2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Since you plan to have a baby, we talk to you about folic acid? You are probably wondering what is its usefulness during pregnancy? We explain.
What is this?
Folic acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9 is a vitamin that contributes to the growth and protection of cells in the body.
What is it for?
Folic acid is actually essential for the normal development of your baby's spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy.
Folic acid halves the risk of birth defects (in Canada, the risk is one to two per 1,000 births) that can cause birth defects limbs, abnormalities of the urinary tract, as well as narrowing of the lower digestive tract and that of the neural tube.
The neural tube is a channel from which the entire brain and spinal cord of the embryo is built. If it does not close properly, it can cause spinal, brain and skull abnormalities (such as spina bifida) which can lead to the death of the baby or permanent infirmity.
When and howconsume?
You should start taking folic acid capsules at least three months before the time you want to get pregnant. A multivitamin containing 0.4 mg of folic acid every day is sufficient and you should maintain this habit for the first three months of your pregnancy. You can continue until the end of the pregnancy and ideally also for four to six weeks after delivery and while you are breastfeeding.
However, do not exceed the dose of 1 mg per day without the advice of your doctor.
Since there are several varieties of vitamin supplements, it is best to consult your doctor or a pharmacist who can recommend one brand more than another.
Women who already have a child with spine and brain abnormalities should consult their doctor before starting folic acid, as they may need a higher dose.
The same is true for women with diabetes, epilepsy, obesity, or women from ethnic groups at risk.
Other sources of folic acid
The daily dose of folic acid in your daily tablet should be accompanied by foods recommended by Canada's Food Guide to maximize your baby's chances of being he althy. good he alth, neurological and physical.
Dark green vegetables - broccoli, spinach, peasand Brussels sprouts – along with corn, dried peas, dried beans, lentils, oranges and orange juice are excellent sources of folic acid. Whole wheat breads and foods fortified with folic acid also provide significant amounts of this vitamin.
Sources: He alth Canada, Ministry of He alth and Social Services (Quebec), Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada
Folic acid is the best prevention against the neural tube defect which affects between 2 and 4 babies out of 1000. Some explanations