How Much Folic Acid for Pregnancy
A lot of women heard that it is necessary to nurture organism with folic acid during the course of pregnancy. However, it can be noted that we don’t always understand the role this vitamin plays. Consequently, there is a need to speak about it in details since women are still asking questions connected with taking folic acid.
What is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a water – soluble vitamin. It plays a very important role in the organism of a person. It takes part in the synthesis of nucleic acids and the metabolism of proteins. Consequently, it can be concluded that this vitamin takes part in the processes of cells’ growth and division.
Folic acid plays an important role in the process of blood cells formation. In order for the fetus to grow and develop fast a sufficient concentration of this vitamin in the organism of a future mother is of great importance. Lots of scientific studies have been carried out. The results of these studies prove that folic acid protects and prevents the occurrence of abnormalities in the development of the nerve tube (such abnormalities as cleft vertebra, anencephalia etc.).
The organism of a person can’t synthetize folic acid. Micro flora bacteria of the colon can produce small amounts of this vitamin. However, these amounts are less than a person needs per day. Yeast, liver of birds and animals, spicy herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley etc.), sunflower seeds, soybeans, greenery (cabbage, spinach), bean, asparagus and peanut contain big amounts of folic acid. In some countries it is required by law to enrich bread and flour products with folic acid.
Why Take Folic Acid Drugs?
Irrespective of the fact that foods contain folic acid, pregnant women and women who plan to get pregnant also need to take folic acid drugs. There is a number of reasons for doing so. Firstly, it has been proved that folic acid plays an important role in preventing the development of fetal nerve tube pathologies.
Secondly, while our food is cooked part of the vitamin disappears and gets destroyed. Here you should also keep in mind that there aren’t much products in your diet that contain large amounts of this vitamin. Besides, a natural folic acid is not that available in comparison with folic acid drugs. Even if your diet is full, it doesn’t mean that your organism has no need in this vitamin.
Currently is stated that a pregnant woman should take 0.4 mg. of folic acid per day. The majority of up to date folic acid drugs contain exactly this amount of vitamin. It is thought that a woman should take them once a day. However, in a number of situations the dosage of the drugs can be increased.
Patients in case of that abnormalities in the way the fetal nerve tube is developed have been found and that take some drugs (for example, antiallergic drugs) are recommended to take 4-5 mg. per day. Anyway, there is no evidence proving that an overdose of folic acid doesn’t disturb the development of the fetus.
When is it Necessary to Start Taking Folic Acid?
Women that plan to get pregnant need to start taking folic acid drugs beforehand. They should take an amount required for a day (4 mg.). Then, it is necessary to keep on taking these drugs during the course of pregnancy.
If you didn’t follow these recommendations on the stage of planning the pregnancy and conceiving, then, you should start taking the vitamins once you start suspecting that you may be pregnant. In other words, the sooner you do it the better since the nerve tube stops actively developing on the stage of the 6th week of pregnancy.
Every patient is free to decide on her own whether or not to take the drugs sets recommended by the doctor. It is known that many people disregard the recommendations and choose to rely on their own experience, intuition and the opinion of the surrounding people.
However, there’s no need denying obvious facts – the fact that such a choice means harming not only yourself but your baby as well and being aware of that. Still, it’s not difficult to take a folic acid pill when you start suspecting that you’re pregnant. You may do it before you go to work.