The Importance of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 For Women Before Pregnancy

Every human being has to have a healthy and balanced diet. It is the food that we consume, decides how well our body is going to function and how immune it is. However, pregnant women have to take care of her body in a different way for the obvious reason. You will often hear doctors and other recommending Vitamin b12 Supplement for pregnant women, there is a reason behind it. B Complex and especially, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid are very helpful to a pregnant woman’s body. Here are a few benefits of these vitamins for a pregnant woman:

Vitamin B complex, especially B6, B9, and B12 helps in reducing the risk of birth defects.

1. Vitamin B12 ( also called Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12, which is recommended for a sound health of the nervous system; however, when combined with Folic Acid, and consumed during or before pregnancy, it can help in preventing spinal and nervous system birth defects in your to-be-born-baby, too.
B12 is easily found in fish, poultry, eggs, milk, soy or soy milk. It is recommended to consume at least 2.6 mcg of B12 every day. However, many can’t reach the recommended volume of this vitamin in the daily routine, Hence, it is suggested to use Vit. B12 supplements to achieve the suggested volume of the intake.

Know These Natural Vitamin B12 Food Sources:

* Wild Salmon
* Shrimp
* Grass-fed Beef Liver or Tenderloin
* Yogurt
* Red Meat
* Swiss Cheese
* Cod

Vitamin B12 For Women During Pregnancy

Vitamin B12 is important for your baby’s brain and spine development, and formation of the neural tube. If combined with B9, it is of help in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cell production. B 12 Vitamin can give you a good energy boost, make your mood positive and reduce stress level by adding to the metabolization. It regulates the synthesis of myelin and fatty acids and hence adding to the neurological health.

In case, you are lacking enough amount of B12, it might risk the process of baby development. Serious birth defects might cause the following scenarios:

* Anencephaly – Where the spinal cord and brain do not grow properly
* Encephalocele – Where a few parts of the brain begin to push out
* Spina bifida – Where the baby’s spine is not developed correctly

As a pregnant woman, if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency and you are suffering from anxiety, depression, anxiety, or insomnia, you are recommended to contact your doctor immediately.

When Do You Need a B12 Supplement?

Your doctor may prescribe you doses of B12 supplements with folic acid (if you lack enough B12) before pregnancy. Though the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has not set an upper limit for the consumption of Vitamin B12, you better consult the doctor before increasing or starting B12 supplements.

2. Folic Acid (AKA Vitamin B9)

If you are expecting a child, it is suggested to start maintaining the required B9 or Folic Acid amount in your body. You can start taking supplements of Folic Acid 2-3 months prior before you conceive. Taking these natural supplements in advance allows it to some time to start impacting your body. This way you create a positive ambiance for your baby’s development. This is important to save your baby against defects or damage in the neural tube.

In case you are already conceived, you can start taking them now and continue until week 12 of pregnancy. However, do nothing before consulting the doctor. If tablets and supplements are not your type, you can consume natural food items rich in B9. Eat food items which contain folate (a natural form of Folic Acid)

Why Should You Consume Folic Acid?

If your body is maintaining enough amount of Folic Acid before you get pregnant, it reduces the risk of neural tube defects (including spina bifida) in your baby by 70%. Though Spina bifida is a rare development, it causes problems in the movement of the baby. It affects bladder and bowel problems and might cause learning disabilities.

How Much Folic Acid is Enough?

Women are typically advised to consume a 400mcg supplement every day. Some pregnancy multivitamin tablets also include Folic Acid. You can also get folic acid in some pregnancy multivitamin tablets. If you wish to consume natural food items with Folic Acid, here are some you can eat:

* Broccoli
* Spinach
* Peas,
* Brussels
* Asparagus, etc.

What Are the Chances of The Baby Having Neural Tube Defects?

* The baby has a higher risk of neural tube defects if:
* you have diabetes, epilepsy.
* you had a previous pregnancy where you faced neural tube defects.
* you or your partner have a related family history
* you are a heavy drinker.

Not just the B12 and B9, whole Vitamin B complex group is important for women who are expecting a child. Consult the doctors and stay healthy, to deliver a healthy child.

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