Home > Parenting > Pregnancy Updated 18 February 2014 Folic acid for a healthy baby Planning a baby? Then take note of your folic acid intake. Folic acid, a vitamin B, is important to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. 0 iStock ASK The Paediatrician » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Quiz Are you ready for a baby? » Subscribe Parenting newsletter » How a woman's body changes during pregnancy Foetal development Planning a baby? Then take note of your folic acid intake. Folic acid, a vitamin B, is important to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. As it takes a while to build up sufficient amounts of the vitamin, it is a good idea to start taking supplements early.Take action:A non-pregnant woman should take 400 mcg daily and a pregnant woman 800 to 1 000 mcg. Also eat folate-rich foods such as fortified breads and cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, citrus fruits and whole grains on a daily basis. Folic acid supplementation must begin four weeks before conception and be maintained throughout pregnancy, but at least up to the eighth week.Ask our Vitamin Expert More in Parenting 10 most popular baby stories More: ParentingPregnancy advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.