5 Impacts of Folic Acid Deficiency for Pregnant Women
It is important to ensure that your intake of folic acid is properly met during pregnancy. Because the lack of folic acid during pregnancy can bring adverse effects on the health of the mother and fetus.
Daily folic acid needs of pregnant women are important to be met, even before you get pregnant. This is because folic acid deficiency 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. Suffers 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 cannot be underestimated, because if left untreated, there is a risk of causing premature labor and low birth weight babies.
2. Suffered from preeclampsia
The risk of developing preeclampsia can increase if you lack folic acid intake during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition that you need to watch out for because it can threaten your life and also the baby in your womb, especially if you don’t get treatment until delivery.
3. Inhibits fetal development
The development of the fetus in the womb can be not optimal if the intake of folic acid 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 the function of DNA in infants.
4. Increase the risk of premature births
Lack of folic acid intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature births. One study even mentioned that lack of folic acid intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage. Although this still needs to be further investigated, you are still encouraged to have adequate folate intake to avoid this risk.
5. Have a greater risk of babies born with disabilities
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 undergoing development, 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. While at 4-9 months of pregnancy, the need for daily intake of folic acid increases to 600 mcg.
If during this period the daily need for folic acid is insufficient, the risk of the baby suffering from neural tube defects or spina bifida and anencephaly will be even greater. Likewise with the risk of other birth defects, such as cleft lip and congenital heart disease.
Where Can You Get Intake of Folic Acid?
Besides being able to be 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 folic acid food sources, 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 in supporting the health of pregnant women. Eat foods rich in folic acid during pregnancy, and supplement with folic acid supplements if advised by your obstetrician. However, folic acid consumption should not exceed 1000 mcg per day, unless recommended by a doctor.