Frimley Health and Care calls on mums to take folic acid and Vitamin D during pregnancy, as part of its #ReadyforPregnancy campaign
Planning to have a baby can be exciting. It can also be an anxious time for both parents-to-be. You are making plans for a huge change in your life.
That’s why as part of its #ReadyforPregnancy campaign, Frimley Health and Care have put together some tips to help mums and dads maximise their chances of having a healthy pregnancy. This month we are focusing on the benefits of taking folic acid and vitamin D leading up to and during pregnancy.
Taking folic acid from when you are planning to become pregnant reduces the risk of your baby having a birth defect of the brain, spine or spinal cord, such as spina bifida. This can happen in the first month of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant.
Everyone, including pregnant women, needs to take 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily, particularly during the winter months. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body which you need to keep your bones, teeth and muscles and that of your baby, healthy.
Dr Anne Deans, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Chief of Service Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Frimley Health says:
“Folic acid is very important for the development of your unborn baby. Taking a folic acid supplement alongside having a healthy diet will ensure you get all the folate you need before and during your pregnancy.
“It’s difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, so ask your pharmacist about taking a folic acid supplement. For most women a 400microgram daily dose is sufficient but if you are overweight or have a family history of birth defects, then check with your doctor about whether you should be prescribed the higher 5mg dose. You should take a folic acid supplement daily when you plan to get pregnant, ideally at least 3 months before you actually conceive, and every day afterwards, up until you're 12 weeks pregnant”.
Frimley & Wexham Maternity Voices Partnership Co-chair Kate Hargreaves says:
“Consider taking 10 mcg of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy. This is particularly important if it’s during the winter months when you’re indoors most of the day, if you cover your skin, or if you have dark skin.
“It’s particularly important to take this during pregnancy as it helps your baby’s bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system to develop”.