Shine news

Charity urges women to take folic and B12 pre-and-post conception

13th July 2017



In response to a statement by the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin about the importance of taking vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy, the charity Shine is highlighting the importance of taking folic acid and vitamin B12 three months prior to conception, as well as the first three months during pregnancy, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

Shine CEO Kate Steele commented: “Although many women know that it’s important to take folic acid during pregnancy, few realise that it needs to be taken before conception, as well as during the first three months of pregnancy.”

Shine is Europe’s largest organisation dedicated to individuals and families affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Each week on average 14 women in the UK receive the devastating news that their baby is affected by a Neural Tube Defect (NTD) such as spina bifida or anencephaly.

Taking folic acid helps to reduce the risk of these serious and often life-threatening conditions by up to 72%, but only if taken at least three months before conception, as a baby’s neural tube develops very early in pregnancy, before many women even realise that they’re pregnant. Taking vitamin B12, in addition to folic acid, helps to further reduce the risk.

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