Folate and folic acid play a critical role in baby's in-utero development and help prevent neural tube defects. As the American Pregnancy Association explains, the neural tube develops within the first 28 days of pregnancy (before some women even realize they're pregnant!), so it's a good idea to consume between 400-1,000 micrograms of folic acid daily. These vitamins can also help prevent certain heart abnormalities and cleft palate and cleft lip in the fetus and help lower the risk of the expectant mom developing anemia, miscarriage, preterm delivery, or low birth weight.
Folate (also known as vitamin B-9) can be found in fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, spaghetti, rice, beans, broccoli, orange juice, spinach, and strawberries.