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.
Why is folic acid important?
Taking folic acid while trying for a baby (ideally for three months to build up the level of folate in your body) and for the first three months of pregnancy reduces the risk of spina bifida to almost zero.
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.
I found out at 12 weeks, should I still take it?
By 12 weeks, the baby's neural tube will have closed and so it is not necessary to take folic acid, but it is not harmful to take it all the way through your pregnancy if you are taking pregnancy multivitamin tablets that contain it.
I haven't taken folic acid, will my baby be OK?
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.
Back ache or pain is very common in pregnancy, but there are things you can do to reduce it.
You are likely to find that your second pregnancy has differences to the first time you were pregnant.
It’s common to feel unusually tired when you’re pregnant, and it can be very frustrating if you can’t get to sleep.
The fact that you’ve had a previous abortion is not likely to affect your pregnancy.
As a pregnant employee you have legal rights, and this includes paid time off for antenatal appointments or antenatal and parenting classes.
Stretch marks appear mostly on your stomach, breasts and thighs. They look like darker lines or streaks and they appear as your bump grows and your skin stretches.
No, it’s unlikely you will have an internal examination (inside your vagina) until you go into labour unless there is any concern that needs to be investigated.
If you have already had a normal pregnancy and baby, and this pregnancy is considered low risk, giving birth at home has been shown to be just as safe as birth in a hospital unit.
The Department of Health has developed a vaccine for pregnant women to protect their babies against this illness until the babies can be immunised themselves.
If you are over 28 weeks pregnant some airlines will ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife. Most airlines will not carry pregnant women after 36 weeks or 32 weeks if they are carrying twins.
There doesn't appear to be any evidence to show that hair dye is unsafe in pregnancy.
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