There are some strong reasons why pregnant women and women who are trying to get pregnant should take folic acid, according to Babycenter.
1. Folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), such as defects in the spinal cord (ex: spina bifida) and brain (anencephaly).
These defects occur at very early stages of fetal development, even before Much of women realize that they are pregnant. By taking folic acid one month before pregnancy and during the first trimester, women can reduce the risk of defects by 50-70 percent.
Some researches shows tjat folic acid may also help reduce the risk of infant defects, such as cleft lip and some types of heart defects.
2. The body needs folate to help make red blood cells normal, so it can prevent anemia.
3. Folate is essential for improvement, production and function process of DNA. So getting enough folic acid is essential for cell growth of the placenta and the development of the baby.
4. Some studies show folic acid can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, which is a complex disorder that can affect the health of pregnant mothers and their babies.
Where can we obtain folic acid besides from drugs?
Some foods are naturally rich in folic acid such as peas, lentils, dark green vegetables (eg broccoli, spinach, asparagus) and fruits and orange juice.
But sometimes this natural folic acid can be lost during storage or damaged when cooked, so such other folic acid intake from supplements or milk are needed.
But pregnant women should be careful in reading labels, it is important to know whether the folat acid intake is sufficient, or not excessive. Because too much folic acid can also lead to hidden conditions such as pernicious anemia.
For that reason every pregnant woman should get an adequate intake of folic acid, because the signs of folic acid deficiency are very subtle and invisible if only slightly. Unless if the shortage is significant, they may experience diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, sore tongue, heart palpitations and irritable.
Another thing which should be noted by pregnant women is always do birth control regularly, so that the development and growth of the fetus can be monitored well.