What is Folic Acid and When Do I Take it?

by Laura Driver

Folic acid is really important for the development of a baby as it can reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

It is recommended that all women while trying to get pregnant and up to a year before conception, take 400 micrograms of folic acid while they're trying to get pregnant and during the first trimester when the baby's spine is developing. 


If you haven't taken folic acid before getting pregnant start taking it as soon as you know you are pregnant.

Although folic acid is found in granary bread, breakfast cereals, green vegetables and brown rice they are not enough on their own. The only way to make sure you're getting enough folic acid is by taking a folic acid supplement.

Higher doses of folic acid are needed if;

  • You or your partner have a neural tube defect or a family history of neural tube defects
  • You previously had a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect
  • You have diabetes

If any of the above apply to you, your GP will prescribe a higher dose of folic acid. Your midwife or GP may also recommend additionally screening test during pregnancy. 

You can also pick up some Folic Acid from high street pharmacies such as Boots (affiliate link).

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Written by

Laura Driver

Blogger & Social Media Manager
Laura lives in Yorkshire, UK with her two teenage children. When they were little (and definitely not taller than her) she used to blog avidly about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Laura is no stranger to all the joys small children can bring; sleepless nights, a random public meltdown or a spectacular poonami. She fondly remembers the time her youngest child rolled across a supermarket carpark in a trolley while she was putting her eldest child in the car and the time her, then, three year old took up swearing at a church event. Laura has worked for Your Baby Club, as a Social Media Manager, since 2014.

Articles on YourBabyClub.co.uk are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

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