Folic acid does not improve fertility, but it can prevent birth defects once a woman becomes pregnant. Folic acid is a vitamin found in many foods and multivitamin supplements. It’s always included in the prenatal vitamin mix.

Take it everyday

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it’s important to take folic acid every day. There are three ways to get your daily dose: – Take a supplement which includes 400 micrograms of folic acid – Eat a fortified breakfast cereal daily, look for a brand that contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance – Eat foods fortified with folic acid throughout the day: enriched cereal, bread, rice and pasta, orange juice and green vegetables. Helps prevent birth defects Folic acid works best to prevent birth defects in the early months of pregnancy. During this time, you may not even know you are pregnant so it’s a good idea to have already made folic acid part of your daily routine. Continued use of folic acid after the first month of pregnancy, ensures future good health of your baby. A small thing, but very powerful Certain diseases of the brain and spinal cord are thwarted by more than 70% when this vitamin is part of the diet. These birth defects are referred to as neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs when the spinal cord fails to close properly during development. The most common NTD is spina bifida. This is when the baby’s spinal cord develops on the outside of the body. The baby may have paralyzed legs, develop bladder and bowel control problems as a result. Anencephaly is the most serious disorder, always fatal, where the baby is born without part of its skull and brain.

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