Ensuring that folic acid intake is met properly during pregnancy is important. The reason, lack of folic acid during pregnancy can have a negative impact on the health of the mother and fetus.
It is important for pregnant women to meet daily folic acid needs, even before you get pregnant. This is because a lack of folic acid during pregnancy not only makes you weak and tired, but can also inhibit and interfere with the development of the fetus in the womb.
Impact of Folic Acid Deficiency
The following are some of the effects of folic acid deficiency during pregnancy:
1. Suffering from anemia
Folic acid has an important role in the formation of red blood cells, so folic acid deficiency in pregnant women can increase the risk of anemia. Anemia during pregnancy can not be underestimated, because if not treated, the risk of causing premature labor and babies born with low birth weight.
2. Suffering from preeclampsia
The risk of developing preeclampsia can increase if you lack folic acid intake during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition that needs to be watched out for because it can threaten your life and also the baby in your womb, especially if you don't get treatment until before delivery.
3. Inhibits fetal development
The development of the fetus in the womb can be not optimal if folic acid intake is not good. This is because folic acid has an important role in supporting cell growth and development, as well as being an important part in producing, repairing, and carrying out DNA functions in babies.
4. Increases the risk of premature birth
Lack of folic acid intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth. A study even mentions that lack of folic acid intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. Although this still needs to be investigated further, you are still recommended to have adequate folate intake to avoid these risks.
5. Have a greater risk of having a baby with birth defects
Since undergoing a pregnancy program or since the first trimester, you must ensure that your daily intake of folic acid is sufficient. Because in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the fetal spine in the womb is developing, and folic acid plays an important role in this process.
The recommended intake of folic acid about one month before pregnancy until the first 3 months of pregnancy is as much as 400 mcg per day. Meanwhile, at 4-9 months of gestation, the need for daily folic acid intake increases to 600 mcg.
If during this period the daily requirement of folic acid is not sufficient, then the risk of the baby suffering from neural tube defects or spina bifida and anencephaly will get bigger. Likewise with the risk of other birth defects, such as cleft lip and congenital heart disease.
Where Can You Get Folic Acid Intake From?
Apart from being obtained from supplements, folic acid can also be obtained from food. The following is an estimate of the amount of folic acid contained in some food sources of folic acid:
- 30 grams of roasted peanuts contain 40 mcg of folic acid.
- One orange (about 150 grams) contains 50 mcg of folic acid.
- 60 grams of boiled asparagus contains 90 mcg of folic acid.
- 95 grams of boiled spinach contains 115 mcg of folic acid.
- 85 grams of beef liver contains 215 mcg of folic acid.
In addition to consuming various food sources of folic acid, pregnant women also need folic acid supplements. It is possible that the folic acid content in food is lost or damaged during the cooking process. In addition, research shows that folic acid supplements tend to be more easily absorbed by the body.
Folic acid intake is an important part of supporting the health of pregnant women. Consume foods rich in folic acid during pregnancy, and supplement it with folic acid supplements if advised by a gynecologist. However, the consumption of folic acid should not exceed 1000 mcg per day, unless recommended by a doctor.