Folic acid (or folate) is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, legumes such as beans and peas, and enriched grains. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should get at least 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid daily before conception and for at least 3 months afterward. Studies show that this greatly reduces a baby's risk of serious neural tube defects. But for most women, eating fortified foods isn't enough. To reach the recommended daily level, you'll probably need a vitamin supplement. During pregnancy, you need more of all of the essential nutrients than you did before you became pregnant. Prenatal vitamins shouldn't replace a well-balanced diet. But taking them can give your body â and your baby â an added boost of vitamins and minerals.