Benefits of Folic Acid in Pregnancy
Folic Acid (or folate) is an essential B vitamin (B9) that everyone needs to build DNA for cell growth and development. Enriched grains and fortified cereals contain folic acid, however, the best method of ensuring that you are receiving enough of this important water-soluble vitamin is to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily either alone or as part of a multi-vitamin supplement. Many women who are trying conceive ask what the benefits of folic acid in pregnancy are.
What Are the Benefits Folic Acid in Pregnancy?
Taking 400 micrograms of Folic Acid daily reduces the risks of birth defects of the brain and spine (neural tube defects) by as much as 70%. One of the most important ways to help prevent serious birth defects in your baby is to get enough folic acid every day — especially before conception and during early pregnancy.
Foods Rich in Folic Acid
Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges and lemons are excellent sources of vitamin C and are high in folic acid.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant; as we’ve noted earlier, antioxidants can protect eggs from damage due to oxidative stress. According to one study increased vitamin C also improves fertility in women with luteal phase defect.
Folic acid improves blood flow and has been shown to prevent fetal abnormalities. (Folic acid is recommended in supplement form when you are trying to conceive.) Other foods that are high in vitamin C include peppers, strawberries, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
Benefits of Taking a Prenatal Vitamin When Trying to Conceive
All women who are trying to conceive should take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid (folate), a B vitamin. It’s well known that folate can help prevent birth defects, and it also appears to improve egg quality and IVF success rates. Vitamin D, which is known to help boost immunity and keep your bones healthy, has also been shown to increase pregnancy rates with IVF and frozen embryo transfer.
If you have more questions about the benefits of folic acid in pregnancy, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.