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Folic Acid For Pre-Pregnancy Days - Why Doctors Recommend Folic Acid For Pre-Pregnancy

Folic acid for pre-pregnancy is recommended by nearly all physicians as necessary supplements to be included with the regular diet. This is because folic acid helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine [neural tube defects]. Folic acid or folate is a b vitamin that is essential for the proper growth and development of the brain, spine and skull of the fetus. Folic acid also prevents heart defects, cleft lip and palate etc. Folic acid is necessary for blood and protein production as well as to ensure enzyme functioning. Folic acid is necessary for the proper formation of healthy blood cells and 400 mcg are recommended daily in the pre conception stage. The doctors recommend that the women consume folic acid 3 months prior to pregnancy and continue until the second trimester.

Foods that are rich in folic acid are green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, peas, French beans, legumes, citrus fruits and juices [oranges], peanuts, whole grains, white flour, enriched pasta and enriched cornmeal, berries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, banana, nuts and spinach. Bread and fortified breakfast cereals are also good sources of folic acid.

Women who have had a previous child with neural tube defect, women who suffer from epilepsy and those who have diabetes need to consult their physician before taking supplements of folic acid while they consider pregnancy planning. This is because they have a higher risk of NTD babies. NTD babies may have poorly developed brains and die soon after birth. Spina bifidia may cause permanent paralysis of the lower body, loss of bladder and bowel control in the new born baby. NTD usually develop within the first 30 days of conception, so it is essential that women adopt proper conception planning techniques. Women who have had a NTD baby and who take a higher dosage of Folic acid for pre-pregnancy and during the pregnancy reduce the chances of NTD by as much as 70%. Folic acid supplements have to be taken as food sources of folic acid are harder to absorb.

Importance Of A Well Balanced Diet

The diet and nutrition planning has to be given due attention during pre pregnancy care. Calcium supplements and multi-vitamin supplements are also recommended. Foods rich in calcium are milk and milk products, sardines or salmon, tofu, broccoli, spinach etc. Calcium is vital for formation of bone and teeth, muscle contraction and nerve functions. Iron supplements are needed too during pre pregnancy as it is needed for RBC production in the fetus as well as to prevent complication such as anemia during pregnancy. Lean red meat, spinach, fortified whole-grain breads and cereals, dry fruits, etc. are good sources of iron.

While planning to get pregnant be sure to consult your physician and take adequate supplements of Folic acid for pre-pregnancy. It is recommended to consult your physician and opt for a check up and follow his instructions in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Avoid junk foods, maintain your body weight by eating nutritious regular meals and do take the recommended nutritional supplements during pre pregnancy as well as during the course of your pregnancy.

Obese and older women have to take the recommended supplements folic acid for pre-pregnancy as their babies have a higher risk of developing neural tube defects. Most neural tube defects are detectable before birth. But if you take Folic acid for pre-pregnancy as well as during pregnancy you may greatly reduce the possibilities of birth defects. Eat healthy, exercise as per the guidance of the doctor, maintain an ideal body weight and abstain from smoking, drinking, drugs etc., avoid contact with hazardous substances at work or at home from the pregnancy planning stage to protect your health as well as that of your child. Do take folic acid for pre-pregnancy during pregnancy and give your baby a better chance for leading a healthy, normal life.

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