Folic acid is a vitamin that helps in the early formation of your baby's neural tube, which will turn into the brain and the spine.
Because of this, it is recommended that women who are trying for a baby start taking folic acid before they become pregnant and then carry on taking it for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
By 12 weeks, the baby's neural tube will have closed and so it is not necessary to take folic acid, but it is safe to take all the way through your pregnancy if your pregnancy multivitamin tablets contain it.
It is unlikely that the lack of folic acid will have affected your baby’s development as the risk is small, but if you’re worried about not having taken folic acid during the early months of your pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife.
If you’re struggling with morning sickness, or finding it hard to get up in the morning, breakfast is probably way down your list of priorities in pregnancy. We look at why it’s worth getting up for.
Now that you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat well. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.
Smoking in pregnancy is harmful to your baby. Quitting is one of the best things you can do to protect your baby’s health through pregnancy and beyond.
You don't have to stop having fun now you're pregnant - but there are a few things you'll have to give up. Alcohol is one of these things, because it can damage your growing baby.
Although it’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you’re pregnant, some women have feelings that don’t go away and this can be a sign of something more serious.
People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to exercise while pregnant.
1. Bestwick JP et al. (2014). “Prevention of neural tube defects: a cross sectional uptake of folic acid supplementation in nearly half a million women.” Plos One 2014; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089354
2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) Antenatal Care, Clinical Guidelines 62: http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62Hide details