Folic Acid Requirements During Pregnancy

Folic Acid Requirements During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you take a folic acid supplement in addition to eating a regular healthy diet.

Women who might get pregnant should get at least 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid a day. Experts recommend that women take a daily supplement that has 400 to 800 micrograms.1

Women who are pregnant should get 600 micrograms (0.6 mg) of folic acid a day.2

Women who follow these recommendations are less likely to have babies with certain birth defects, especially neural tube defects.

If a woman had a previous pregnancy with a neural tube defect, her doctor might recommend that she take a higher dose of folic acid during pregnancy.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2009). Folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsnrfol.htm.

  2. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (2012). Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, vitamins. In LK Mahan et al., eds., Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th ed. St Louis: Saunders.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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