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Your doctor has told you that you must take your prenatal vitamin containing folic acid each and every day. But why is folic acid so important, and what exactly does it do for your unborn baby during pregnancy?

Studies have shown that mothers who were deficient in folic acid during pregnancy were two to three times more likely to have a premature or low birth rate baby that those who got enough folic acid.

Adequate folic acid has been shown to decrease chances of spina bifida and anencephaly (severly underdeveloped brain and skull). It also reduces the chances of cleft lip, cleft palate and heart defects. Folic acid is also key in the production of the baby’s DNA.

If you are trying to conceive, research has shown that is is beneficial to start taking folic acid at least one month prior to conception.

One Comment

  1. Miguel
    6:02 am on September 3rd, 2012

    I think this is a great idea. Our third child has SB and my wife always did every thing she was ssppoued to with her prenatal care, including taking her folic acid. I am a doctor an have likewise been frustrated with my colleagues who ask the same question, well didn’t your wife take folic acid? . The truth is that it is a polygenic syndrome, that we don’t really understand. Medical school teaches little else besides the folic acid doctrine. There’s nothing wrong with this from a public health stand point, but serves little to no purpose for the individual family affected by SB.It’s frustrating that these brave mothers, who choose to bring these children into the world rather than abort them, are then made to feel ashamed and guilty as if they did something wrong. I applaud all these moms, folic acid aside. These children truly are a blessing and their parents are special people.+1

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