Folic myths

About half of all pregnancies are unplanned. All women who are sexually active and who could potentially become pregnant should be taking folic acid but many don’t.

So, let’s bust through the myths to get to the folic facts!

Myth - You only need to take folic acid tablets when you get pregnant, not before

Listen ladies, you have to be taking folic acid tablets for at least 3 months before and during the first 3 months of pregnancy. A baby’s spine develops fully in the first 28 days of pregnancy. So, if you haven’t been taking folic, by the time you realise you’re pregnant, it may be too late to help support the development of the baby’s spine and brain.

Myth - I’m using contraception, so why bother taking folic acid tablets?

Contraception is not 100% effective and about half of all pregnancies are unplanned! Scary, right? There are no side effects to taking a folic acid supplement but if there were a surprise baby, it could help to protect its brain and spine.

Myth - Taking folic acid tablets will give everyone the idea I’m trying for a baby

Hey, it’s your body! You don’t ask for approval of your contraceptive choices and this should be no different. By taking folic acid tabletsdaily you are making a choice to help protect your future baby’s (should you have one) brain and spine. It’s your business, nobody else’s.

Myth - I’ll get all the folic acid I need from food

Nope! It’s impossible for women to get enough folic from eating a healthy balanced diet alone. Not even a mountain of broccoli would do it. Women need extra folic acid in early pregnancy, that’s why a daily supplement of 400 mcg is recommended, as well as what you get from food.

Myth - Vitamins are expensive

Taking a folic acid supplement costs only a few cents or pennies a day. That’s less than a daily caffeine fix (even if we do love a good soy caramel macchiato). A few cents a day to protect a baby from developing spina bifida or another Neural Tube Defect? Seems like a good deal to us.

Myth - I don’t want to be taking loads of tablets and vitamins every day

It’s only one tablet. If you can get into the habit of taking it with your pill or at the same time every day, it’ll soon just become part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth or getting your game face on.

Myth - Something like that wouldn’t happen to me

Look, sometimes life throws us a curveball, there are some things you can prepare for and some you can’t. Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. So, if contraception lets you down, at least you can help protect the baby’s brain and spine by taking folic acid daily.