Studies show that an increase in the mother's dietary folic acid before conception and during the first month of pregnancy reduces the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect. The recommendation is that women of childbearing years take a daily folic acid supplement.
Review Date 4/1/2023
Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.