Pregnancy is a time full of expectations and joy, but it also requires special attention to the health of the fetus. During pregnancy, diet and nutritional intake have a vital impact on the health of the fetus. Among them, folic acid is a very important nutrient that can play a great protective role in the health of the fetus and mother before, during and after pregnancy. 1. What is folic acid? Folic acid is a water-soluble member of the B vitamin family. It cannot be synthesized in the human body and needs to be taken in through diet. Folic acid works mainly by converting into dihydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate in the human body. 2. Why do pregnant women need additional folic acid supplements? Before pregnancy, a pregnant woman\’s body needs to prepare enough folic acid to support fetal growth and development during pregnancy. Pregnant women who start taking folic acid supplements before becoming pregnant can reduce the incidence of fetal neural tube defects. And if you supplement folic acid after pregnancy, you can reduce the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and low fetal weight. 3. What effect does folic acid have on fetal health? Folic acid may protect fetal health by reducing the incidence of neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are a type of birth defect that include spina bifida, anencephaly, and hydrocephalus. These defects may lead to abnormal development of the fetal nervous system and spinal cord, posing great danger to the life and health of the fetus. Folic acid supplementation can reduce the incidence of neural tube defects and allow the fetus\’s nervous system and spinal cord to develop normally. 4. How to supplement folic acid? Pregnant women generally need to start supplementing with folic acid before pregnancy and continue to supplement during pregnancy. According to recommendations, pregnant women need to supplement 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day. You can get enough folate through diet, such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains. In addition, you can also choose folic acid supplements to supplement folic acid. When using folic acid supplements, be sure to follow your doctor\’s recommendations for the correct dosage and timing. 5. Things to note: Although folic acid has a great protective effect on the health of the fetus and mother during pregnancy, excessive folic acid supplementation may also have some adverse effects. For example, excessive folic acid supplementation may mask the symptoms of anemia, resulting in anemia not being diagnosed and treated in time. Therefore, when supplementing with folic acid, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice and supplement at the correct dose and time. In summary, folic acid is a very important nutrient for pregnant women before, during and after pregnancy. It protects the health of the fetus by reducing the incidence of neural tube defects and also has a positive impact on the health of the mother. Pregnant women can obtain better protective effects by starting to supplement folic acid before pregnancy and continuing to supplement during pregnancy.