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A little fear of taking tablets...

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i am 20 weeks pregnant and i havent actually taken any vitimins whatsoever i was taking folic acid for a while but then i stopped i have a little fear of taking tablets so i try to avoid them, is this a bad thing? i drink a bottle or 2 of orange juice a day, does that help?

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replied November 26th, 2010
Vitamins Answer A17314
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the role of vitamins esp. folic acid during pregnancy.
Folic acid also known as Vitamin B9 is essential for the development of the fetus. The growing foetus requires this substance, provided by the mother, to assist healthy cell replication. Folic acid is also required for the production of red blood cells (thus preventing anaemia) as well as assisting in the rapid growth of the placenta.The following list shows some foods that are naturally rich in folic acid, with the better sources being from vegetables or pulses:
Fruits and juice: Grapefruit, Orange.
Vegetables: Globe artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, brussel-sprouts, endives, okra, parsnips, peas, spinach, Spring onions, leeks, Avocado, fresh parsley, cress, chicory leaves.
Pulses, cereals & nuts: Beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, red kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, soya flour, hazelnuts, corn flakes, wheat germ, yeast, yeast extract.
Animal products: Crab meat, cooked liver, fois gras, beef, pork, chicken, egg yolks.
A deficiency in folic acid can lead to a poorly developed foetus, resulting in Neural Tube Defects (NTDs), heart defects or a cleft lip/palate.
In the USA, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of folic acid are 400 μg on average per day for a normal adult, rising to 600 μg for pregnant women and 500 μg for a woman who breastfeeds her child.
It is better to supplement folic acid and other vitamins as only a healthy and well balanced diet can provide all the nutrients in recommended dosages.Also as described above you may be better off trying the vegetables and pulses for folic acid. Further, the requirement of iron is also increased during pregnancy and it might be a good idea to supplement iron as well in consultation with your doctor.
You must consult your obstetrician for your case as the individualised needs cannot be ascertained online.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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