There is a lot of available information regarding folic acid and pregnancy. So why do pregnant women need folic acid? This is a kind of vitamin B that is also known as folate and there are a lot of different reasons for which doctors suggest their patients to take such supplements.
You should start doing so even before you get pregnant for the best effects.
Neural tube defects
It is a known fact that this supplement can prevent the neural tube defects of the baby.
This is a birth defect of the spinal cord and the brain. Such defects appear at the earliest stages, even before women find out that they are pregnant. Defects of this kind appear in about 3,000 cases each year in the U.S.
According to the official information women should take the recommended dose of the supplement a month before they get pregnant and during the early stages of the pregnancy.
This is because this way they can decrease the baby’s chances of being affected by the defect by 50%-70%.
Other birth defects
Some of the other studies show that it is good to have folic acid during pregnancy because it can prevent some other birth defects as well. These birth defects include cleft palate, cleft lip, and different kinds of heart defects.
The supplement is also used in case of blood production. This is because it takes part in the production of red blood cells thus preventing anemia.
Believe it or not, folate also plays a part in the repair, production and functioning of DNA. This carries the genetic information of people. If you have enough folic acid you can achieve fast cell growth in case of the placenta so it also helps the baby grow.
If you take folic acid while being pregnant, you could also avoid to be affected by preeclampsia during pregnancy.