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Higher dose folic acid

(14 Posts)
AnUtterIdiot Tue 12-Apr-16 21:11:15

Feeling a bit frustrated. Have read guidance that as someone with a higher BMI I should be taking 5mg folic acid instead of the 400mcg dose that I have been taking since I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks ago (6 weeks since first day of last period today).

I asked my GP about this and he basically said that in his view there is no evidence that it is necessary for people who are taking the normal dose and eating folate rich food, which I think I do. I checked this with my mum's GP who said that 5mg is a huge dose and I can take it if I want to but she doesn't think I need it. Spoke to a friend who is a midwife and she said the same thing. Lots of "do what you like and don't worry and just think beautiful thoughts".

However, I am anxious, and also a bit frustrated that there's no straightforward policy on it. I'm not a doctor so it's hard for me to make an informed decision. I don't understand why the guidance from the Royal College of Obstetrics is to take 5mg and not one of the people I have spoken to is following that advice. I don't want to get to a 12 week scan and be told that I should have been taking the higher dose or find out that the baby has a NTD that could have been avoided. I do realise that the risk overall is still very low even if you are obese, but I want to do everything I can to have a healthy baby.

I have bought extra folic acid tablets over the counter and think I will just take the higher dose that way since I have read that you can't OD on it. Just wondering if anyone else has been in this situation and what other people would do?

AveEldon Tue 12-Apr-16 21:17:45

Yes you should take it. I have had 2 pgs now where the MWs said I should take it
Luckily my GP was happy to prescribe it
Before I saw the GP I just took over the counter pills up to the correct dose

0phelia Tue 12-Apr-16 21:18:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allthegoodnamesalreadytaken Tue 12-Apr-16 21:24:52

I was given it by the midwife at my 8 week booking appointment and she was quite adamant that I should start taking it as soon as possible and up to 12 weeks. It doesn't harm so why not just take it I say

nam207 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:31:04

Im 29 weeks now. I didn't know I needed a higher dose but at my booking appointment the midwife told me I should be on it and called the gp to put the prescription in place.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 12-Apr-16 21:34:03

My first appointment with the midwife is on Friday so I'll take the higher dose until then and see what she says.

Ophelia - that's pretty much what my GP said. I understand the point which is partly why I am irritated - I like evidence based medicine - but if the higher dose doesn't do me any harm I think I'd rather take it than not.

gingerbreadmanm Tue 12-Apr-16 21:38:50

I was prescribed 5mg due to bmi in both my first and second pregnancy however funnily enough i have been prescribed it again (first pg mmc, 2nd stillbirth) on advise of the consultant following stillbirth 3 months prior to ttc and im sure its 400mcg. Im going to check now. I had a feeling that was wrong.

westcountrywoman Wed 13-Apr-16 07:15:38

When I was admitted to hospital at 7 weeks, I asked the Dr if he could prescribe folic acid during my stay as I hadn't brought any with me. He laughed and said that by the time must people find out they're pregnant - and certainly by 7 weeks - it's too late to worry about folic acid as the baby's neural tube is formed very early. He said making sure you're taking it pre-conception is more significant and suggested that all women of child bearing age should routinely take it just in case.

DevonLulu Wed 13-Apr-16 07:25:35

The guidance is very clear

All women with a BMI over 30 should take high dose folic acid from prior to pregnancy until the 13th week. It is prescribable by the GP. Ideally prior to conception but starting any time in this period is beneficial. Be strong and ask for it. It does no harm and may benefit.

After the 13th week it's too late to start

Lots of guidance on it for the MW and GP.


AveEldon Wed 13-Apr-16 07:29:41

I was also told to take vit D

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Apr-16 08:00:53

Thanks. I didn't take it before conception so that ship has sailed. I have seen the RCOG guidance (referred to it in my original post, it's why I don't understand why the GP didn't just prescribe it).

frikadela01 Wed 13-Apr-16 08:43:21

Hmm I'm consultant led due to my bmi (36blush) and was taking normal folic acid prior to conceiving and switched to pregnacare once I got the bfp. No one (gp midwife or consultant) ever said anything about higher dose folic acid.

Dollface136 Wed 13-Apr-16 10:14:13

Your body wont have any negative reaction to taking the higher dose as folic acid is a naturally occurring substance. I would suggest you take it even just to put your mind at rest.

gingerbreadmanm Thu 14-Apr-16 16:59:01

Hey ladies, this may help. Getting to the bottom of my folic acid requirements apparently new guidelines mean only obese people with diabetes require the 5mg folic acid. I chased my docs as have been prescribed 400mcg (whilst ttc) which i thought strange as previously when pg i had been prescribed 5mg.

So i think thats the answer. Various doctors pharmacists and a consultant have been involved in my prescription today which whould have been 5mg but only due to the issues my ds who was stillborn hadm

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