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Benefits of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

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folic acid for pregnant women

Benefits of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

Women who are pregnant need to meet their nutritional needs, one of which is folic acid for pregnant women. 

Folic acid is essential to consume before and during pregnancy because it can help prevent birth defects in the baby's brain and nerves.

A folic acid is a synthetic form of folate or vitamin B9. Pregnant women's recommended folic acid intake is around 600 micrograms (mcg) daily. 

For pregnant women who have given birth to babies with neural tube defects, daily folic acid intake needs to be increased to as much as 4,000 mcg.

If you feel weak, have diarrhea, and have a sore tongue, it could be a symptom of A deficiency of folic.

Benefits of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women

Getting enough folic acid is very important for those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Pregnancy supplements and special milk for pregnant women can intake folic acid intake.

The following are some of the benefits of folic acid for pregnant women that you need to know:

1. Prevent neural tube defects

Folic acid plays a vital role in helping the baby's neural tube develop properly and preventing the baby from risk of developing neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

If you are wondering what anencephaly is, it is when a baby is born without a skull or brain. Babies who suffer from anencephaly will generally die after birth.

Meanwhile, spina bifida is a disorder that makes babies have gaps in the spine and spinal cord. 

Babies who experience this condition are at risk of experiencing various complications, ranging from difficulty walking, brain and spinal cord infections, and developmental problems to permanent disability.

Not only the neural tube, but some researchers also suggest that folic acid can prevent cleft lip and congenital heart disease in infants.

2. Prevent miscarriage

Adequate daily intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy is also believed to prevent miscarriage. 

Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy or fetal death when the gestational age is still relatively young, less than 20 weeks.

Apart from miscarriage, folic acid is also believed to reduce the risk of several other pregnancy disorders, such as premature birth and impaired fetal growth in the womb.

3. Reducing the risk of preeclampsia

Several studies have shown that pregnant women who get a sufficient intake of folic acid since the second trimester of pregnancy have a lower risk of experiencing preeclampsia. 

This condition is a complication of pregnancy characterized by increased blood pressure, swelling, and increased protein levels in the urine.

Suffering from preeclampsia will increase the mother's risk of experiencing eclampsia or dangerous seizures during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can also increase the risk of babies being born underweight.

4. Prevent anemia

Anemia, or lack of blood, is a health problem still experienced by many pregnant women worldwide. 

Anemia during pregnancy can cause complications that threaten the lives of the mother and baby. Therefore, pregnant women need to get enough folic acid and iron intake.

Fulfill Folic Acid Intake

To meet the needs for folic acid, you can eat foods that contain folic acid, such as:
  • Fruits, such as avocado, papaya, and oranges
  • Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and lettuce
  • Legumes, including peas and kidney beans
  • Beef heart
  • Egg
  • Cereals that have been fortified with folic acids, such as Kellogg's, Alpen Original Muesli
In addition, meeting the daily need for folic acid can also be done by taking pregnancy supplements. 

However, you need to consult with your obstetrician before taking pregnancy supplements. The doctor will determine the right type and dosage of supplements that are safe for consumption based on the condition of your pregnancy and overall health.

Pregnant women also need to undergo routine obstetric examinations. In addition to monitoring fetal development, obstetrical examinations also detect health problems experienced by pregnant women and their fetuses so that they can be treated early.

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