The Midwife’s Role in Informing Pregnant Women of the Importance of Folic Acid

The Midwife’s Role in Informing Pregnant Women of the Importance of Folic Acid

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How the provision of information in the antenatal period can positively affect health and life style choices in the pregnant woman and her family.
It is a recognised certainty that nutrition is a fundamental requirement to sustain a healthy lifestyle and is also extremely valuable when recovering from an illness or an injury. Nutrients are absorbed in the body and this physiological process is essential for homeostasis and ensuring equilibrium is sustained within the body as without enough food and drink the body will not function correctly (Edwards & Thomas, 2009). This essay will provide information on folic acid and its properties, its role and the midwife’s role and responsibility in informing women in the early stages of pregnancy and the importance that it has.
An ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, believed that any illness that was suffered by humans was due to their bad eating habits as well as their poor nutrition intake and historically, Hereditarians implied that the health of a fetus and the future of it was determined by its genes at conception, retrospectively evidence suggests that with the lack of nutrition a fetus receives, is a major contributory factor for future diseases (Edwards & Thomas, 2009).
Folic acid and folate is a B vitamin and an important part of nutritional intake. The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism and folic acid and folate are both forms of vitamin B9 (Barrowclough, 2009). They occur naturally in food and can also be taken as supplements. Vitamin B has a wide range of functions that occur biologically in the body and during pregnancy an important factor of vitamin B9 is the production and maintenance of new cells. Vitamin B9 als...


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...' Midwifery (pp. 184-195). Bath: The Bath Press.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2009). Folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 150, 626–631.
Wald, N. J. and Bower, C. (1995) Folic acid and the prevention
of neural tube defects. British Medical Journal, 310,
1019-1020.
Werler M, Shapiro S, Mitchell A.(1993) Periconceptional folic acid exposure and risk of occurrent neural tube defects. JAMA. ;269:1257
Youngson, R. M. (2005). Encyclopedia of family health (3rd edition ed.). Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.
Zeng, H. (2010). Nutrition Optimization for Health and Longevity . Bloomington: Liberty of Congress.
http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jun/20/news/mn-12549
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/pregnancy/Pages/Folicacid.aspx access March 20th 2010.

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