We’ve long known that folic acid is essential to preventing birth defects. Now researchers say the miracle B vitamin can also prevent premature births, a pregnancy concern that plagues black mothers in increasing numbers.
According to the Washington Post a study of 40,000 women who took folic acid supplements for a year or longer before conception had a 70 percent decreased risk of preterm birth between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation.
Here’s more about folic acid from the March of Dimes
Folic acid, a B vitamin, helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord when taken very early in pregnancy. It is available in most multivitamins, as a folic acid-only supplement and in some foods.
The March of Dimes encourages all women of childbearing age to take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, as part of a healthy diet. Most multivitamins have this amount, but check the label to be sure. A healthy diet includes foods that contain folate, the natural form of the vitamin. Such foods include fortified breakfast cereals, beans, leafy green vegetables and orange juice.