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Importance of Folic Acid Before you get Pregnant

Aug 17, 2007
Prenatal care is a concept that is not widely practiced today, despite the enormous number of information related to different aspects of preconception.

A planned conception is in fact, relatively new to many couples, and the importance of a prenatal diet is something that is often ignored. Eating well is important for both women and men at any stage of their life, but when it comes to pregnancy, a well-balanced diet is fundamental to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

However, very few women understand why diet is of particular importance when trying to conceive and how a multi-vitamin supplement can become your best fertility aid.

A prenatal visit to your doctor will reveal to you secrets that for a long time were ignored, including how important the intake of folic acid is before conception and during the different pregnancy stages.

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins, also known as folacin, folate, or Vitamin B9. This vitamin occurs naturally in citrus and dark green leaf vegetables, as well as other foods.

You can find acid folic in avocados, broccoli, brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce, spinach, oatmeal, and lima beans. Other foods rich in Vitamin B9 are orange juice, beef liver, chicken, beans, lentils, chickpeas, fortified breakfast cereals, and enriched pastas and breads.

The reason why the intake of this vitamin is important is relayed in its properties as regulator of cellular development and regeneration. Acid folic is more necessary during the first weeks of pregnancy, so if you have a diet rich in this vitamin, your chances for getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy are higher.

Acid folic also contributes to development of your unborn baby, providing the nutrients needed for the proper formation of the spinal cord and brain, producing also the red blood cells for both the mother-to-be and the baby.

Make sure that your diet includes enough acid folic from at least 3 months before planning your conception, and keep the intake as per your doctor's indications. Acid folic will reduce the risk of neural-tube defects (NTD) in your baby, also reducing your risk of miscarriage.

Although it is your doctor who will determine the dose of acid folic that you need, the recommended intake for most women of childbearing age is about 0.4 mg per day during the prenatal stage, increasing the dose up to 0.8 mg each day.

A woman with a family history of neural-tube defects might be prescribed with an increased dosage of acid folic, up to approximately 4 mg, to prevent potential pregnancy risks. If you are unsure of the correct dosage, almost any prenatal vitamins will provide you with the basic requirements for a healthy pregnancy.
About the Author
For more information about folic acid and other preconception questions you can check out
preconception.org.uk
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