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Pregnancy & Folic Acid

It is important to take care of yourself by eating the right foods, exercising, getting rest and taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. This will help to insure that you have a healthy and happy baby. Did you know that folic acid plays a major part in a healthy pregnancy? Not just during pregnancy either, but even before conception.


Folic Acid Before and During Pregnancy

Folic acid aids in the production of our red blood cells and is believed to help in the prevention of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease. One major role it plays is in the development of a new fetus. It helps in the prevention of neural tube defects.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy the neural tube develops into the new babies brain and spinal cord. When the process has taken place the tube needs to close. If this doesnít occur then your baby has a neural tube defect. This defect can show up in a number of different ways including Encephalocele or Anencephaly both of which are brain defects. It also can cause Spina Bifida which is caused by the spine and vertebra not closing correctly. It can even cause death in some cases.

Folic acid is very important in prenatal care and should start at least one month before conception. Even though you are taking prenatal vitamins talk with your doctor about continuing to take folic acid at least 3 months into your pregnancy. This will help greatly in the prevention of these types of defects.

Folic acid can be taken as supplement but is also found in many of the foods we eat. Many of the breads and cereals we eat on a daily basis are high in folic acids. Other foods that have great amounts of folic acid are broccoli, spinach, asparagus, peanuts and romaine lettuce. Placing these types of foods in your daily diet will help in making sure you receive the folic acid your body needs.

Thinking about and becoming pregnant is a joyous time in our lives. Keeping our unborn fetus healthy is the most important part of a pregnancy. Taking folic acid to reduce the risks of neural tube defects will help relieve some of that worry. A healthy and happy Mom and baby is what itís all about.


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