So, you’ve decided to have a baby! Congratulations.
I know you will be getting advice from everyone but here is just a short piece that will hopefully help you make some very good decisions for you and your baby.
In the first trimester of pregnancy your baby’s nervous system is developing fast. It is known that folic acid (aka vitamin B9) is a vitamin that is crucial in the healthy development of the nervous system and good levels of folic acid greatly reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. It is one of a few vitamins that are best taken as a supplement even if you are being extra, extra good and going for a super healthy diet. Here is this extract from the NHS referring to folic acid in pregnancy. The link for the full article is below.
“Dietary sources of folic acid include green, leafy vegetables, brown rice, granary bread, and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid. Always check the food labels. However, it would be almost impossible to get enough folic acid just from food – the only way to be sure you are getting the right amount is by taking a supplement.”
At our health store, we offer folic acid as a separate supplement or as part of a pregnancy multi-nutrient supplement. However, we now promote methylfolate instead for folic acid. Methylfolate is what our bodies turn folic acid into in order for this vitamin to be absorbed. About a third of us have a genetic impairment that means that this conversion is not so efficient. For these pregnant women methyfolate is the best option. For the rest of us methylfolate still means better, easier absorption which is always a plus!
Many women don’t particularly like to take supplements and I can understand this. However just a few supplements are too important to dismiss. Folic acid is one of them.
I will be talking about the rest in my next blog.
The Bay Tree
Saxon Square, Christchurch
15 Penny’s Walk, Ferndown Shopping Centre