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-   -   Folic Acid (http://www.annabelkarmel.com/community/pregnancy-mums/4228-folic-acid.html)

emmab23 19-02-08 21:25

Folic Acid
 
Just a quick question...i was wondering if anyone took folic acid tablets during the early stages of their pregnancy? I never took any with my first pregnancy but been to the doctors and they have advised it. But only to be taken till 12 weeks as it can be detrimental to the unborn baby. Just worried in case i have the date wrong and i'm further along than i think? And i take them further along than 12 weeks. Any advice would be great...thanks in advance.:)

Ellie H 19-02-08 21:31

I took folic acid until the end of the first trimester. I wouldn't worry about going a little past 12 weeks with them. You would probably be eating folic acid in your diet anyway as bread and cereals are fortified with it and it occurs naturally in stuff like broccoli. Also pregnancy supplements such as Pregnacare contain folic acid and are taken throughout pregnancy.

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vmalzone 19-02-08 21:31

wow, I've never heard that folic acid is bad after the 12th week. I did take a supplement with folic acid (the max amount) through my entire pregnancy. a study I read about last week or the week before has found that taking folic acid consistently for a year before you conceived and then continued after you conceive cut miscarriage rate immensely (or was it birth defects? I honestly don't remember). I thought that was remarkable, because I never knew you should take it for that long before conceiving... sorry, not really any help. I say take it, but what do I know? :)

logans_mum 19-02-08 21:34

That's very strange, I've never heard that! I don't think there's any reason you have to stop taking them after 12 weeks. In fact the pregnancy multivitamin I'm taking - Sanatogen Pronatal - contains the RDA of folic acid and you can take these throughout your pregnancy and even afterwards during breastfeeding! I took these throughout my last pregnancy and even before I got pregnant and Logie's fine! I always thought that it was essential you take them before 12 weeks or it would be detrimental to the unborn baby and after 12 weeks wasn't as important but still good to take them. xo

kerri-anne 19-02-08 21:38

I took folic acid with both pregnancies and was always told it is essential to take until at least 12 weeks. I've never heard of it being able to harm the baby though, this time I took it for a couple of weeks later as there was a bit of confusion with how far along I was.

xxx

P.S. Congratulations xxxxxxxx

LittleMissMe 19-02-08 21:39

I also take the Sanatogen pregnancy multi vitamin and did so throughout my first pregnancy. I didn't know folic acid was bad after 12 weeks?!

logans_mum 19-02-08 21:52

Just found this info on the Babycentre website:

Why do I need folic acid?

Because it's very difficult to eat enough foods rich in the vitamin to supply the amount that experts recommend you take in pregnancy.

Folic acid, also known as folate or folacin, is one of the B group of vitamins, also known as B9. Your body needs it to produce red blood cells, as well as norepinephrine and seratonin (chemical components of the nervous system. It helps make DNA (the body's genetic material), which normalises the brain's functions, and is a critical component of spinal fluid. Folic acid is also one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida, which, according to The Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH), affects one in every 1,500 babies born in the United Kingdom.

The Department of Health recommends that every woman who is thinking about pregnancy or is in the first third (trimester) of pregnancy to take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid and eat a folate rich diet to reduce her baby's risk of getting some types of birth defects. Women who don't get enough may also increase their chance of miscarriage. Once you are into your second trimester (from week 13), you may wish to stop taking the supplements, although continuing to take them throughout pregnancy won't harm you or your baby either.

How much folic acid do I need?

Before you conceive, you'd be wise to take a daily folic acid supplement containing 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid.

Women who have had one child with a neural tube defect have a higher risk of having other children with the same disability. In this case, and for those who are prescribed certain medications, doctors will prescribe these women to take a much higher dose of folic acid -- a five milligram (mg) tablet -- starting one month before conception, if possible, and continuing through the first three months of pregnancy.

If possible, it is important that the supplements are taken before conception because development is rapid and the fetus's neural tubes close during the first four weeks of pregnancy.

Should I take a supplement?

While experts recommend a daily supplement of 400 mcg folic acid, eating plenty of folate-rich foods is important, too. See below for suggestions on folate-rich food.

What are the best food sources?

Leafy green vegetables are a good source, so try to have a large bowl of salad daily. Other sources include:

11 Brussels sprouts: 127 mcg

large jacket potato: 39 mcg

4 tbsp black eyed beans: 220 mcg

7 tbsp bran flakes: 113 mcg

25g / 1oz wheat germ: 100 mcg

4 spears steamed or boiled asparagus: 88 mcg

medium sized papaya: 115 mcg.

2 spears steamed broccoli: 61 mcg

large orange: 54 mcg

large hard-boiled egg: 22 mcg

75g / 3oz tinned salmon: 17 mcg

FYI Delicate folic acid in foods is destroyed by overcooking, so cook in a covered pan with the minimum amount of boiling water. Try to eat vegetables lightly steamed, microwaved, or raw.

What are signs of a deficiency?

Folate-deficiency anaemia and iron-deficiency anaemia can have similar symptoms of fatigue and weakness. A mild folate deficiency may also leave you grumpy or edgy. If you have any concerns about your diet, speak with your GP, who may refer you to a dietitian.

Reviewed March 2006

LittleMissMe 19-02-08 21:55

Phew! Thanks!

logans_mum 19-02-08 21:59

I've been very careful about taking folic acid during my last two pregnancies as I had a miscarriage before Logie. I didn't know I was pregnant until 10 or 11 weeks so hadn't taken any folic acid. I found out at my 1st scan that there was no heartbeat. The doctor said there was a chance it could have been due to me not taking folic acid :( xo

matilda s mum 19-02-08 22:09

i took folic acid until around 12 weeks - was not convinced my dates were right, but a few day either side won\'t harm.
then took pregnacare - and they have small amount of folic acid in too.
if you are worried, you could always just up your intake of folic acid rich foods. Took this from the babcy centre website for you:

Leafy green vegetables are a good source, so try to have a large bowl of salad daily. Other sources include:

11 Brussels sprouts: 127 mcg

large jacket potato: 39 mcg

4 tbsp black eyed beans: 220 mcg

7 tbsp bran flakes: 113 mcg

25g / 1oz wheat germ: 100 mcg

4 spears steamed or boiled asparagus: 88 mcg

medium sized papaya: 115 mcg.

2 spears steamed broccoli: 61 mcg

large orange: 54 mcg

large hard-boiled egg: 22 mcg

75g / 3oz tinned salmon: 17 mcg

FYI Delicate folic acid in foods is destroyed by overcooking, so cook in a covered pan with the minimum amount of boiling water. Try to eat vegetables lightly steamed, microwaved, or raw.


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