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Tips for Preventing Birth Defects

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Take 400 Micrograms of Folic Acid Daily

Women are urged to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily at least one month before conceiving and throughout pregnancy. Everyone needs folic acid, which is a B vitamin essential for the synthesis of new cells. During pregnancy, the body’s demand for folic acid increases. A deficiency leads to neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida, in the unborn child. Anencephaly is a devastating birth defect characterized by the absence of most or all of the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Spina bifida is the most common cause of infantile paralysis. You can meet the recommended daily requirement by taking a multivitamin containing 100% of the daily value of folic acid, a folic acid supplement or eating a bowl of breakfast cereal fortified with 100% of the daily value of folic acid.

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