The South Health district says woman of childbearing age should begin taking vitamins with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
The district says birth defects can happen early on in a pregnancy that is why it's so important to get take folic acid daily.
"There is a tube called the neural tube that closes by the 29Th day and if folic acid is not present that tube does not close so that tube around the spinal column can cause a neural tube defect," said South Health District Nurse Tiffany Crowell.
Crowell says the Neural tube defect will cause the spinal column to come outside of the body system, taking folic acid regularly can help prevent that.
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