Warning: There is a Link Between Diet and Spina Bifida
If you are trying to get pregnant, good diet and nutrition are even more important than ever. Not only do you need to think of your own wellness, if you are planning to go through the strenuous task of supporting another life and birthing a baby, but you also have to think of the wellbeing of the baby.
Women who are of a child bearing age and in any way likely to fall pregnant are recommended to take certain vitamins, which they should then continue into the first trimester of pregnancy, which is the time during which the foetus is developing at the fastest rate.
The link between diet and the development of the foetus has been studied for a long time, and as part of this, neural tube defects have been looked at. Through medical research, it has been discovered that neural tube defects generally occur during the first few weeks after conception, and that diet can play a strong part in helping to avoid them.
Folic acid is thought to be a key player in this process, and women who take folic acid before pregnancy and during the first trimester are thought to be far less likely to have a baby with a neural tube defect. Taking other vitamins during these important times can also help to guard against other problems in the developing foetus.
To adequately protect against these neural tube defects (like spina bifida), women should aim to consume around 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before conception and for 13 weeks after. This level of folic acid cannot really be obtained through food, so women should take a daily dietary supplement to ensure that their baby is protected from developing a neural tube defect. Neural tube defects have serious implications for the health of a baby, throughout the course of their life.
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