A folic acid deficiency can be treated in two ways. You can replenish your folate levels in your system through the food you eat or by taking a supplement. It is extremely important to make sure you are consuming enough folic acid while you are pregnant. The problem lies within not knowing if you are ingesting enough, though. That is where your doctor or nurses managing your pregnancy come in. They can help you measure your folic acid levels at your prenatal check-ups.
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Treating a Folic Acid Deficiency Throughout Your Pregnancy
Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients you need to consume for the sake of your life and your baby’s life. It is also known as vitamin B9. During your pregnancy, it has the important job of forming your tiny human inside of you, which includes forming red and white blood cells, producing DNA, and controlling proteins in the body. Without it, you face the consequences of delivering a very underdeveloped baby that may have difficulty surviving.
One way you could increase the amount of folic acid in your system is by eating foods that are rich with the vitamin. These foods can include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, whole grains, and nuts. It is often difficult to maintain a folate-rich diet. While you may think you are getting enough, you could be missing crucial amounts of vitamin B9 that you need to properly develop your baby.
Another way you can get more folate into your system is by taking it in pill form. Most prenatal vitamins have a sufficient amount of the vitamins and nutrients you need to support a healthy growing fetus, which is why you should take one daily while pregnant. A prenatal vitamin is a more sustainable and manageable approach as it will already have the recommended daily amount you need. Therefore, you know exactly how much folic acid you are getting each day.
You may have a blood test at your very first prenatal checkup. This blood test can help your healthcare provider diagnose any infections or diseases that may be of concern during your pregnancy, including a folic acid deficiency. If one is present, you may have to undergo a couple more blood tests in your next prenatal appointments to monitor the situation.
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Complications That Arise from a Folic Acid Deficiency Left Untreated
Doctors usually recommend you start taking a folic acid supplement before you get pregnant. They recommend that if you are trying, you should start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid in them. Doing this will help with conception and properly support a growing fetus. Your fetus is so vulnerable in the first trimester that congenital disabilities of the brain and spine occur in the first month. Think of it as an extra precaution. That is how important folic acid is during pregnancy.
Folic acid plays an essential part in the performance of your body even when you are not pregnant. When you become pregnant, the importance increases. The recommended dietary allowance for folic acid for pregnant women presented by the Office on Women’s Health is 400 to 800 mg daily. Your doctor could require you to take an even higher daily dosage. If you do not get the appropriate dosage of folic acid, or any at all, serious development problems can occur, and you may not be able to reverse them.
Complications that could occur to your baby from a folic acid deficiency may include:
- Neural tube defect
- Spina bifida
- Leg paralysis
These can be devastating life-changing outcomes for your pregnancy that come with a high cost. It is important that you and your doctor work together to avoid a folic acid deficiency. Your doctor has the duty of care to monitor the level of folic acid in your blood while pregnant, and you need to make sure you are consuming enough of it.
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What to Do When Medical Malpractice Causes a Folic Acid Deficiency
A folic acid deficiency should be treated as soon as possible to prevent serious birth injuries. If this has happened to you, and you believe it could have been prevented with proper management and monitoring from your medical team, you may have the rights to take legal actions. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation today.
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