What Is Folic Acid?
This super-powerful pregnancy ingredient is a B vitamin found naturally in folates and protects your baby from birth defects such as neural tube defects and cleft palate. It also helps you avoid anemia during your pregnancy. Most birth defects happen during the initial three to four weeks of pregnancy, so it is important to take folic acid from the time of conception.
How Does Folic Acid Protect My Baby?
Folic acid can do wonders for your developing baby. It will protect it from:
- Spina bifida – incomplete development of the spinal cord
- Anencephaly – incomplete development of the main parts of the brain
- Cleft lip and palate
- Low birth weight
- Poor growth and development in the womb
How Does Folic Acid Protect Me?
As a pregnant mom, you need your dose of folic acid to stay fit and healthy. It can reduce the risk of heart diseases, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, pre-eclampsia and some types of cancer.
What Foods Contain Folic Acid?
Go for these natural, rich sources of folic acid:
- Fortified cereals
- Turnip greens
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Green beans
- Lima beans
- Split peas
- Brussels sprouts
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Sometimes it’s not enough to have foods that are rich in folic acid—you may need supplements. Speak to your doctor about what will work best for you.