Vitamin B9 or Folate is the magic potion for a perfect pregnancy and eventually a perfectly healthy newborn. A mere 400 micro grams a day can avert disasters in the pregnancy but, there's a catch. Our body doesn't produce Folate! And processing of the folate present in food substances is very difficult, if not impossible, for our body. But not to worry, the human race is here to the rescue! A man-made form of Folate known as folic acid is on deck for mums all around the world.
Why take Folic acid externally? Here's a breakdown of its benefits, the reasons it made the World Health Organization's List of Most Essential Medicines.
1. Fend off Neural tube defect
During the early stages of pregnancy, a neural tube is formed, the top and bottom halves of which give rise to the brain and the spinal cord respectively. This tube isn't sealed and gets sealed in the due course of pregnancy, a deficiency in folic acid can leave gaps in the neural tube contributing to what is known as neural tube defect. If the top half bears gaps, the child suffers from Anencephaly, which is the incomplete development of the brain. The bottom half when left with spaces, results in Spina bifida, the incomplete development of the spinal cord. Kids with these defects, unfortunately, do not live long or are permanently incapacitated. These defects are grave to say the least.
2. Rule Out Premature Birth
Folic acid is also known to help completely rule out premature births and inadequate development in the child. Preeclampsia, high blood pressure, diabetes or infections that a mum may develop during the pregnancy most often causes her to prematurely deliver her baby. A combination of iron and folic acid battles these causative agents and reduces if not completely eradicates the chances of this mishap. Over 500,000 children around the world, each year, are born far too early.
3. Steer Clear of Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft lip or palate occurs in the initial stages of gestation. It is the partial disclosure of the skin near the lip or palate due to inadequate tissue availability. It can occur on one or both sides of the mouth and surgery would be the only possible fix. Folic acid when taken in required quantities by the expecting mother is known to completely annihilate this possibility.
What's more? Research suggests that folic acid along with its already miraculous saves and fixes of prenatal ailments may also be able to eliminate the risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's and miscarriages in mothers.
What is not to like about this miracle worker of a drug? As a mum you are to be conscious of what to and consecutively, what not to consume, its in the job description. Your baby is counting on you! Happy Pregnancy!