Folic Acid and a healthy pregnancy

Dr. Robin Sebastian

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Folic acid is amazing. Also known as folate and a type of Vitamin B9, it is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and beans. When folic acid is used early in pregnancy, it can prevent birth defects.

Neuro tube defects are when the case around a baby’s spinal cord doesn’t develop properly. Folic acid supplementation decreases this. Our bodies use folic acid to make new cells and more DNA, two things that occur in abundance during pregnancy.

The best time to start folate supplementation is 1-2 months before you become pregnant, but most women wait until they are already pregnant. It should be continued through the first trimester, or about 14 weeks. For the average, low risk woman, the daily dose of supplementation is 0.4 mg.

Every woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant should be taking this vitamin. I would even go as far as to say every female age 12 and up should be taking this, as there appear to be other health benefits, although they are not fully understood yet. Eat some broccoli and start your folate supplementation today.

If you are looking for a Family Medicine provider for you and your growing family, visit to learn more about our amazing providers or call (208) 365-6004 to speak to our friendly staff about healthcare options in Gem County.

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