranges
  • Foods fortified with folic acid, including whole grain cereal, bread, pasta & rice

There you go, mummies. We hope this piece has helped you in knowing more about folic acid supplements for your pregnancy. Always remember to pair it with a healthy diet so your little ones can be healthy. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to check with your doctor.

 

Reference:

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/folic-acid-during-pregnanc/#:~:text=In%20the%20first%20few%20weeks,will%20have%20certain%20birth%20defects