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Folic Acid and Prenatal Vitamins

Baby Bump: Prenatal Vitamins and Folic Acid

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,


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.


Join The Conversation
wakeupandora wakeupandora 9 years
i am baby-prepping my body and i started taking a prenatal vitamin with the daily suggested dose of folic acid because i heard this over and over again, especially from a mother who is also a RN!
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I used to take pre-natal vitamins just because they were so wonderfully good for you, years before I even started thinking about having children. I stopped a couple of years ago because they were making me feel ill, but I should take them up again.
Neural Neural 9 years
I take a prenatal that has 800 mcg of folic acid so looks like I'm covered. :)
itownsend itownsend 9 years
Thank you for passing on this VERY IMPORTANT information!
Imabeliever Imabeliever 9 years
I was violently allergic to prenatal vitamins.. even the ones that were supposed to help alleviate nausea and managed to have two healthy little guys without them.. BUT I was a fanatic about eating foods that were rich in vitamins and esp folic acid. SO ABSOLUTELY if you can, take the prenatal vitamins and the folic acid supplements religiously.. If you cannot.. start researching foods that are rich in the same supplements and try to replace them naturally. Bottom line get them any way you can for the babies sake.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I'm in college and last semester I took an Intro to Nutrition class. My professor said that if you eat healthy and right you should be able to get all the vitamins and minerals you need (i.e. calcium, vit D, vit Bs, ect) But he very adamantly said that if you are a female and there is any chance that you could become pregnant (i.e. sexually active) that you should be taking a folic acid supplement. So I started taking a multi-vitamin and then at my next 'yearly' I asked my Gyno about it and she said yes that I should be taking one. So I take a 'one-a-day' that has 100% recommended folic acid in it. I definitely want to do everything in my power to make sure that my (future) babies are healthy as possible. Also, I had no idea it helped in preventing premature births! Good to know!!! Thanks for all the info babysugar. I really love this 'sugar site' :D
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