At the advice of your doctor, we all know that it is important to take folic acid during pregnancy. However, while most of us will adhere to doctor’s advice, that doesn’t necessarily mean we understand the reasoning behind it.


To help you get to grips on why mums-to-be are recommended to take folic acid here are five reasons:


1. Helps prevents neural tube defects

The main reason we are advised to take folic acid, both before and during pregnancy, is because it helps to reduce the incidence of neural tube disorders including spina bifida which is incomplete development of the spinal cord or the vertebrae and anencephaly which is incomplete development of major parts of the brain.


2. Helps prevent birth defects

Taking folic acid can also help to reduce birth defects including cleft lip and palate.


3. May lower the risk of pregnancy complications

Studies have also shown that taking folic acid supplements can reduce the risk of preeclampsia by 63%.



4. Better oral health

Folic acid helps to produce certain mouth cells which can therefore lower your risk of gingivitis during pregnancy.


5. Helps to regulate your mood

When taken with other B vitamins, folic acid can reduce homocysteine levels which are found in people suffering from depression and regulate your moods.


How much should you take?

It is recommended that women who are trying to get pregnant take a folic acid supplement of 400 micrograms a day. Once pregnant, you should continue to take the supplements for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as this is when your baby’s spine is developing.