A deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy can lead to complications for both the mother and the child.
Folic acid deficiency anemia is the lack of red blood cells due to a lack of folate. It is not as common in the U.S. as it once was, thanks to the advances in medicine and easy access to foods rich in folic acid. Most pregnant women can easily avoid folic acid deficiency anemia. If folic acid deficiency is not treated properly and in a timely manner, it can lead to complications for both the mother and the child.
Folic Acid Deficiency
Folic acid deficiency is a condition in which the levels of folic acid in the body are low. The deficiency can be overcome by consuming foods high in folic acid and by taking folic acid supplements. The body does not store folic acid, so it has to be restored daily.
How Folic Acid Anemia Develops
Folic acid deficiency can occur any time. It commonly occurs during pregnancy, because the folic acid in the mother’s system is first used to support the growing infant, and if there is not sufficient levels of folic acid, the mother may become deficient. Serious medical conditions associated with folic acid deficiency include:
- Crohn’s disease
- sickle cell anemia
- celiac disease
Sources of Folic Acid
Doctors recommend that pregnant women and nursing mothers consume folic acid rich foods such as:
- green beans
- fortified cereal
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pregnant women should take an extra dose of folic acid each day to accommodate a developing fetus. The recommended daily intake for an adult female who is not pregnant is 400 mcg, while for a pregnant woman it is 600 mcg. Breastfeeding mothers need 500 mcg of folic acid per day.
Symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia
Anemia symptoms resulting from folic acid deficiency are due to a reduced amount of oxygen to the body. Women may experience symptoms such as:
- extreme tiredness
- feeling faint
- heart palpitations
- pale appearance
Folic Acid Deficency During Pregnancy
A developing fetus with a deficiency of folic acid are at a high risk of medical complications including:
- neural tube defects
- low birth weight
- nervous system damage
- brain damage
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child has suffered a birth injury caused by medical negligence, consult a Chicago birth injury lawyer. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166.