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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X A weak grip may signal future health trouble, even in kids 2018-08-28 13:00 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 Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade Keen to win a R2 000 voucher? Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract Live healthier Smoking dangers » Hubbly hooking lots of young adults on tobacco Hookah smokers are inhaling benzene Many young adults misinformed about hookahs Hookah pipes far from harmless, study warns In addition to toxic substances from tobacco and nicotine, hookah smoke exposes users to charcoal combustion products, including large amounts of carbon monoxide. Managing incontinence » 5 avoidable triggers that can make urinary incontinence worse Urinary incontinence is a manageable condition – here are a few common triggers of urinary leakage.