By Elayza Gonzalez
Women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant can benefit immensely from taking prenatal vitamins, including and especially folic acid. Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin used to prevent and treat low blood levels of folate.
Aside from treating folate deficiency, folic acid is used by pregnant women to prevent miscarriages or neural tube defects (NTDs) as well as other birth defects, according to Baby Center. NTDs, which occur at a very early stage of pregnancy, affect about 3,000 pregnancies a year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who take the recommended daily dose of folic acid starting at least one month before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy reduce their bay’s risk of NTDs by up to 70 percent.
Experts recommend moms-to-be — and all women of childbearing age — take 400 micrograms of folic acid a day.
There are also natural ways to consume folic acid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to fortify certain foods because approximately half of all pregnancies are unplanned, according to the American Pregnancy Association. As a result, women of childbearing age can easily get a part of their daily dose of folic acid by implementing the following foods to their diet: leafy green vegetables, like spinach, citrus fruits, beans, breads, cereals, rice and pastas.
Folic acids have proven to be an essential vitamin to pregnant women, but its benefits are something that can help everyone prevent and treat all types of diseases and complications.