Women who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy and took higher-dose folic acid supplements delivered infants with better fetal growth than smokers who took standard-dose folic acid, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The 345 active smokers, who were less than 21 weeks pregnant at the start of the study, were randomized to receive 4 mg of folic acid per day (higher-dose group) or 0.8 mg of folic acid per day (standard-dose group).
Both groups also received smoking cessation counseling.
Infants born to mothers in the higher-dose group had a mean birth weight 140.39 g greater than infants born to mothers receiving standard-dose folic acid (overall mean birth weight was 3059 g).
Babies born to mothers in the higher-dose group also had a 31% lower risk of being small for gestational age and were 35% less likely to have fetal growth restriction than babies born to mothers in the standard-dose group.
There were no adverse effects associated with higher-dose folic acid.
“These findings are new and could change current perinatal practice, if confirmed,” wrote the authors.
Source: JAMA Pediatrics, USA.