Do I Need Folic Acid when TTC?
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s important that your body is functioning at its best. That means a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and that you need to take care of your overall health needs. While these things are even more important once you’re actually pregnant, they’re true now, too.
One of the nutrients that your body needs when you’re pregnant is folic acid. Folic acid is also known as “folate,” or Vitamin B9. What folic acid does is to help produce red blood cells, as well as parts of the nervous system. In addition folic acid is one of the important building blocks for your baby while you’re pregnant.
The fact of the matter is that Many women, whether they are pregnant, trying to conceive, or neither, don’t get enough folic acid in their daily diet. It is recommended that every woman who is of child bearing age should get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. During pregnancy, it is recommended that women get even more folic acid, more in the range of 600 to 800 mcg each day.
You see, folic acid isn’t only an important building block. Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy also helps to reduce the risks of a number of different birth defects. Specifically, it has been shown to reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects by as much as half. If you have a family history of neural tube defects, it’s actually recommended that you get a significantly higher amount of folic acid during pregnancy.
It’s worth it to increase your folic acid intake now, while you’re trying to conceive. If you do become pregnant, getting enough folic acid during this time can give your baby that extra boost that he or she may need in order to avoid neural tube birth defects.
On top of that, you usually can’t get too much folic acid. Folic acid is water soluble, which means that your body is just going to flush any amount that it doesn’t actually need to use.