Taking folic acid is very important
I was most interested in the article on spina bifida/folic acid in your edition of July 30.
Local Spina Bifida branches throughout Northern Ireland and also the Northern Ireland Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus - both of which I have been involved in for 35 years - have been campaigning for years for women who are thinking about becoming pregnant to take the recommended dose of folic acid, as this may reduce the chances of the baby being born with spina bifida.
The number of babies born with spina bifida over the past 10 years is very worrying. However, I am shocked by the number of women who still fail to take this small tablet prior to conception, as the baby's spine is developed as early as the eighth week of pregnancy.
I urge all women to understand the importance of folic acid and to start taking this small tablet well in advance of getting pregnant.
Honorary secretary, NI Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus