Why Do Pregnant Women Need Folic Acid?

Fertility and Pregnancy

In early pregnancy, three germ layers that form the basis of the baby’s body are formed.

It is important to take adequate nutrition in this stage to grow a baby healthily. And folic acid is one of the most important nutrients for early pregnancy.

In this article, we will introduce folic acid benefits and when you should take them.

Benefits of Folic Acid

Here are some well-known benefits of folic acid to pregnant women. Read the information below!

Reduce the risk of developing neonatal disorders

Studies have shown that if you take enough folic acid early in pregnancy, you can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, and congenital malformations, by as much as 70%.

Folic acid is a necessary nutrient for DNA synthesis to perform cell division.

In the early stage of pregnancy, the cell division of the baby is active and important organs such as the brain and spinal cord are formed. During this cell division, if folic acid is deficient, organ formation does not work well and neural tube defects are likely to occur.

Prevent megaloblastic anemia (pernicious anemia)

During pregnancy, there are many pregnant women suffering from anemia, as they also require blood to deliver to the baby.

In addition to iron deficiency anemia due to iron deficiency, megaloblastic anemia due to deficiency of folic acid may be possible, so that the intake of iron and folic acid must be done to prevent anemia.

How much folic acid do you need to take?

Depending on the pregnancy stage, the recommended amount of folic acid for one day differs. In early pregnancy, it is necessary to take folic acid approximately twice more than the usual amount.

Folic acid is hardly absorbed, and it is a nutrient that can’t be stored in the body. Therefore, it must be taken every day. To take 240 μg a day is good for usual, but it is necessary to take twice the amount during pregnancy.

For the folic acid intake recommended for each pregnancy period, take a look at the chart below.

Period Amount Taken From Food Effect
Fertility Treatments (very important) 480μg Improve the implantation rate which makes you be pregnant easily
Early pregnancy

(~3months)

*Very important

480μg – Reduce the risk of fetal neural tube defects

– Prevent anemia

– Reduce morning sickness

Mid-late pregnancy

(4months~)

480μg – Support fetal growth(prevent low birth weight)

– Prevent anemia

Breast Feeding 340μg – Increase the quality and quantity of breast feeding

– Support uterine recovery

– Prevent hair loss and postpartum depression

When should you take folic acid?

It is particularly important to increase your intake of folic acid as early as this stage. Folic acid is a nutrient that pregnant women should take from early pregnancy to postpartum. It is important to take folic acid before knowing that you are pregnant!

Early pregnancy is from 0 to 4 weeks of pregnancy and it’s the time when pregnancy test medicines or medical examinations can’t confirm your pregnancy. However, in the early phase of pregnancy, fertilized eggs are implanted and actively dividing cells. If you care about nutrition before you even realize that you are pregnant, you can prepare your body for your baby in the early pregnancy stage.

Although it is of high importance to take folic acid, it can’t be specified in the early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to take folic acid from the time of fertility treatment.

Until when should you take folic acid?

Folic acid is a necessary nutrient even after early pregnancy, until delivery, and during breastfeeding.

That is because folic acid has the following functions.

  • Combine DNA to support cell division
  • Help to make blood
  • By cell division, the baby develops organs.

 In addition, the blood of pregnant women created by the action of folic acid is consumed in the delivery of nutrition and oxygen to the baby. Breastfeeding milk is also made from blood.

SUMMARY

The amount of folic acid required reduces after the early pregnancy, but if you want to maintain a healthy condition, continue your intake of folic acid. Most of us don’t know anything about folic acid, or why it’s important especially when you are pregnant. Folic acid prevents anemia and helps with the baby’s growth. So take folic acid such as Belta Folic Acid, if you are on fertility treatment or pregnant. It is a must for you and your baby!

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