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Question #46195 posted on 07/14/2008 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My husband and I are considering when we want to have our first baby. I know that it is important for pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women to get an adequate amount of folic acid in their diet. How long before I start trying to get pregnant should I begin taking folic acid supplements and what dose should I be getting?

- Mommy

A: Dear Not My Mommy,

According to this site,
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of childbearing age - and especially those who are planning a pregnancy - consume about 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid every day. Adequate folic acid intake is very important 1 month before conception and at least 3 months afterward to potentially reduce the risk of having a fetus with a neural tube defect.

So, how long before? At least one month, and as long as possible during childbearing years.

Sincerely,

The Cleaning Lady