If someone told you there's something very simple to do that can help prevent serious birth defects in your newborn wouldn't you do it?
Dr. Samiya Razzaq, a pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital says it could be as simple as taking a tiny folic acid pill every day. "Folic acid is a B-vitamin and it occurs naturally in our foods and this is important in our day to day life because it helps make new cells and it helps form and maintains the DNA."
The growth of new cells can help avoid neural tube defects, problems involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord.
Razzaq says adequate folic acid intake is very important before conception and at least three months afterward. "The daily dose is about 400-to 800 international units that is required for all women and it is found in all natural foods which are labeled as enriched. We would encourage women to take supplements because they only get about 60-percent of the daily requirements from natural foods. "
Razzaq says all women should take folic acid even if they are not planning to have children just yet, because most birth defects usually develop in the first 28 days of conception. "And that is the time that you're not even aware that you can be pregnant, so you want to actually not have a deficiency and have a good resource available."
Dr. Bryan Burke says if you're a woman in the child bearing years be sure you take one little folic acid pill every day. It's a tiny little pill, but it can make a tremendous difference in your future child's health.