Have you ever found yourself wondering what the difference between folate and folic acid is?
If so, you’re not alone! As a pre and postnatal exercise specialist, this is a question that gets asked time and time again.
>>Mama, if you’ve been here for a while then you know that I want to empower you with education so that you can make the best decisions for you, your body, and your baby.<<
My guest Steph Greunke and I want you to take what you learn here today and talk to your provider about it because this conversation around folate and folic acid isn’t that well known…even with those who have been in this world for 20 years!
That’s why we’re going to be talking about the difference between folate and folic acid in preparing for pregnancy and while you’re bumping!
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid is a synthetic vitamin that is used with women who are trying to conceive and who are pregnant to prevent neural tube defects and help with midline functioning of baby.
We know it’s important and we get that.
BUT we also know that there is a better form that works well for ALL people called methylfolate.
Upwards to 60% of us can’t actually use the folic acid that we’re getting due to a genetic variant (MTHFR) that makes it hard to convert folic acid into methylfolate.
How Do You Know If You Have This Defect?
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant or you are pregnant, ask your provider to run a test for MTHFR and that will tell you if you are a part of that 60% of the population that can’t convert folic acid into methylfolate.
Which as we now know is what your body needs for you and your baby to have a healthy pregnancy.
If they won’t run the test for you, there’s no harm in taking the form that will work for your body instead of a folic acid…aka methylfolate.
What Ingredients Should You Be Looking For In A Prenatal Vitamin?
In concerns to MTHFR, when you flip over your prenatal vitamin make sure that it doesn’t say folic acid but rather it says metafolin, L-5-THMF, or methylfolate.
Side Note: you’re not going to lose anything by having methylfolate in your prenatal over folic acid. Here are some prenatal vitamin brands that Steph recommends to her mamas:
*Note: this post contains affiliate links to some of Steph and I’s recommended prenatal vitamins. I receive a small commission if you shop using these links.*
A methylfolate supplement is a little more expensive and takes more work to find, but it’s so important to take especially in those first 8 weeks of pregnancy as the baby’s neural tube and organs are forming.
When Should You Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin?
Steph says that it would be ideal to start taking a prenatal vitamin 3 months prior to conceiving. This can positively impact egg quality and help you get ahead of the game. Having your partner take a methylfolate supplement as well can also impact sperm quality.
On my Core Connections podcast conversation with Steph, we talk about how your prenatal vitamin during pregnancy has implications for DNA and red blood cell synthesis, cell division, cardiovascular health, and neural tube development.
>>You also don’t want to stop taking all of this the second your baby is here.<<
It’s important that you’re continuing to nourish your cells once you’re postpartum because let’s face it…life with kids is crazy! As you’re doing whatever you can to get nourishing foods in, a supplement will help ensure that you’re filling in the gaps of what’s missing in your diet.
If you want to see Steph and I’s whole *candid* conversation on folate vs. folic acid, you can check it out on our Instagram >>HERE!<<
The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regimen or purchasing any product(s).