Your conception questions answered: Dr. Dawn Harper
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Is there anything you should do around the time of conception like eat anything specific or take supplements?

Dr Dawn:

You should eat a healthy well balanced diet, give up smoking and alcohol and maintain a healthy weight (Body Mass Index 18.5 - 25) and you should take folic acid supplements daily ideally for three months before conception and for the first three months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida.

Spina bifida is a defect in the development of the spinal cord of the baby and it has been shown that taking folic acid supplements significantly reduces the chances of this happening.

The incidence is about one in a thousand births but before we recommended folic acid supplements it was nearer 45 in every thousand births.


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