What is Folic Acid? Why is it So Important?
August 19, 2013
Having a healthy baby means keeping yourself healthy, too. Getting enough folic acid before and during the early stages of pregnancy can help prevent serious birth defects to your baby.
Folic acid (or folate) is a B vitamin found in leafy greens like spinach and kale, lentils, broccoli, and more. Getting enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy may help reduce the risk for neural tube birth defects (birth defects involving the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord) like spina bifida and anencephaly.
These birth defects occur within the first month of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. This is why all women of childbearing age—whether or not you’re planning on getting pregnant—should focus on getting the right amount of folic acid.
Every cell in your body requires folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, to grow and develop normally. Though we don’t know the exactly how folic acid works to prevent neural tube birth defects, we know it plays an important role in tissue formation. The vitamin is also required for the formation of DNA, which our bodies need for the rapid cell growth that occurs early in pregnancy when the baby’s organs are forming.
While folic acid does occur naturally in many of the foods we eat, most women don’t eat enough of these foods to get the daily-recommended amount prescribed by our doctors.
Prenate® is a line of pre- and post-natal folic acid vitamins designed to keep both baby and mother healthy including Prenate DHA®, Prenate Elite®, Prenate Essential®, and Prenate Mini®.
Each type of Prenate® folic acid vitamin features an active form of folate that helps protect your baby even if you have difficulty breaking down folic acid normally.