Your health before pregnancy: folic acid

Take a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid every day.

  • Folic acid is a B vitamin that you need every day throughout your lifetime for good health.

  • Folic acid is used for the growth and repair of every cell in your body.

  • Folic acid has been shown to prevent up to 70 percent of some serious birth defects.

  • All enriched cereals and grain products in the U.S. are fortified with folic acid.

  • Women especially need folic acid, even if they’re not planning to become pregnant since 50 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned.

  • Women during pregnancy are at higher risk of folate deficiency.

  • Your body does not make folic acid on its own so you have to get it either through food or nutritional supplements.

  • You need folic acid to make healthy red blood cells. If you don\'t supply your body with enough folate, you are at higher risk for developing anemia.

  • Fetal development depends heavily on the availability of folic acid. Because the neural development of the fetus occurs within the first 28 days of pregnancy, women should start their folate supplementation during their planning stage of pregnancy.