Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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.

    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.

    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

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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.

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    Quiz
     
    calendar and baby buggy
    Tool
    dark chocolate squares
    Slideshow