Pernicious Anaemia Society

Low folic acid and b12 whilst pregnant (just found out) help

Hi All

Please can someone help/advise. I have just found out I am pregnant Guessing Around 4 weeks and also found out my folic acid is low 3.2 and b12 is low 187. My doctor recommended taking pregnacare vitamins which I have taken for 10 days. Waiting on results this week for my antibodies too. I am just worried about my baby not getting enough folate and having birth defects, has anyone else ever experienced low folic acid whilst pregnant? Any advice/help welcome as I am worrying myself a lot over here. :(

Thank you.

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Hi Amyc1991 congratulations on your pregnancy.

Are you not in the U.K?

I've just Googled Pregnacare Conception - it provides a comprehensive spectrum of micronutrients. It is formulated for women who are trying to conceive, including vitamin B12, and 400mcg folic acid as recommended by the UK Department of Health from the start of trying for a baby.

If you can increase your daily intake of red meats, fish, seafood, eggs, poultry and dairy produce that will "bump up" your Vitamin B12 in addition to what is in the Pregnacare.

For Folate, eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, peas, beans etc as these are natural sources. Folic acid is also to be found fortified into many breakfast cereals these days.

Hopefully when you are re-tested both levels will have gone up sufficiently after taking the Pregnacare and there will be no need to worry but please do continue to have a healthy diet of meat and vegetables.

I am not a medically trained person.

I wish you well and hope all goes well with you and the baby. Take care now.

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Hi Amyc1991, there's some good information at this link on B12 and folate deficiency in pregnancy - both are needed to protect against neural tube defects. It might be that you need B12 injections to get your levels up sufficiently. I'm not an expert, but I've read a lot on B12 since having my own health issues! Try not to worry, but make sure your doctor knows how important this is - many of them are quite ignorant when it comes to B12. b12deficiency.info/b12-and-...

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Thank you both of you for your help. I have just got back from the doctors who didn't have my results back they are going to try and call the hospital today. I feel so emotional and upset and worried. I have been eating bran cereal that has high folic acid and all the greens and meat have also stopped smoking as soon as I found out, I am doing everything I can to be healthy for the baby. I might look into going private as it's bothering me so much and I don't feel like the doctor understands my stress. I just want my baby to be healthy. X

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Clivalive yes I am in the U.K. Sorry forgot to add that to my previous comment X

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Also check VitD level - as that too can have an impact on the health of your baby later on - sorry I do not have a link but having a google should throw up some information. Your level in the UK needs to be around 100. Has your thyroid been checked - as levels need to be correct when pregnant with a TSH around 2. Again Docs are lacking in knowledge in this area ....

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Hi Marz, thank you for responding! The Pregnacare tables have vitamin D I'm not sure if I've been checked for this but I've been told it's folic acid and b12 I am low in. Do you know what the averages are for b12 and folic acid at all? I can't seem to find anywhere. I haven't had my thyroids checked no, not sure if this is something they will do in my Antenatal sessions I have next Monday (my first one) I don't know what to do for the best panicking a lot.

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Please do not panic - I had two babies and didn't know that I was quite ill at the time. Mother nature is wonderful at taking care of us :-)

Talking with my Thyroid UK hat on I would say you need a good level of B12 around 500 - others here may disagree. Folate/Folic Acid needs to be mid range.

Do ask at the Ante-natal Clinic about your thyroid - they should know how important it is. I read a lot about it on Thyroid UK here on HU where I have been a member for over 6 years.

The foetus needs to use our thyroid hormones in the beginning and for some time I believe - so you need a good level both for you and your baby. Check out the website hypothyroidmom.com for more information ....

Am off now to check out the amount of VitD in Pregnacare !

EDIT :

Pregnacare® contains the following active ingredients per tablet: Vitamin D (400 IU) 10 mcg; Vitamin E 4 mg; Vitamin C 70 mg; Vitamin B1 3 mg; Vitamin B2 2 mg; Niacin 20 mg; Vitamin B6 10 mg; Folic Acid 400 mcg; Vitamin B12 6 mcg; Natural Mixed Carotenoids 2 mg; Vitamin K 70 mcg; Iron 17 mg; Selenium 30 mcg; Magnesium ...

Ample Folic Acid I think - but not enough VitD - albeit better to know what your level is as treating is often based on results.

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Don't panic.

If you're deficient in both no amount of greens or meet or cereal is goin to bump it up and in a short time.

You need separate supplements on top of multi vit for pregnant women.

Buy sublingual b12, 3000 mcg on Amazon - it will quickly raise and replenish your b12 - if you don't have PA.

Same place get yourself folic acid in higher strength than supermarket one.

Retest levels after a month.

Good luck, your baby will be alright.

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Congratulations.... enjoy your pregnancy. I just had my baby 9 months ago.. they did not notice that I was b12/folate deficient until I was about 7 months and I began getting so exhausted and short of breath that I couldn't even walk down to the school bus to grab my older son. My lil guy is perfect but the deficiency can really deplete you. I ended up getting b12 injections, iron infusions and liquid folate during my pregnancy. I use the designs for health liquid folate with my injections and even with my celiac it came up quickly. I hope this helps you feel more relaxed so u can enjoy this really amazing time. I will tell you make sure your doctor understands how serious this is because I needed a lot of injections and iron infusions in my postpartum time and I could see how women could easily be dismissed when the supplementation makes all the difference in the world. Good luck and keep us posted😀

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You can also seek advice from a midwife, either at your GP surgery if they have one,nor contact your local hospital. They're the experts and will possibly be more " on the ball" than a GP, who has to know a bit about a lot if things.

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