2021: Importance of Folic Acid to Pregnant Women: All women who could become pregnant are advised to take Folic 400 mcg daily from 12 weeks before conception till you are 12 weeks pregnant ( most importantly).
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There is no harm in taking it all through pregnancy, but the benefit is more and best achieved if taken from 12 weeks before conception till you are 12 weeks pregnant.
Women at higher risks are those with the following ( and they should take a higher Dose ):
- Family history of neural tube defects (woman or father’s family)
- On anti-epileptic medications
- BMI more than 30
- Coeliac disease
Folic 5mg daily from 12 weeks before conception till you are 12 weeks pregnant. All pregnant women should take 10 much of Vitamin D every day throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
However, I am aware that most of the available options in Nigeria and some parts of Africa contain the high dose of 5mg folic acid: pls if this is what you have available kindly take it.
Folic acid comes as either 5mg or 400mcg as a tablet each ( or incorporated in routine antenatal medications ), One tablet is enough for a day.
Sickle Cell : ( important advice for those Pregnant mums with sickle cell anemia) Take 1mg Folic acid at all times; and increase to 5mg: three months before and all through Pregnancy.
Written by Dr Babajide
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