Neural tube defects can occur in children born after a pregnancy where folic acid was not given or taken by the mother. Neural tube defects are problems seen when part of the skull or spinal cord does not properly form during a pregnancy. These defects can cause paralysis or death to the new born.
Folic acid is recommended and should be taken by all women who are planning to become pregnant or whom become pregnant. Folic acid should be prescribed to women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant by the medical practitioner who is assisting that woman during the time in question. This may be a family practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a mid wife or an obstetrician.
When a woman is not given or does not take folic acid there is an increased likelihood that the child could have a neural tube defect. Taking folic acid is recommended by the United States Preventive Services task Force.
Taking Folic acid poses no major side effects for either the mother or the fetus.
Failure to be prescribed Folic Acid is now a deviation from the accepted standards of medical care in the United States.