Michelle Greiver, M.D., C.C.F.P.
Family Physician
240 Duncan Mill road, suite 705
Toronto, Ontario M3B 3S6
Phone (416) 222-3011
Fax (416) 221-3097
Email  mgreiver@rogers.com
http://drgreiver.com

TAKE FOLIC ACID IN PREGNANCY

 

Women who take folic acid supplement may reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTD’s) in their baby.  Two disorders make up most neural tube defects:  spina bifida (failure of the spine to develop normally), and anencephaly (failure of the brain to develop).  

WHAT

Folic acid is a vitamin.  It is found in grains, green vegetables (spinach, broccoli), meat (liver), and legumes (lentils and kidney beans).  But, it is difficult to eat enough of these foods to get the right amount of folic acid.

WHEN

Folic acid supplements should be taken from at least 2 months before you become pregnant, and during the first trimester of pregnancy.  The most important period, when the spine is forming, happens between 25 and 28 days after conception.

 HOW MUCH

The recommended amount of Folic Acid is between 0.4 mg and 1 mg daily.  Most prenatal vitamins contain 1 mg of folic acid, which is fine.  These supplements can be bought over the counter at pharmacies; your pharmacist can help you choose.

If you have diabetes, epilepsy, a family history of NTD’s, or have had a child with a NTD, you shoud be taking 5 mg of folic acid daily; please ask me for a prescription.

If you are not sure, please ask me.