Blainville, June 3rd, 2015 - To mark the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, Duchesnay launches three videos entitled Are you planning a pregnancy? The goal is to emphasise the importance of taking a prenatal multivitamin containing folic acid at least three months before conception for a healthy pregnancy. Mireille Moreau, Professional Dietitian at the Montfort Academic Family Health Team in Ottawa, discusses the vitamins and nutrients needed during this critical period of the baby's development, including folic acid and iron. These videos are hosted on the medical information site Nutrition and Pregnancy powered by Duchesnay.
"As a dietitian, I regularly meet women of childbearing age who are unaware of the importance of having good nutritional reserves before becoming pregnant," said Mireille Moreau. "They of course need a sufficient dose of folic acid, but few of them know that adequate reserves of iron and vitamin B12 are also essential to preconception.1"
The short videos cover the following topics:
- Should women take a prenatal multivitamin or folic acid alone before pregnancy? (https://youtu.be/ZDp2daQmkfk)
- What should be considered when choosing a prenatal multivitamin? (https://youtu.be/qhtBp-VfMXQ)
- Medicines and Natural Products: are they safe during pregnancy? (https://youtu.be/jnuJJ-sH7HQ)
Taking folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube defects
Dedicated to the health of the woman and her unborn child, the pharmaceutical company Duchesnay also supports the folic acid awareness campaign of the Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario and the Association de spina-bifida et d'hydrocéphalie du Québec. These associations do remarkable work for the prevention and support for individuals with spina bifida.
The importance of taking folic acid before pregnancy is widely documented. Being that 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned, the mothers-to-be may not have accumulated the necessary reserves to reduce the risk of anomalies and neural tube defects. An adequate intake of folic acid during the first 28 days of pregnancy, before the closure of the neural tube, can significantly reduce the risk of defects. A dose greater than 1 mg of folic acid may be required for some women at risk. Risk factors include epilepsy, malabsorption disorders, type 1 diabetes, clinical obesity, family history of neural tube defects, smoking and drug or alcohol abuse.
Each mother-to-be is unique, a healthcare professional's advice is recommended to determine the best suited prenatal multivitamin and the appropriate dosage of folic acid as well as to identify possible deficiencies of iron and other vitamins and nutrients.
1Healthy Canadians website of the Canadian government