Folic Acid is a must-have for women planning to become pregnant. It’s one of the best preventions for two common neural tube defects; spina bifida and anencephaly.

So…when should you start taking folic acid to get the full benefits of Vitamin B-9?

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention advise all women of childbearing age take 400 mcg of folic acid each day. Women should add folic acid to their daily regimen as soon as they become sexually active.

Nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned and the development of both spina bifida and anencephaly takes place in the first three to four weeks of pregnancy.

Plus, it’s important for women to already have the recommended amount of folic acid in their system one to three months before conception.

Along with lowering the chances of your child developing spina bifida and anencephaly, folic acid has also been found to lower your baby’s risk of other defects, like cleft lip, cleft palate and heart defects. It may also reduce the mom’s chance of preeclampsia.

View the full list of benefits to women aged 13 to 19, and start adding folic acid supplements to your daily routine today!