Newest Review: ... them to start taking the folic acid then, so that if they conceive the baby already has a good supply. 400mcg of folic acid can be taken... more
Folic Acid during pregnancy
Member Name: stephbond89
Advantages: Can help prevent Spina Bifida
Disadvantages: Not publicised enough!
Folic Acid is something which we all need in our bodies, and which is present in many food items such as leafy vegetables, a few examples are spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, lettuces, dried or fresh beans and peas. Fortified cereal products, sunflower seeds and certain fruits and vegetables also contain levels of folic acid, known as "folate". Liver and liver based products (pate for example) also contain folate. So as you can see, we get a fair amount in most of our meals.
Folic acid has been shown to have results in reducing the risk of strokes, heart disease and even cancer (research has shown small links between these illnesses and daily folic acid supplements). But the main time that we think of Folic Acid is when pregnant or trying to conceive.
If you are trying for a baby, you should be taking folic acid for at least three months prior to getting pregnant and up to the 12 week (3 month) stage of pregnancy. Of course, if an unexpected pregnancy occurs you cannot have taken folic acid for 3 months previous to the pregnancy, but the minute you know your pregnant you should start taking the supplement which is available from all health shops and most good supermarkets.
Why should I take Folic Acid?
This is what I asked too when I was told I should take the supplement whilst trying to conceive, I knew about it as when my sister was pregnant she used to talk about the vitamin, but I wasn't really sure what it was for.
Folic Acid is shown to prevent Spina Bifida in the baby you conceive, which is a developmental defect of which the symptoms can range from minor to major, and is difficult to live with as a person, and difficult for a parent to deal with. Taking the folic acid supplement daily is said to reduce the risk of Spina Bifida by 75%, and so is well worth taking when trying for a baby, and awareness needs to be raised with young people especially who may not know about this vitamin supplement which they should be taking when trying to conceive or when pregnant. Although your doctor/midwife will prescribe you the vitamin when you are pregnant, they may not explain why you need to take it, and the importance of the folic acid in your pregnancy.
Asda's Folic Acid:
When me and my husband decided to start trying for a baby, folic acid was the first thing I went out and bought. I was looking online at shops like Holland and Barret which had the folic acid, but were charging quite alot for it, around £5 for a tub of 60 pills. As I pay for my presriptions there was no use in me going to my doctor as that would have cost me £7. I then looked in Asda for the supplement.
They had a range of products which claimed to be "pregnancy supplements", which contained folic acid, but only the amount which you would get from eating say an orange everyday, which isn't enough. Then I saw the box of folic acid, each box contains 150 pills, which will last you of course 150 days, around 4 months. The folic acid is £2.43 for this box, which was cheaper than the health stores, but they also had an offer on when I went, and which is still on until the 10th October 2009, for two packs for £4, so thats 300 of the pills, lasting you around 8 months, which is perfect for if you are trying to conceive which can take a long time to happen.
The pills are small and plain white pressed powder tablets, which are easy to swallow and tasteless, you simply take one of the pills everyday whilst trying to conceieve and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. They're easy to swallow and not unpleasant tasting.
For £4 every 8 months, they are definitely worth buying and investing in if you are trying to conceive, I don't know anybody with Spina Bifida, and I don't know anybody who has a child with it, but I do know it isn't a nice thing to live with, like any birth defect, and if you have a 75% chance of stopping it from happening, then it's something well worth doing.
Of course there will be women out there who took folic acid religiously for three months prior to and three months after conceiving, who still gave birth to a child with Spina Bifida, but the chance is much greater if you don't take the vitamin. As I said earlier in this review, awareness needs to be raised about this, as I don't think it is publicised enough, people are more interested in talking about alcohol during pregnancy and ensuring food isn't pink etc, whilst this is just as important to remember, if you can do this one extra thing to ensure you have a healthy happy pregnancy and birth, and have a healthy child, then it's well worth it!
Summary: It should be invested in whilst trying to conceieve and the first 3 months of pregancy!
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