Why folic acid, and not other forms of folate, is important while TTC and in pregnancy


Check out my interview with FactCheck.org-"Taking Folic Acid, Not Other Folates, Is Recommended to Reduce Risk of Birth Defects"-where I discuss the importance of folic acid while trying to conceive and in pregnancy.

Key takeaways:

  • Taking a folic acid supplement prior to and during pregnancy — first broadly recommended in the U.S. in 1992 — can reduce the risk of these neural tube birth defects. The rate of neural tube defects fell in the U.S. after the government mandated in 1998 that certain grain products be fortified with folic acid.
  • Widely shared social media posts incorrectly claim that people should not ingest folic acid, particularly those who have a certain common gene variant called MTHFR that slightly reduces the body’s ability to process folic acid. But people with this variant can still process folic acid and should take folic acid supplements at the usual dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • Prenatal supplements that contain a different type of folate, often a stabilized version of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5-MTHF, are increasingly available. However, folic acid is the only form of folate in supplements and prenatal vitamins proven to help prevent fetal neural tube defects like anencephaly and spina bifida.

My recommendations for prenatal vitamins are:

  • Nature Made Prenatal Multi + Dha, 200mg
  • One A Day Prenatal Advanced Complete Multivitamin with Brain Support with Choline, Folic Acid, Omega-3 DHA & Iron
  • Gummies
    • GUMMY PNV Typically don’t have iron. Because of their design, they cannot carry enough of the ingredients necessary for supplmentation. THEY should be TAKEN AS a last resort.
    • Nature Made Prenatal Gummies with DHA & Folic Acid
      • add iron 
    • Vitafusionsome text
      • add choline & iron
  • One A Day Prenatal Multivitamin Gummies
    • Rainbow Light Prenatal One Daily Multivitamin, Non-GMO, Vegetarian & Gluten Freesome text
      • ADD DHA
  • VEGANsome text
    • Deva vegan prenatal
      • add DHA

Go to my Instagram account and check out my 4-"Folic acid" highlights for more info! You can also out " folic acid" into the search bar here to get more articles!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your qualifications?

I am a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist. I have worked at a large academic center in academic medicine as a clinician, educator and researcher since 2004.  I am currently a tenured Professor and actively manage patients with high-risk pregnancies.

How can I contact you for a collaboration, interview or other opportunity?
Please send me an email.
Can you debunk this social media post I saw?

The best way to contact me about debunking social media content is to send that content to me in a DM on my Instagram account @babiesafter35. You can also email me.

Do you do private consults? Can I get you to review my medical records?

I do not do private consults or review medical records submitted by patients.

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Yes! Please email me for more info.