Should Every Woman Take Folic Acid During Pregnancy?
We at BABYGO want you to have the safest and healthiest pregnancy as possible. We have done our own research about some of the benefits that come from taking folic acid and other supplements, ensuring it gives you the best chance for the safe arrival of your healthy newborn.
Folic acid is the man-made version of the vitamin folate and can be taken as a supplement to what you consume in your everyday diet. Folate helps the body make healthy red blood cells and it is found in certain foods.
It is essential for every mum to be, that her mind is at ease knowing her unborn baby is developing healthy, without the worry of having to change her diet drastically. Folic acid helps with your baby’s development of the brain, skull and spinal cord.
By taking Folic Acid you can reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Spina Bifida is when the baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t develop normally during pregnancy, causing malformations which may lead to problems with the baby’s health and development.
- How Much Folic Acid Can I Take?
- How To Increase Your Folate Intake?
- Recipes High In Folate
- 6 Supplements To Take Throughout Pregnancy
- How To Keep Fit During Pregnancy?
- Easy Ways To Find Folic Acid And Other Supplements
So, How Much Folic Acid Should I Take?
Someone who is trying to conceive or who has just recently found out they are pregnant should start taking Folic Acid 4mg for the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy, to give their baby the best chance of healthy development.
Some women will be advised to take a higher dosage of folic acid each day, if they are more at risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, due to other risk factors. Women who fall into this high-risk category are the following:
- Either you or your partner has a neural tube defect
- You have had a previous pregnancy affected by neural tube defect
- A family history of neural tube defect on either parent’s side
- If you have diabetes
If you are concerned that you fall into one of these categories, you should discuss this with your midwife or GP.
How Can I Get Folate Into My Diet?
As well as taking the recommended 4mg of folic acid daily, there is no reason as to why you cannot supplement it into your diet. Here are some foods and recipes that contain folate:
- Legumes- beans, peas, lentils
- Breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid
- Leafy greens- spinach, kale
- Brussel sprouts
- Brown rice
- Granary bread
Here Are 3 Quick And Easy Recipes To Try That Include Folate
As well as being rich in folate and other supplements, these recipes will also keep your health in mind, not just your unborn baby.
Corn & courgette fritters with poached eggs is a nice way to start your day.
Lamb wild rice and quinoa salad, packed with loads of flavor and of course Folate
Vegetarian lentil tortilla soup gives you a tasty meal with lots of supplements such as vitamin C, Calcium and Fiber
More Beneficial Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
🌞 Vitamin D
During your pregnancy, it is essential that you get enough Vitamin D, as it regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. This is what is needed to keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.
Taking 10mg of vitamin D each day can ensure you are getting enough, without being exposed directly to sunlight. It is important even when you are out in the sun, that you should always cover up and apply SPF.
When you are pregnant it is recommended that you consume twice as much iron as you normally would. Your body uses more iron during pregnancy to make extra blood for your unborn baby.
Without enough iron, you can become tired and drowsy, which can lead to developing iron-deficiency anemia. Developing an iron deficiency whilst pregnant could put your baby at risk of being born too small or prematurely.
It is recommended you take 27mg of iron every day during your pregnancy.
🥕 Vitamin A
Vitamin A is all about finding the right balance during your pregnancy. Having too much Vitamin A can harm your baby, while too little carries the risk of your fetus not developing properly.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is stored in the liver and fat cells in the body.
A healthy supply during pregnancy builds up your baby’s natural stores, in preparation for the first few months of their life.
A low level of Vitamin A can affect your baby’s immune system, meaning they are more susceptible to infection and illness after birth.
You should avoid eating foods such as liver and pate, as they are very high in Vitamin A.
However, making sure you eat plenty of oranges, carrots, and sweet potatoes, whilst not forgetting produce such as dairy and eggs, can help regulate a sufficient Vitamin A level.
Fiber is essential in any pregnant woman’s diet. Fiber helps the flow of the digestive system.
Insufficient amounts of fiber in your diet can slow down the process of digesting food, which leads to constipation and in more serious cases can lead to haemorrhoids.
For pregnant women, the recommended daily intake should be 28g.
A good food source of fiber includes bananas, pears, oatmeal, brown rice, lentils, peas, and broccoli, just to name a few.
This vitamin is really a no brainer. Vitamin C helps protect cells and keeps them nice and healthy.
Vitamin C is found in a variety of fruit and vegetables, which can provide you with a balanced diet. Oranges, strawberries and red and green peppers are just some of the key sources.
Another way that is quick and easy to make sure you are adding lots of Vitamin C into your diet, is by making a smoothie with some of the ingredients mentioned above.
You probably remember as a child your mum telling you to drink that glass of milk, or not to forget the milk whilst having your cereal, so you can develop strong and healthy bones. Well, I’m about to tell you again in case you forgot.
When you are pregnant, calcium will help your baby to develop strong bones and teeth. As well as growing a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles.
It is recommended that your daily intake of calcium is 1000mg per day. It is especially important during your third trimester that you are consciously getting enough calcium into your body.
Not having enough calcium may cause your baby to get its supply from other means such as your bones, which can impact your health later in life. You may be at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Don't Forget To Move Your Body!
With all these beneficial supplements that can keep you and your unborn baby healthy. There is one important key factor that is vital to keeping you healthy, during the 9 months you are carrying your child and that is exercise!
Keeping active whilst pregnant is not only good for the body but the mind as well.
A fun way to keep your body moving is to try our birthing ball. It improves your core strength, balance, posture, flexibility, and stamina while also being the perfect companion during labour.
Folic Acid And Other Beneficial Supplements?
Pharmacies’, large supermarkets and health food stores are the three main places you will be able to purchase these supplements, all for a reasonable price.
If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant you should seek medical advice on which supplements would suit you and your needs, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife.
These professionals are experts and have a wide breadth of knowledge to help support you during conceiving and throughout pregnancy.
They are there every step of the way, to make sure you are healthy and that you can have the safest pregnancy and birth, as you welcome your new baby into the world.