All women of child-bearing age should be taking at least 400 mcg of folic acid daily. Those who are actively trying to conceive can up that amount to 500 mcg. After conception, it’s recommended that pregnant women take 600 mcg of folic acid daily.
But what about after the baby is born?
It is recommended that women continue taking their 400 mcg of folic acid during postpartum, and breastfeeding moms should take 500 mcg daily. Moms who are breastfeeding lose some of their nutrients, thus the slight increase in their recommended daily amount.
Your body has just gone through a major transformation, and it is now trying to heal and return to its pre-baby state. Anytime healing is involved, that means new cells; and new cells, mean folic acid. The B9 vitamin aids in new cell growth, thus promoting the healing of a new mom.
Breastfeeding moms shouldn’t be concerned about their babies and folic acid. The folic acid that passes through mom’s breastmilk to the baby is a good thing! These sweet little ones are busy growing, and folic acid helps to provide their bodies with plenty of the building blocks they need for healthy development.
Formula-fed babies are reaping the benefits of folic acid, too. Most major brands of formula are fortified with folic acid; just check the label!