Post # 1
Hey everyone. I recently purchased “What to expect before you’re expecting” to help me through my baby fever before DH and I are ready to start TTC.
In the book it said women who take folic acid a year or more before TTC are less likely to deliver a baby prematurely. My doctor had recommended taking folic acid once we started TTC, but didn’t really give a time frame as to when I should start taking it.
How long before TTC did you start taking it?
Post # 2
MrsCallalily: I started taking prenatal vitamins in October or November. I did it for nice hair and nails for the wedding, but also knowing at my age (31 at the time) it’s just good for you in general. We didn’t TTC until end of April.
Post # 3
I’ve herd you should start taking it three months before you start TTC. But I’ve been taking Prenatals for almost a year, and we just started TTC.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
My gyn recommended that I start taking 200% RDA of folic acid when we start TTC. My current vitamin regimen already gives me 100%, so there’s no need to go over that dose until there is a real possibility that I could be pregnant and sharing my folic acid with the little invader.
Post # 5
MrsCallalily: Actually I have to tell you that Folic Acid HELPED get me my BFP. I was told by my dr to start taking it as soon as we started TTC, some days I did some days I forgot, I wasn’t used to taking medication or pills in this case every day. For a while I stopped taking it because we weren’t getting pregnant and I was just frustrated. (It took us 9 cycles). One cycle I decided I will take it every day as I read somewhere it can actually HELP fertility. That’s the cycle I got pregnant. I honestly don’t think you need to take it a year in advance but start as soon as you start TTC, it will be important for your the development of your baby. Good luck!
Post # 6
I think 3 months prior to TTC is the official recommendation for taking folic acid. That should be enough time to get your folic acid levels up to where they should be to help protect against open neural tube defects. A year seems excessive. However, it’s not going to hurt you and a multi-vitamin can be beneficial for your health, outside of getting pregnant. I take a multivitamin with folic acid every day, both for my health and because we’re not really sure when we’re going to be TTC.
Just a note – you have to be careful about association studies. I’m not surprised that women who took folic acid for over a year would be less likely to have premature babies. Why? Because taking folic acid for a year prior to pregnancy shows a lot of responsibility and forethought when it comes to having a baby. People with that degree of responsibility and forethought are less likely to do behaviors like smoking, that put a baby at an increased risk for prematurity. Doesn’t mean that the folic acid was the reason. I haven’t actually read any studies on this, so I’m not sure how they were designed. But it’s a lot easier to show an association between two thing than it is to show causation (aka that the folic acid caused the prematurity rate to be lower). There has definitely been enough research to show that taking folic acid during pregnancy can cause a decrease in risk for open neural tube defects like spina bifida. I’m not sure if there’s good, definitive evidence that a year of folic acid is causitive for a decrease in prematurity rates – but it might be out there and I just haven’t seen it.
Post # 7
MrsCallalily: I started taking prenatals about 6 months before I thought it was possible we would be TTC. Because of job and moving stuff, we ended up pushing back our timeline several times, and we just started TTC this month. I think I’ve been taking prenatals (with 800mg folic acid) for about a year and a half now. If you’re planning and thinking ahead, I would definitely start at least 3 months before TTC (as folic acid is one of the nutrients that takes time to build up in your system), but starting earlier won’t hurt anything.
Post # 8
I think I was taking it for about a year prior to getting pregnant with DD. I take a multivitamin anyways, so I just swtiched it to a prenatal along with my other supplements (DHA/Omega 3 & Vit D).
I never stopped taking my multi with folic acid after DD was born. I still needed it for breastfeeding and continued taking it after I was done bfing…so once we were TTC the current baby I am expecting, I had been taking the prenatal for 3+ years.
Post # 9
I started taking prenatals (which has foltate acid in it) in February, and I got pregnant in July. I would suggest taking prenatals a few months before you TTC at least. You could probably start taking folic acid any time you want though. Just make sure to cease taking it or ask your doctor if and when you do start prenatals.
Post # 10
Err…I didn’t realize I was pregnant until 8 weeks along so I started prenatals then. As long as you eat healthy I don’t see why you’d need to take it a year before TTC. I make most of our meals and eat lots of beans (I was eating lots of veggie burgers around the time I got pregnant) so I imagine I was getting plenty of it from my diet.
I’d probably go with the official 3 months before TTC unless you’ve been told you have issues or deficiencies. Otherwise, just eat a healthy diet.
Post # 11
I believe the actual recommendation is to be taking folic acid 3 months before conception. It doesn’t hurt to be taking it earlier though, especially if you aren’t actively preventing.
Post # 12
My Women’s one-a-day had a decent amount of folic acid in it and I had been taking that for a few years before TTC. In a pre-TTC appointment with my OBGYN, she said that did the job.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone! I thought a year sounded excessive. I think my doctor had suggested I start taking it about the 3 month mark – that sounds familiar. I do plan to make an appointment before we start TTC but she wanted to give me that information at my last appointment, just in case.
Post # 14
I’ve heard 3 months and a year. My friend was told by her doctor to take it for a year before getting pregnant to decrease the chances of miscarriage.
I’m starting to take it in a couple months with the plan of TTC next summer.
Post # 15
I was told by my university prof for nutrition sciences that all women of childbearing age should be taking it. His point being, by the time you find out you’re pregnant it’s too late because the spinal cord is already closed or closing. He was a spina bifida researcher. I always took that to heart and took a mv with enough folic in it anyway.