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Folic Acid dosage for bigger ladies

(18 Posts)
ConfusedWannaBeMum Wed 01-Nov-17 22:52:23

Ive been using the pregnacare pre conception vitamins. Having done some research, the Internet seems to suggest taking a higher dose of 5mg if you are overweight. That's definitely me blush

As GPs and midwives don't see you until around week 10, this is after the critical neuro development. However, I'm kinda worried to just start taking a higher dose somehow. Is it safe to just take 5mg anyway? Has anyone done this?

Thank you!

Cupcakesandlove Wed 01-Nov-17 22:55:14

Hi there, could you make a telephone consultation with the GP?

AtlantaGinandTonic Wed 01-Nov-17 22:57:54

I was given the 5mg dosage with both of my pregnancies. My midwife said it was something to do with needing a higher dosage because your weight affects the ability of the folic acid to help the baby (that’s much more simplistic than the explanation given!). Speak to your healthcare provider. They should be able to get the prescription to you earlier. Alternatively, ask if it’s ok for you to buy some over the counter and just up the dosage, if they can’t get the larger dose right now.

ConfusedWannaBeMum Wed 01-Nov-17 23:00:54

Thank you both!

Yeah I heard that about the weight. I'm not pregnant yet but read that you should ideally start the higher dose before TTC. I will try and see whether I can talk to a GP. So hard to get appointments and it seems a lot of GPs aren't sure about the higher dosage. I'd just rather make sure I take the correct amount asap.

AtlantaGinandTonic Wed 01-Nov-17 23:08:41

As you’re still TTC, speak to a pharmacist. No appointment needed and they tend to know more about medicines and supplements anyway - it’s they’re job. smile They’ll have probably advised mums like us when the prescription is given. Good luck TTC!

AtlantaGinandTonic Wed 01-Nov-17 23:10:17

THEIR job* blush

ColdFeetWarmHeart Wed 01-Nov-17 23:11:03

I didn't know about needing to take a larger dosage of folic acid, because of my weight, until my booking in appointment when I was 11 weeks. Midwife gave me a letter to take to GP to ask for prescription. She did not seem concerned that I'd only been taking standard pregnancy vitamins up until that point, and my baby was born perfectly healthy 6 weeks ago.

Also, this wasn't the advice 5 years ago when I had my first, and she's fine too.

However, no one on MN knows your medical history etc. I would suggest you try and book in to see your GP as soon as you can to discuss what vitamins you should be on, as well as any other medication you may already be taking. Just to put your mind at ease. I did that when trying for our first and my GP was lovely. If you conceive before you see someone, I really wouldn't worry too much.

Good luck

ConfusedWannaBeMum Wed 01-Nov-17 23:11:51

Oh great I hadn't even thought of that. I'll ask one when I go into town on the weekend.

ConfusedWannaBeMum Wed 01-Nov-17 23:13:26

Cold Feet, I cross posted with you. Thank you for your advice and your experience. Good that the midwife wasn't concerned. I'll try and sort it out asap.

StressheadMcGee Wed 01-Nov-17 23:13:38

I don't think the higher strength Folic acid is available OTC, I think it's prescription only I'm afraid.

dramallamakarma Wed 01-Nov-17 23:16:54

Higher dose is prescription only, I got a note from my midwife to pass to my GP at my booking in appointment.

She did say don't just double up on pregnancy vitamins when I asked.

Waddlelikeapenguin Wed 01-Nov-17 23:17:44

The high dose is not available OTC but GP should write a script if you request it via telephone/make an appointment with the practice nurse.

ConfusedWannaBeMum Wed 01-Nov-17 23:36:45

Thank you so much everyone. I am actually due to go for a smear test soon so I wonder whether I could try and arrange some sort of double appointment At that point so I'd only have to take one afternoon of work. I think I will feel better talking to a HCP instead of just taking extra stuff every day without talking to anyone about it. If GP doesn't have an appointment any time soon I'll see whether the pharmacist could help.

flumpybear Thu 02-Nov-17 06:15:01

You can take higher dose folic acid as what your body doesn’t use you lose through the kidney anyway (via wee) so go for it - or take two or more day rather than buy expensive high dose tablets wink

HeyJupiter Thu 02-Nov-17 09:05:06

Hi OP, I just made an appointment with our practice nurse (who is a nurse prescriber) so some pre-conception advice and she prescribed me some then. Your BMI has to be over 30 to qualify. Definitely worth doing before you start TTC so the levels are nice and high in your system. Good luck smile

heyheybaby Fri 03-Nov-17 18:51:46

I'm completely spooked about ttc since my friends pregnant with a baby with spina bifida and was told a likely cause was her weight (19 stone) and not taking the correct dosage, I saw my gp and he was happy to prescribe high dose.

I also had high dose in my last pregnancy and we are going to start ttc in April / may

ConfusedWannaBeMum Fri 03-Nov-17 19:47:28

Thanks for the advice and good to know the extra gets just peed out.

I have called the gp today and they've given me an appointment in a couple of weeks time. I told the receptionist that I wanted to discuss TTC and she advised me to see a gp.

Hey hey, that is such a sad and scary story!

MouseLove Sat 04-Nov-17 19:52:45

You will need to be prescribed the folic acid 5mg by a doctor. It’s usually given to ladies who are bigger or who have other medical issues such as a thyroid disorder. You should take it while TTC and during your first trimester. But honestly, as a bigger lady myself and TTC for 14 months now, the biggest gift you can give yourself is to lose weight. I’m getting to the point of being referred to the fertility clinic now and I know they will want my bmi below 30. So for the last 2 years I’ve been working towards that.

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