Folic acid is a B-group vitamin which is essential for the healthy growth of the foetus – especially in the first trimester. This is the time when vital organs are developing, in particular the brain and spinal cord. If the spinal cord remains open neural tube defects occur, the most common being spina bifida.
The simple rule is if you are fertile and sexually active you should take a multivitamin with folic acid – even if there are no babies on the immediate horizon.
Believe it or not, in Australia almost half all pregnancies are unplanned!