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Why do doctor prescribe Folic Acid during Pregnancy

Folic Acid - Pregnancy

One of the first things that the gynecologist will advise upon confirming a pregnancy is to start folic acid supplementation. What’s the deal with folic acid & pregnant women?

Folic acid is man-made or synthetic for a Vitamin B9, known as folate (Read abt B Vitamins here – Folate is important to form healthy red blood cells and is also one of the important ingredients required to form the Neural Tube – brain & nervous system

Pregnant women are hence recommended to have at least 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid on a daily basis to prevent Neural Tube Defects (NTD) (such as Spina Bifida, Anencephaly, Encephalocele, etc which are birth defects due to incomplete development of the brain or spinal cord). More than 4mg of dosage may be recommended by the doctor if the mother, father or immediate family has NTD

Folate is seen naturally in dark leafy vegetables, ladies-finger, broccoli, zucchini, lettuce, etc and in citrus fruits. However, please note that folate is water-soluble and hence can be easily lost during chopping and washing of vegetables. It is also less resistant to heat and gets damaged at high cooking temperatures. Pomegranate is very rich in folate – and that’s the reason, pregnant women are usually asked to have pomegranate fruit. One medium-size pomegranate has 100 micrograms of folate – nearly 25% (one-fourth) of the daily requirement

Folic acid is hence very important during pregnancy. However, always consult with your doctor before taking the supplement to understand the dosage

Read more about pregnancy nutrition @

Read more on Pregnancy & related weight gain @

Published : - 02/27/2020

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