What happens if you don’t take folic acid in the first trimester?
Our Obstetrics Gynecologist urges every woman, especially those that are in their first trimester. Birth defects occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. At least 400 mcg per day is required in addition to food containing folate in their diet to help in avoiding major birth defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Spina bifida, This condition happens when an unborn baby’s spinal column does not fully close during development in the womb, leaving the spinal cord exposed. As a result, the nerves that control the legs and other organs do not work. Children with spina bifida often have lifelong disabilities. They may also need many surgeries.
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The Folic Acid is a B vitamin our body utilizes to make a new cell. During the early stage of pregnancy and the development of the fetus the folic helps in the development of the neural tube. Folic is really important whether you are planning to get pregnant or not. You can get folic acid from vitamins and fortified foods, such as breads, pastas and cereals.
Folate is found naturally in foods such as leafy green vegetables, oranges, and beans. Folic acid and folate help the body make healthy new red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the parts of your body. If your body does not make enough red blood cells, you can develop anemia. Anemia happens when your blood cannot carry enough oxygen to your body, which makes you pale, tired, or weak.
These birth defects happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant. Folic acid might also help prevent other types of birth defects and early pregnancy loss (miscarriage).
To keep the blood healthy folic acid helps in red blood cell formation.
These are the results when a woman does not get enough Folic Acid.
If you do not get enough folic acid before and during pregnancy, your baby is at higher risk for neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are serious birth defects that affect the spine, spinal cord, or brain and may cause death.
Anencephaly. This means that most or all of the brain and skull does not develop in the womb. Almost all babies with this condition die before or soon after birth.
You can get too much folic acid, but only from man-made products such as multivitamins and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals. You can’t get too much from foods that naturally contain folate.
You should not get more than 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day, unless your doctor prescribes a higher amount. Too much folic acid can hide signs that you lack vitamin B12, which can cause nerve damage.