What Is Folic Acid? Pregnant Women Should Know The Answer

There’s a seemingly endless list of terms to remember when you’re pregnant. From Braxton-Hicks and a cerclage, to the horrendous term “cervical incompetence” and effacement, growing a human being inside your body definitely expands your vocabulary. Something you’ve probably never heard before, but start hearing about a lot when you’re trying to conceive or newly pregnant, is folic acid. So, what is folic acid, anyway? Perhaps even more pressing, why is it so important to pregnant people and the people who care for them for 40 (more or less) weeks?

According to BabyCenter’s Medical Advisory Board, folic acid “is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as folate.” The reason this particular acid is so important when an individual is trying to conceive and/or is pregnant is because, according to BabyCenter, folic acid “helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) – serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which your baby’s spine and brain develop.”

Folic acid is…

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