doctor has told you that you must take your prenatal vitamin
containing folic acid each and every day. But why is folic
acid so important, and what exactly does it do for your unborn
baby during pregnancy? (Also read What
is folic acid?)
Studies have shown
that mothers who were deficient in folic acid during pregnancy
were two to three times more likely to have a premature or
low birth rate baby that those who got enough folic acid.
acid has been shown to decrease chances of spina bifida and
anencephaly (severly underdeveloped brain and skull). It also
reduces the chances of cleft lip, cleft palate and heart defects.
Folic acid is also key in the production of the baby's DNA.
If you are trying
to conceive, research has shown that is is beneficial to start
taking folic acid at least one month prior to conception.