What happens when a pregnant woman lacks folic acid?

What happens when a pregnant woman lacks 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. These include: Spina bifida.

Can folate-deficiency cause birth defects?

The most common forms of neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly. Folate deficiency increases the risk of neural tube defects, and inadequate concentrations of folate in a pregnant woman can therefore lead to the development of a fetus with congenital defects and malformations.

Is folic acid necessary in second trimester?

It’s important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

Can folic acid prevent spina bifida?

It’s estimated that taking folic acid supplements before you conceive and while you’re pregnant may prevent up to 7 out of 10 cases of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Should you continue taking folic acid after 12 weeks?

When should I stop taking folic acid? Once you reach 12 weeks pregnant your baby’s spine will have developed, so you can stop taking folic acid if you wish. However you can continue to take supplements after 12 weeks if you choose to and it won’t harm your baby to do so.

What stage of pregnancy does spina bifida occur?

Spina bifida and anencephaly are birth defects that occur in the first four weeks of pregnancy, before most women know that they are pregnant. Because about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it is important to include 400 micrograms of folic acid in every childbearing age woman=s diet.

Who is most at risk for spina bifida?

obesity – women who are obese (have a body mass index of 30 or more) are more likely to have a child with spina bifida than those of average weight. diabetes – women with diabetes may have an increased risk of having a child with spina bifida.

How long does it take to correct folic acid deficiency?

Folate-deficiency anemia most often responds well to treatment within 3 to 6 months. It will likely get better when the underlying cause of the deficiency is treated.