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National Folic Acid Awareness Week and National Birth Defects Prevention Month

January 6-12, 2013 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week and January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

What's the link between the two, you might ask?

Getting the recommended amount of Folic Acid while pregnant is important to protect your baby against neural tube defects and promote healthy cell and tissue development. To boost your chances of having a healthy baby, here’s what you need to know about folic acid:

  • Folic acid should be integrated into your TTC plan right from the start as some of the most crucial fetal development occurs very early in the pregnancy. Current research recommends 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
  • Folic acid can be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, in orange juice, and is also available as a supplement. Because your diet does not typically deliver the appropriate amount of folic acid, you should consult your fertility doctor about taking prescription or over the counter folic acid supplements.
  • Folic acid, in appropriate doses, can reduce risks of spinal cord damage (spina bifida) or brain development complication by up to 70%.

By improving your health via diet, exercise, and taking vitamin supplements, you'll decrease your chance of miscarriage as well. So follow mom's advice and eat your greens!

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