It may sound a bit crazy but if you are a woman in your prime (ie. of childbearing age) you should be a taking a multi-vitamin containing folic acid every day. I’m sure you are scratching your head right now thinking, “Why would I take a vitamin made for pregnancy if I don’t want to get pregnant?”
Let’s take a look at the facts. Fifty percent of pregnancies are unplanned. Yes, I know it’s scary, but it’s true. So even if you aren’t actively trying, there is still a chance that you may become pregnant.
The first few weeks of a pregnancy are really important for fetal development. Most women who accidently become pregnant don’t even know they are expecting until after they miss a period, which usually takes about four weeks. By the time you realize you’re late, a lot has already happened with baby-to-be.
Another fact? Spina bifida and other birth defects that affect the brain or spinal cord (neural tube defects) occur sometime between the third and fourth week of pregnancy. In other words, before you even realize you are pregnant, the baby is at risk of developing some pretty serious birth abnormalities if you aren’t getting enough folic acid. But, the addition of folic acid to your system before you get pregnant can reduce the risk of neural tube defects by more than seventy percent.
Sure, you could try to get the folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) from foods such as leafy greens, kidney beans and corn. But it takes a lot of these foods to get the recommended daily intake. So even though you love goat cheese and spinach salad, it would take eight cups of spinach each day to get the daily requirements of folate.
Even Health Canada can get behind taking a daily multivitamin containing folic acid, stating “all women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should take a multivitamin containing folic acid everyday”.
Folic acid isn’t the only beneficial vitamin found in a daily multivitamin. A prenatal multivitamin, such as the #1 doctor recommended prenatal multivitamin Nestlé© Materna, contains 13 essential vitamins and 10 essential minerals to keep women healthy.
If you do decide to add a daily multivitamin to your diet, make sure you speak with your doctor to ensure that it is right for you.
For more information on daily prenatal multivitamins and how they can help you, visit www.materna.ca.
Sponsored by Materna