Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
19/05/2014 at 17:28
So, to continue our efforts in keeping the chatter going on this board, let's have another weekly topic! From the poll results, there was nine topics with the same score so I've taken this one from the top of the list.
So, how important really is folic acid?
19/05/2014 at 17:40
In my experience, I've had a number of friends confess to not taking it until they were pregnant, for a variety of reasons. I've had others say they had to stop as it made them sick during the beginning of pregnancy. I personally wouldn't take the risk but it did make me wonder how many out there have gone on to have successful pregnancies without touching the stuff? My own view is that it's not worth the risk plus it doesn't do me personally any harm in taking it..... Any opinions?
19/05/2014 at 18:22
Oooh I haven't heard of anyone not taking it at all during pregnancy, I don't think I could take the risk! In terms of the build up to pregnancy, my SIL isn't taking it (she's TTC but is having to go down the doctor route) - she asked me if I was taking it to increase my chances and I said no, plus told her why, but I don't think she's on it still. I don't think it's a disaster if you don't take it in the build up as there have been SO many people who have not known they were pregnant and had healthy babies but personally, I'd rather prepare myself properly.
20/05/2014 at 09:15
I also haven't heard of anyone not taking it during pregnancy! I know of lots of people who fell pregnant without trying so therefore were not taking it before but started as soon as they found out. I've been taking it since July / August last year as that is when we stopped preventing, it hasn't done me any harm and it's good to know I'm prepared if it does happen!
20/05/2014 at 12:18
It is most vital as the spinal tube begins to take shape which is around the week of your BFP (week 4-5). So it is really REALLY important you are already topped up at conception. Starting to take it after your BFP or first midwife appointment even, whilst there may still be benefits, the most critical time has long gone.
We had to sign a form to say I was taking folic acid daily and would continue during both our IVF cycles. They advised I started at least 8 weeks prior to treatment.
Take your folic acid ladies!! It's so cheap too.
Luckily, being a developed country, lots of our food like cereals are fortified with folic acid (which probably explains why lots of unplanned pregnancies are still healthy, or those who didn't take folic acid still have enough in their system) but still not worth the risk not to take a supplement IMO.
20/05/2014 at 14:14
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B vitamin (vitamin B9). It occurs naturally, in the form of folates, in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, wholegrains, pulses, and yeast and beef extract. Some breads, margarines and breakfast cereals have folic acid added during the manufacturing process. Look for the round symbol with the letter "F" in the centre.
Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy?
Folic acid helps to protect your unborn baby from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Folic acid may also help to prevent other birth defects, such as a cleft palate .
Folic acid is good for you, too, as it works with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells. Not having enough folic acid can cause you to have a type of anaemia. The other, more common type of anaemia, is due to a lack of iron.
What is Spina Bifida?
Spina bifida happens when the protective covering that grows around an unborn baby's spinal cord doesn't close properly, leaving a gap. This can lead to permanent nerve damage, and sometimes paralysis. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy is when your baby's brain and nerve system are forming and growing fast. That's why it's important to take daily folic acid supplements during the first three months of your pregnancy, and ideally while you are trying for a baby.Once you reach 13 weeks of your pregnancy (second trimester), you can stop taking the supplements if you want to, though continuing to take them won't harm you or your baby.
How much folic acid do I need to take?
You're advised to take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid as soon as you decide to try for a baby. Then keep taking it for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. You should also eat plenty of folate-rich foods. If you have had a child with a neural tube defect (NTD), your risk of having another child with an NTD is higher. In this case, your doctor will prescribe a much higher daily dose of 5 milligrams (mg) of folic acid . If you are taking certain prescribed medicines, such as for epilepsy, your doctor may prescribe a higher dose of folic acid. That's because these medicines may prevent your body form absorbing folic acid. Talk to your doctor if you have epilepsy and are trying for a baby. If you are overweight and have a body mass index (BMI) of over 30, or if you have diabetes, you should also take a higher dose of 5mg folic acid. If you are overweight and/or have diabetes, it increases the risk of you having a baby with an NTD. Women with a higher BMI tend to have lower levels of folate in their blood. So ask your doctor for a prescription as soon as you decide to try for a baby.Which foods should I eat to get more folic acid?
Eat plenty of foods that are rich in folates, as well as taking a folic acid supplement. These foods are also packed with other nutrients that you and your baby need. Try including some of these folate-rich foods in your meals:
Because folates dissolve in water, you should steam or microwave vegetables, ra
20/05/2014 at 15:41
just to be more lighthearted, i thought one of the best things about ttc would be not having to take a pill everyday. wrong on that one! ;)
20/05/2014 at 18:11
I agree with Ducky. This is one of the most important things you can do and I would never consider ttc without taking it at least 3 months before trying. Its so cheap and really no trouble to take that one little pill a day.
I would urge all ttc ladies to be taking this as I've seen the devastation is causes to just wait until after getting a BFP.
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