We recommend for all our patients who are pregnant or trying to conceive to take folic acid daily. Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. If you take it before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, it can help protect your baby from birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects. Birth defects of the skull and spine happen in the very early stages of pregnancy. Women who are try to conceive or are pregnant need between 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day. More details below.
The March of Dimes makes the following recommendations:
- Before pregnancy, take a vitamin supplement that has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in it every day.
- During pregnancy, take a prenatal vitamin that has at least 600 micrograms of folic acid in it every day.
- Take a vitamin supplement with folic acid every day, even if you’re not trying to get pregnant.
- You can get folic acid from food, too. Look for fortified foods to make sure you’re getting enough.