My mother, a registered nurse who worked on a spina bifida study for years, encouraged me to take prenatal vitamins with an additional folic acid supplement. Folic acid has long been credited with helping to prevent birth defects, including spina bifida. Being my mother and a health professional, I took her advice and followed her direction.
To see the latest on the benefits of folic acid, read more.
This week, more news came out confirming everything my mother told me. Alan R. Fleischman, M.D., senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes said:
We already knew that folic acid supplementation beginning before pregnancy and continuing into the first trimester helps prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida. Now Dr. Bukowski’s research makes us optimistic that taking folic acid for at least one year before pregnancy also may greatly reduce the risk of premature birth. These findings add even greater weight to March of Dimes support for the U.S. Public Health Service’s long-standing recommendation that every woman of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. We hope this new research also will spur more health care professionals to urge their female patients to make folic acid part of their daily routine as a simple step toward having a healthy baby in the future.
As always, please consult your OB/GYN before taking anything.