UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22:  Women who are trying to conceive should take folic acid daily until the twelfth week of pregnancy because it is essential for the embryonic brain and spinal cord to grow properly. By taking folic acid, the mother reduces the risk of her baby developing both spina bifida and anencephaly, conditions in which the tube forming the spinal cord and brain hasn't closed properly.  (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)