Use and Importance of Folic Acid in Pregnancy

Folic acid is one of your best friends to accompany you before and during pregnancy. So, why is folic acid use so important during pregnancy? How many mg is taken and at what week is folic acid left in pregnancy?

We answered all the questions in your mind and shared foods rich in folic acid with you. Come on, it’s time to learn it all!

What is folic acid?

Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate found in certain plant foods, is a B vitamin that contributes to the healthy progression of pregnancy.

Let’s talk about the difference between folate and folic acid. Folic acid, a synthetic nutrient made by man, quickly enters the bloodstream. It can sit on the shelf for many years. Folate is a naturally occurring vitamin. It meets the physical needs of the fetus during pregnancy, then the child and all of us. Folic acid is taken in supplement form, while folate, which does the same job, is taken in food form.

What does folic acid do during pregnancy?

What is needed is to start using folic acid before pregnancy. Because in this way, you can protect your baby against birth defects of the spine and brain, called “neural tube defects”. Folic acid use during pregnancy significantly reduces central nervous system anomalies in babies to be born.

The use of folic acid during pregnancy can also partially prevent heart and kidney diseases by taking other vitamins in appropriate doses. Therefore, it is recommended that all women of childbearing age take prenatal vitamins containing folic acid.

What happens if folic acid is not used during pregnancy?

Doctor of Gynecology at Medicana Hospital, Op. Dr. Kerime Nazlı Salihoğlu says that if folic acid is not used during pregnancy, the baby will be born with many health problems. Caused by folic acid deficiency in babies of those who do not use folic acid during pregnancy;

  • Spina bifida (open spine)
  • Encephalocele (protrusion of the brain beyond the skull bone),
  • Central system diseases such as anencephaly (lack of development of the brain) are more likely to be seen.

In fact, folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can cause babies to die before they are born.

When should folic acid be started during pregnancy?

You may wonder when to start taking folic acid. Folic acid should be used approximately 3 months before pregnancy and should be continued throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In this way, the baby’s chance of normal development increases. Especially the first 28 days after conception are the most critical times for the prevention of neural tube defects. The use of folic acid in unplanned pregnancy is also recommended during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

Let’s answer the question of how many mg of folic acid should be taken during pregnancy . It is sufficient to take a folic acid supplement of 400 mcg daily. If you have given birth to a baby with central nervous system damage due to folic acid deficiency, you can increase it above 0.4 milligrams with the advice of your doctor.

In addition to these, you can increase your daily folic acid intake to 600 mg by taking 200 mg of foods containing folic acid. You can usually reach 200 mg by consuming 2 servings of folate-rich foods.

At what week is folic acid released during pregnancy?

Memorial Hospital Gynecology and Obstetrics Department Coordinator Op. Dr. Cihangir Yılanlıoğlu says that folic acid, which is one of the B vitamins, should be continued until the 12th week of pregnancy. After the 12th week, you can stop using folic acid, it is enough for you to eat foods containing folate.

You may also wonder what time to drink folic acid . It is recommended to take folic acid tablets before a certain time, in the morning or evening. However, what you need to be careful about is to take your medication at the same time every day.

Which folic acid should be used during pregnancy?

A regular multivitamin may contain the folic acid you need. So, there is no product that we can say is the best folic acid. However, you should not forget to check whether the multivitamin you use contains a minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid. Apart from this, we can say that the answer to the question of which brand of folic acid should be used during pregnancy is not very important. You can take any brand of folic acid supplement.

Folic acid brands recommended by doctors are usually Folic Plus and Folbiol. Folic Plus is a calcium and vitamin D supplement, and its price is higher than Folbiol. Of course, there are other folic acid pills you can use besides the two of them. Below you can see the prices of folic acid along with the brands.

Folic acid medications

Solgar Folic Acid (Folacin) is a folic acid suitable for vegan and vegetarian use.

What happens if I take too much folic acid during pregnancy?

Folic acid excess during pregnancy is a rare problem. If the amount of folic acid in your body has increased due to the foods or multivitamins you consume, the level will return to normal if you limit your intake of these.

However, if there is no decrease in the rate, you should consult your specialist doctor. Because there are opinions that the excess of folic acid during pregnancy affects the development of the baby negatively.

Foods containing folic acid

It is beneficial to consume plenty of foods containing folic acid both before and during pregnancy. What’s in folic acid, we’ve listed it for you below.

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, purslane, broccoli,
  • Some fruits and juices, such as citrus,
  • Yeast foods, folic acid added breads and cereals,
  • Legumes such as dry beans, chickpeas, lentils,
  • black and green beans,
  • avocado, banana, strawberry,
  • Wheat Extract,
  • Asparagus,
  • Liver,
  • Tuna,
  • Egg yolk,
  • Yoghurt.
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