Women who are pregnant need to meet their nutritional needs. One intake that must be fulfilled is folic acid for pregnant women. Folic acid is very important 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. The recommended amount of folic acid for pregnant women is around 600 micrograms (mcg) every day. For pregnant women who have had babies with neural tube defects, the daily intake of folic acid needs to be increased to as much as 4,000 mcg. Folic acid deficiency can be recognized from the appearance of symptoms in the form of the body feels weak, diarrhea, and sore tongue.
The Importance of Folic Acid for Pregnant Women
For those of you who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, it is very important to get an adequate intake of folic acid. This folic acid intake can be obtained from pregnancy supplements and milk for pregnant women.
The following are some of the benefits of folic acid for pregnant women you need to know:
Prevents neural tube defects
Folic acid plays an important role in helping the baby’s neural tube to develop properly. This will prevent the baby from the risk of neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.
Anencephaly is a condition in which babies are born without brains and skull bones. Babies who suffer from anencephaly will generally die after birth.
Meanwhile, spina bifida is a disorder that makes babies have a gap in the spinal cord and spinal cord. Babies who experience this condition are at risk of experiencing various complications, ranging from difficulty walking, infections of the brain and spinal cord, growth, and development problems, to permanent disability.
Not only the neural tube, some researchers also suggested that folic acid can also prevent the occurrence of cleft lip and congenital heart disease in infants.
Adequate daily intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy is also believed to be able to prevent miscarriage. Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy or fetal death when the gestational age is still relatively young, which is less than 20 weeks.
In addition to miscarriage, folic acid is also believed to reduce the risk of several other pregnancy disorders, such as premature birth and fetal growth disorders in the womb.
Reducing the risk of preeclampsia
Several studies have found that pregnant women who get enough folic acid intake since the second trimester of pregnancy have a smaller risk of experiencing preeclampsia. This condition is a complication of pregnancy which is marked by an increase in blood pressure, swelling, and increased levels of protein in the urine.
Suffering from this condition will increase the risk of the mother experiencing dangerous eclampsia or seizures during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can also increase the risk of babies born with underweight.
Anemia or lack of blood is one of the many health problems experienced by pregnant women throughout the world, not least in Indonesia. Anemia during pregnancy can cause various pregnancy complications that can potentially threaten the lives of mothers and babies. Therefore, pregnant women need to get adequate intake of folic acid and iron.
Meet the intake of folic acid
To meet the needs of folic acid, you can eat foods that contain folic acid, such as fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, kidney, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables.
Meeting the daily needs of folic acid can also be done by taking pregnancy supplements. However, you need to discuss it first with your obstetrician. Your doctor will determine the right type and dosage of supplements that are safe and safe to consume based on your pregnancy condition and overall health.
Pregnant women also need to undergo a routine obstetric examination. In addition to monitoring fetal development, the examination of the uterus also serves to detect health problems experienced by pregnant women and their fetuses, so they can be treated early.