19/04/2012 13:38 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

ASDA Becomes First Retailer To Offer FREE Folic Acid To Pregnant Women

ASDA becomes first retailer to offer FREE folic acid Rex

ASDA pharmacy
is set to launch a new initiative to offer mums-to-be free folic acid.

From 23rd April, pregnant mums and those trying for a baby will be able to get free folic acid supplements along with a copy of the Healthy Pregnancy Guide, produced by Tommy's the baby charity, from the supermarket.

Folic acid can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as Spina Bifida in babies. Mums-to-be and those trying to conceive need to take a 400mcg supplement of folic acid a day up until the end of the first trimester. It is estimated that three in 10 women do not take the recommended supplement.

While some local Primary Care Trusts give pregnant women NHS Healthy Start Vitamins (containing Folic Acid) for free, mums-to-be normally have to pay, so we're very pleased to hear ASDA has launched the new initiative in all its ASDA pharmacy stores.

The Tommy's Having a Healthy Pregnancy Guide which will accompany the free folic acid supplements, offers advice on diet and nutrition, weight management, exercise, quitting smoking and general well-being to help mums-to-be have the best pregnancy possible.

Faisal Tuddy, deputy superintendant pharmacist at Asda said: "Folic Acid is an essential supplement required during pregnancy to reduce a number of risks including neural tube disorders in babies so we're delighted to be able announce this commitment to providing folic acid free of charge to those who need it.

"Working in partnership with Tommy's, we will continue to help provide support and advice for women trying for a baby, mums-to-be and new mums. Women can visit any Asda Pharmacy, at any time, for information or guidance on pregnancy starting from as early as the pre-conception stage - and it costs nothing."

You can find out more about folic acid and other supplements in pregnancy at NHS Choices.