During pregnancy, the expectant mother needs; Determining important vitamins and minerals such as folate, magnesium, calcium and iron and using them as supplements with doctor’s supervision is one of the things that must be important to have a healthy pregnancy period and give birth to a healthy baby.
Why is folic acid important during pregnancy?
While folic acid is the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 in foods, folic acid is a synthetically produced folate derivative and is produced as a medicine. Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy is known to be protective against many diseases. Therefore, in planned pregnancies, the consumption of folic acid, which is a very important vitamin for the development of the baby in the womb, should be started 3 months before the pregnancy. ; It helps the body produce new cells and maintain the cells produced, create DNA and RNA, and form red blood cells. For this reason, the need for this vitamin increases, especially during developmental periods such as pregnancy and childhood.
While the recommended daily allowance of folic acid for adults is 400 micrograms, this requirement may increase to 800 micrograms per day in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Because it becomes more difficult to meet the need for folic acid with food during pregnancy, it is recommended to take folic acid supplements. However, in addition to folic acid supplementation, attention should be paid to the consumption of foods that contain folic acid, the natural form of folic acid. For this, expectant mothers can meet their folic acid needs by consuming foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, lentils, dry beans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts.
Looking at the benefits of folic acid during pregnancy;
• It reduces the risk of premature birth, miscarriage and birth defects.
• It is very important for the baby’s cell development and the development of the nervous system.
• It is protective against birth defects known as neural tube defects that occur in the developing spinal cord and brain of babies. In particular, the most serious problems such as spina bifida, one of the most common defects of the neural pathway and known as open spine, can be prevented by consuming folic acid.
• Helps protect heart health by helping to lower homocysteine levels, which are associated with several heart conditions.
In particular, the need for folic acid increases in the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy, when the baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing. Therefore, it would be more beneficial for those who want to become a mother to start folic acid supplementation before they become pregnant and to eliminate folic acid deficiency. Since folic acid is not stored in the body, it must be consumed regularly every day.
What Problems Does Folic Acid Deficiency Cause During Pregnancy?
A state of deficiency of folic acid, which helps form healthy blood cells that supply oxygen to the body; Folic acid is necessary for people of all ages and is one of the most important vitamins to be taken during pregnancy as it will cause serious health problems such as stunted growth, deterioration of reproductive health, anemia and heart disease.
Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy causes the following problems;
• Openness of the spinal cord to the external environment (Spina Bifida)
• Miscarriage, premature birth
• Newborn baby dead
• Separation of the placenta during pregnancy
• Megaloblastic anemia
Kiss. Dr Meral Sönmezer said: “One of the first systems to develop in the baby’s body is the nervous system and folic acid plays an important role in the development of the nervous system. Spina bifida, a disorder of the neural tube defect (neural tube defect), is seen in babies born to pregnant women who are malnourished by folic acid during pregnancy. Therefore, women who are planning to become pregnant should have their folic acid levels checked and folic acid pills under the supervision of a doctor if necessary. The amount of folic acid to use is recommended as 400 mcg per day before pregnancy and in the first trimester, but the amount you need will be determined by your doctor’s checkup.