is folic acid just an american "idée fixe"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-21-2007, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else here asked their doctor for folic acid? What ensued? :

My doctor told me I was trying to "medicate" a possible pregnancy by asking to take folic acid and seeking an acupuncturist to balance my hormones (I have endometriosis).

I don't want to gripe - I'm genuinely curious and want to figure out what's going on here... is it a culture clash? Something else? He assumed I was visiting him because I was anxious about how long it's taking to get pregnant (um, no, of course not - we've only been TTC for two months!) and gave me a very patronizing lecture about being "cool" and relaxed. He also brought out all the clichés and stereotypes about americans taking too much medicine and how having a baby is not a sickness. (I couldn't help laughing when he got to this part, and told him that I am hoping to have a homebirth and he really had no idea just how much he was preaching to the choir.)

So what's the deal with folic acid in France? Am I just the sad product of american propagandizing? If I am a person who doesn't think bread is the color of printer paper and comes in a plastic bag, and I eat between 6 and 10 servings of fresh fruits and veggies a day, do I even need a folic acid supplement? Am I trying to medicalize my prospective pregnancy by being astute and excited to provide my baby with the healthiest possible gestating body?
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#2 of 9 Old 03-21-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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sigh. aren't doctors special? apparently spina bifida isn't as prevelant in france as in uk/ireland/us (maybe oz and nz too but i don't know) so that's why the folic acid thing isn't hammered home here.

here's the start of an article about it:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/...olic-acid.html

i couldn't work out the thing about bread as folic acid is now added to most sliced pan type of things in the us and ireland, not sure about uk.

too funny about americans medicalising pregnancy. i'm vegetarian and i don't haven't had toxoplasmosis, unlike the vast majority of french women. so i had to have my blood checked every month for infection every month for both pregnancies. and i was told not to eat salad in restaurants because i couldn't be sure of how clean it was. i've also heard of french doctors telling their patients without toxo to clean their veg in cif. so no, taking a vitamin supplement and getting acupuncture is hardly overmedicalising.

good luck ttc! i think getting checked out ahead of time is a good idea.
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#3 of 9 Old 03-21-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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I'm not sure about the folic acid in France. I read French parenting magazines from time to time (don't ask why, they make me so angry with their "babies should be weaned at 3 months, should never sleep in parents' bed, be sure and get your epi" crap) and I guess it's true that I haven't noticed folic acid being mentioned a lot.

But the part about Americans taking too much medecine - well, I suppose that's true, but aren't the French just as bad?
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#4 of 9 Old 03-21-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Hi,
When I was pregnant, I was given folic acid by my dr automatically (I live dept 77 but in the country). This was one year ago. I think it was called Tartyferon. It also had iron in it. I also contracted toxoplasmos (i was very careful but somehow got it anyway) the second month of pregnancy (which can be potentially devistating at this stage.) After a very emotional pregnancy beginning with antibiotics, CHUs for toxos, ecographies every month, etc, etc, etc ds arrived unharmed and negative for the toxos, we were lucky.... anyway....
That dr sounds like a real jerk (not uncommon) and judgemental. I actually found one "dr" that I liked, he is an ostheopath, but was all about breastfeeding and was so happy when he learned I was still breastfeeding and pumping (its only been 8 months). he was like..."dont give that baby any formula!!" it made me so happy. Sorry to ramble....it was just the first time I found a good "doctor".
Good luck!

: : :
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#5 of 9 Old 03-22-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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i think i would be seriously thinking about switching doctors. All of the doctors I have had have been awesome, except for one (unfortunately at the birth of my child) - he was SO anti american. The funny thing is, I'm not even american but a lot of people assume I am. As soon as I hear ANY comments about what americans do from someone who's not american, i run for the hills now. I know that "americans do this, and americans do that" (whatever) but I don't need to be around someone who has a chip on their shoulder about it, kwim?
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#6 of 9 Old 03-24-2007, 06:35 AM
 
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t1h

that's just bizarre. when I started ttc, my gyn prescribed pre-natals w/ folic acid. she was very insistent that I take them throughout my pg, too. (this is in paris, btw).

lol that americans overmedicalize pg & birth more than the french. that's too funny.
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#7 of 9 Old 04-12-2007, 08:50 AM
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We went to a local "family" doc before TTC. I figured there would be an exam, prenatal testing and a prescription for FA. Well when we told him why we were there he looked at us like "Do I need to explain the birds and bees to you?" I asked him about folic acid and he said no. I went to the pharmacy anyway and asked for "Acide folique" and while the (American trained) pharmacist gave me "the look" and told me to talk to my doc she did give me the folic acid. Now I'm going to the American hospital in Paris and my Ob has me on "elevit" which is a full prenatal vita (including folic acid).

So you can go to any pharmacy and ask for "Acid Folique" or "elevit" neither of which need a prescription.

-luv
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#8 of 9 Old 04-15-2007, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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forgot to subscribe to my own thread...
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#9 of 9 Old 04-17-2007, 06:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaid Leopard View Post
But the part about Americans taking too much medecine - well, I suppose that's true, but aren't the French just as bad?
So true! We live in the Netherlands (where the aspririn is hidden behind the counters), and we go to France to get our medicine.
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