Did you know that…
How much folic acid should a woman consume? It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take at least 0.4-0.8 mg (or 400-800 micrograms) of folic acid daily. Folic acid is found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. Although folic acid is also found in a variety of foods, it is very difficult for a balanced diet alone to provide the recommended daily dose of folic acid. Therefore, a daily multivitamin with folic acid is suggested.
I'm not planning a pregnancy-should I take a multivitamin with folic acid? Up to 50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, so even women not planning a pregnancy should consider a multivitamin with folic acid. A daily multivitamin might also help you feel healthier, have more energy, and improve the look of hair and skin.
Can I start taking folic acid at the time of my positive pregnancy test? The baby's spine and brain develop very early in pregnancy, often before a positive pregnancy test. Therefore, to ensure that a woman has an adequate amount of folic acid in her body at the time of brain/spine development, folic acid should be taken at least one month prior to conception and during the first three months of the pregnancy.
I have already had a child with a NTD-should I still take folic acid? Yes, folic acid is even more important for women who have already had a pregnancy with a NTD. These women need to consume a higher daily dose of 400mg (4,000 micrograms) of folic acid; however, women should not take numerous multivitamins to obtain this higher dose. If you've had a child with a NTD, speak to your health care provider before conception of future pregnancies to obtain a prescription for a higher dosage of folic acid.
Publications & Materials
The following publications are available for Virginia Health Districts and Regional Perinatal Councils. To order, please send email to Rafael Randolph at email@example.com.