Psychological benefits for kids when mums keep taking folic acid

May 4, 2017, British Psychological Society
Pregnancy
Pregnancy test. Credit: public domain

Children's emotional intelligence improved if mums take folic acid supplements throughout pregnancy.

Taking throughout pregnancy may improve in .

That is the finding of research by Professor Tony Cassidy and colleagues from Ulster University who will present their study today, Thursday 4 May, to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society in Brighton.

Professor Cassidy said: "There is evidence that folic acid supplements taken during the first three months of pregnancy can have beneficial effects on children's brain development. We wanted to investigate whether continued supplementation throughout pregnancy had any additional effects."

The researchers asked the parents of 39 children, now aged seven, to answer questions about their child's personality, including levels of resilience, relationships with others and how they express their emotions. Within this group 22 mothers had taken the supplement throughout their pregnancy while the other 19 took it during the first three months only.

Analysis showed that children whose mothers took the supplement throughout pregnancy demonstrated higher levels of emotional intelligence and resilience. Additionally, the level of folic acid in mother's blood towards the end of pregnancy was a good predictor of children's resilience and .

Professor Cassidy said: "Most expectant mothers know that taking folic acid supplements in the first three months of pregnancy is important for the baby's spinal development. Our study shows that there are potential psychological benefits for the child if supplements are taken throughout the ."

Explore further: Folic acid during pregnancy could help to prevent autism caused by antiepileptic drugs

Related Stories

Folic acid during pregnancy could help to prevent autism caused by antiepileptic drugs

June 1, 2016
If pregnant women take antiepileptic drugs, the child can develop autistic traits. The administration of folic acid preparations appears to be a suitable means of preventing this serious side-effect. This finding is suggested ...

High folic acid level in pregnancy may decrease high blood pressure in children

March 8, 2017
A new article published in the American Journal of Hypertension finds that babies born to mothers with cardiometabolic risk factors were less likely to develop high blood pressure if their mothers had higher levels of folate ...

Two-thirds of women not taking folic acid before pregnancy to prevent spina bifida

February 19, 2014
Research published today from Queen Mary University of London reveals less than 1 in 3 women have taken folic acid supplements before pregnancy to prevent spina bifida and other birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal ...

Lower autism risk with folic acid supplements in pregnancy

February 12, 2013
Women who took folic acid supplements in early pregnancy almost halved the risk of having a child with autism. Beginning to take folic acid supplements later in pregnancy did not reduce the risk. This is shown in new findings ...

Multivitamin and mineral supplements for mums-to-be are needless expense

July 11, 2016
Multivitamin and mineral supplements, often promoted to pregnant women as a means of giving their child the best possible start in life, are unlikely to be needed by most mums- to-be and are an unnecessary expense, concludes ...

Recommended for you

Rise in preterm births linked to clinical intervention

January 18, 2018
Research at the University of Adelaide shows preterm births in South Australia have increased by 40 percent over 28 years and early intervention by medical professionals has resulted in the majority of the increase.

New report calls into question effectiveness of pregnancy anti-nausea drug

January 17, 2018
Previously unpublished information from the clinical trial that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relied on to approve the most commonly prescribed medicine for nausea in pregnancy indicates the drug is not effective, ...

New study finds 'baby brain' is real, but the cause remains mysterious

January 15, 2018
So-called "baby brain" refers to increased forgetfulness, inattention, and mental "fogginess" reported by four out of five pregnant women. These changes in brain function during pregnancy have long been recognised in midwifery ...

Sleep quality improves with help of incontinence drug

January 12, 2018
A drug used to curtail episodes of urinary incontinence in women also improves quality of sleep, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine reports.

Frozen embryos result in just as many live births in IVF

January 10, 2018
Freezing and subsequent transfer of embryos gives infertile couples just as much of a chance of having a child as using fresh embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF), research from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Adelaide, ...

Study suggests air pollution breathed in the months before and after conception increases chance of birth defects

January 8, 2018
A team of researchers with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital has found evidence that indicates that pre-and post-pregnant women living in an area with air pollution are at an increased risk of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.