If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you take a folic acid supplement in addition to eating a regular healthy diet.
Women who might get pregnant should get at least 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid a day. Experts recommend that women take a daily supplement that has 400 to 800 micrograms.1
Women who are pregnant should get 600 micrograms (0.6 mg) of folic acid a day.2
Women who follow these recommendations are less likely to have babies with certain birth defects, especially neural tube defects.
If a woman had a previous pregnancy with a neural tube defect, her doctor might recommend that she take a higher dose of folic acid during pregnancy.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine (2008). Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended intakes for individuals, vitamins. In LK Mahan, S Escott-Stump, eds., Krause's Food and Nutrition Therapy, 12th ed. St Louis: Saunders Elsevier.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||July 23, 2012|