Close Close
Mother and Baby

Trying To Conceive? Men Need Folic Acid Too

It's not just women who need to eat well and top up on folic acid before getting pregnant

A man's diet before conception can play a crucial role in sperm quality and the health of his future kids, too, a Canadian study has shown.

Women are advised to take folic acid, a type of vitamin B, when they’re trying to conceive and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy because it’s key in preventing brain and spine defects in developing babies.

But it now sounds like men also have to think about their folic acid levels. Males low in the vital vitamin were more likely to have children with neural tube defects, according to brand new research from McGill University, Canada.

The study on mice found babies born to males low in folic acid were almost 30 per cent more likely to have birth defects, including deformities of the spine and skull. Scientists found male sperm carried a memory of the dad's lifestyle, which was passed down to offspring during conception.

But, it’s important to remember eating a healthy diet will give enough of the vitamin. ‘You don’t need to rush out and buy folic acid supplements,’ says Dr Haney Lashen, consultant in reproductive medicine at Sheffield University. ‘If you’re pregnant and your partner didn’t take any, don’t worry as a normal healthy diet should provide you with sufficient levels.’

As a general rule if you’re trying to conceive, keep the junk food off your plate as well as your man’s and fill up on green, leafy vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, which are all rich in the vit. Find out more info on the foods you and your man should eat if you’re trying to get pregnant.

What helped you to conceive your baby?

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack
Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Click here for your chance to win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Pampers Baby-Dry
Win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies

Enter now for your chance to win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies PLUS £100 John Lewis voucher.

Lemonade Money
Protect your loved ones this Valentine's Day with Lemonade Money

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to let your partner know just how much they mean to you. If you don't have the time to sort out your life cover, financial planning firm Lemonade Money is here to help.

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range
How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash…

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Mother and Baby April
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.