Folic acid

If you want to get or have just become pregnant, you need to start taking folic acid. But what is it?

  • Folic acid is a vitamin that helps develop your baby's central nervous system.
  • It protects against birth defects such as those of your baby’s brain and spinal cord (hare lip, open spine, ...).
  • The recommended daily dose is 0.4 milligrams of folic acid.
  • If the doctor considers you to be someone at increased risk (e.g. if you had a baby with an open spine or a hare lip, have epilepsy) you should take a higher dose of folic acid: 4 milligrams per day.

Folic acid can be bought over the counter in the pharmacy. Ask your GP, gynaecologist or midwife for more information. 


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