Expectant mothers have long been advised to avoid certain foods during pregnancy. It is also known that taking certain supplements can help promote good health and well-being for the mother and the unborn baby.
But while everyone has good intentions, many simply forget to take the recommended vitamins that could be of great benefit to their growing child.
The most commonly recognized and promoted supplement is folic acid, which is said to reduce the risk of certain deficiencies. But just one of the four women is just taking it before pregnancy – so British healthcare professionals have submitted a proposal to determine flour with folic acid in the move to reduce fetal abnormalities.
British Public Health Minister Steve Brine said he would increase fetal intake among pregnant women and in turn reduce the risk of spinal cord and other birth defects. And the chief physician of England prof. Dame Sally Davies said the evidence shows that "determination of folic acid flour is a practical way to reduce folate deficiencies in pregnant women and reduce birth defects".
"I am glad the government is taking action on this issue and I hope the wider scientific community will witness this important consultation in their views that could benefit and improve the lives of many women and children in this country," she said. "However, like every kind of intervention, we need to make sure it is also safe, and this means taking into account what the implications will be for the rest of the population who eat flour."
Alison Wright, vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the UK, says the college backs calls to establish flour with folic acid. "The evidence is clear that deterrence will prevent half of it [1,000 diagnoses of] Neural tube damage, "she says." Strengthening flour with folic acid is a simple, safe and proven measure that will reach women who do not get enough folic acid through their diet, as well as those who may not have planned their pregnancy. "
Health Department spokesman said they "are aware of British media reports, but there is no policy regarding the strength of folic acid food".
Thus, in the absence of established flour for pregnant women in this country, Dr. Cliodhna Foley Nolan from Safefood Ireland says that all women who might become pregnant should take folic acid everyday habit, regardless of whether or not they plan on pregnancy. "The Safefood campaign" Bebe knows facts about the fetus "reminds women that taking folic acid supplements is the best way to reduce the risk of a child with neural tube damage like spina bifida," she says.
"For a healthy mother and baby, the only way to get an adequate level of folic acid is to take it daily as a supplement of 400 micrograms and to create that habit – taking the daily supplement is the only way to go. There has been a recent discussion on determining food with folic acid but this is still a way of turning off. But even with established food, taking daily supplements provides the best protection for the spine and brain of the unborn baby. "
Professor Michael Turner, UCD professor of ophthalmology and gynecology at the University Hospital "Coombe Women and Infants," says women should begin with folic acid before they become pregnant and do not wait until they plan on pregnancy or until they become pregnant.
"Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid supplements every day can potentially prevent two-thirds of the neural tube defect every year – on average, it's about 50 fewer children each year," he says.
And Dr Rhona Mahony, former master of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, agrees:
"We know that women are aware of the benefits of taking folic acid, but with as much as 50 percent of all pregnancies is not planned, so it is important that all women who may be pregnant start taking it daily, even if the baby is the last thing in their mind." "A child's neuronal tube develops in the first few weeks of pregnancy, when many women may not be aware that they are pregnant and therefore need to make part of folic acid in their daily routine."
In a recent Safefood online review, the most common barriers to women taking folic acid were less relevant (42%); lack of advice on folic acid (40 percent); The belief that contraception is 100% effective (37%) and forgot to take folic acid (30%).
A few cents
But Foley Nolan says folic acid is widely available, does not require a prescription and does not cost more than a few cents per day.
"Taking it daily, women take control of their own health," she says. "Taking this does not mean you are planning a baby, but that means that when you have a baby, no matter how unplanned or far in the future, you are already helping them to protect their health."
And the midwife of Tracy Donegan says folic acid is important, natural folate is the best option.
"Most experts recommend taking 600 micrograms of folate per day to prevent major brain and baby backbone damage," he says. gentlebirth.ie founder. "Folic acid prevents these but no other health benefits of natural folate.
"Some folates are already in the diet, but it may be difficult to get the recommended amount of your diet. For this reason, all women, and especially anyone planning to become pregnant, should consider daily vitamin supplements containing folate and not folic acid when wherever possible. "