If you’re trying to get pregnant, you know about folate. You know that it’s a critical nutrient for early fetal development. Adequate levels of folate can prevent against neural tube defects.
Folate is critical. Pregnant women (and women planning to conceive) should all be getting adequate folate intake or supplementation. However, I think that the folate discussion crowds out discussion of all of the other nutrients that are critical for a baby’s early development (nutrients that are relevant sometimes even before you know that you’re pregnant).
Low maternal B vitamin and zinc status have been associated with cleft lip and palate
And, for mom:
Maternal vitamin A deficiency is associated with increased risk of anemia
I think you get the point. We need all of these micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to ensure the health of our baby...and to reinforce our own health.
We need both a balanced diet and targeted supplementation to make sure that we are getting all of these essential nutrients. Rather than over-focusing on folate, let’s ensure that we are getting access to all of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal health and development.