It is recommended that all women planning a pregnancy take vitamin B9. Supplementation should continue during the first two months of pregnancy. Why ? What are the risks in case of vitamin B9 deficiency in pregnant women? What foods naturally contain vitamin B9?
Vitamin B9 is also known as folic acid or folate. Our organisms do not know how to synthesize it and it can only be brought from outside. It plays an essential role during pregnancy and reduces the risk of premature birth or malformations of the unborn baby: growth retardation, spina bifida. Vitamin B9 is involved in cell division and tissue synthesis, but also in communication between neurons. In particular, vitamin B9 allows the closure of the neural tube, future brain and spine of the unborn baby. This stage takes place during the 4e week of pregnancy. This is why it is recommended that all women planning to have children take vitamin B9 supplementation to be sure they have enough in their bodies from the very beginning of pregnancy. Indeed, when the pregnancy becomes detectable, it has actually already started several weeks ago.
What type of supplement?
A varied diet is necessary throughout life and even more when you have a pregnancy project or when you are pregnant. But even a balanced diet does not provide sufficient amounts of vitamin B9 to women at the very beginning of pregnancy. This is all the more true if it is a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets), close children, or if the previous child was breastfed for a long time.
If you are planning to have a child, talk about it with your healthcare professional (general practitioner, gynecologist, midwife), he can prescribe you vitamin B9 tablets, which can then be purchased from a pharmacy. Some women are more at risk, especially those who have already given birth to a child with a neurological malformation.
What foods are rich in vitamin B9?
The sacrosanct principle of consuming 5 fruits and vegetables a day remains true during pregnancy! Many fruits and vegetables are particularly rich in vitamin B9: spinach, salads, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, beets, peas, courgettes, avocados, asparagus, melons, citrus fruits, red fruits (cherries, strawberries, raspberries), bananas. Among unsalted nuts, walnuts and chestnuts are excellent sources of vitamin B9. In the family of pulses, lentils, split peas and broad beans are an important source of vitamin B9. Dairy products can also be rich in vitamin B9: white rind cheeses (brie, camembert), blue cheese, cottage cheese.