It's very important to take your prenatal vitamins for your entire pregnancy. Sometimes late in pregnancy a woman stops taking them—she gets tired of taking them or she decides they aren't necessary. The vitamins and iron in prenatal vitamins are essential to your baby's well-being, so take them until your baby is born.
Most women don't need to take extra folic acid during pregnancy if they follow a good diet and take prenatal vitamins as directed. Folic acid is found naturally in green leafy vegetables. Prenatal vitamins have 0.8 to 1 mg of folic acid in each pill, which should be sufficient for a normal pregnancy.
Studies indicate a woman who has had a baby with a neural-tube defect, such as spina bifida, may be able to reduce her chances of having another baby with the same problem if she takes extra folic acid before pregnancy and throughout early pregnancy.
As of 1998, many products have been enhanced with folic acid. These foods include staples, such as some bread products, rice, cereals, noodles, farina and commeal. Read labels.