Proper diet and nutrition play a major role in helping a woman get pregnant and also in maintaining a healthy pregnancy for the mother and the baby. Adequate amounts of folic acid can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

It is important for women of childbearing age to take folic acid daily.

What is a Neural Tube Defect

What is folic acid?

It is also known as folate or vitamin B9. Oral contraceptives and alcohol interfere with the absorption of folic acid.

Why is folic acid so important when you are pregnant?

It is important for proper central nervous system function and therefore helps prevent neural tube defects.

What is a neural tube defect?

They are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They occur in the 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows that she is pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly.

What foods contain folic acid?

Liver, nuts, green leafy vegetables, spinach, lentils, avocados, asparagus

What if I don’t get enough folic acid?

Folic acid deficiency can cause anemia, insomnia, depression, and mouth ulcers, to name a few. Recommended dose during pregnancy is 600 to 800 mcg or 0.6 to 0.8 mg.

Questions about folic acid deficiency? Ask Dr. Perillo!