Omega-3: The Foundation of a Healthy Pregnancy–Healthy Baby Belly Blog Party Week Two
It’s a feeling like no other. Beyond butterflies. Beyond the moon. You’re pregnant! No one could prepare you for the emotions you feel as you embark on this special journey. Your priorities begin to change as you anticipate this new life that will soon join your family. You body begins to change as well. You really are eating for two now, and the amount and type of nutrients your body needs are different during this season of your life.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO KNOW ABOUT OMEGA-3s?
The omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential fatty acid that mothers and babies need, both during pregnancy and for many months following birth. DHA is a key building block in the rapidly developing brain and eyes in prenatal and newborn children. In mothers, it provides mood and nervous system support.
Though essential to the proper functioning of the human body, DHA is not produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet or supplementation. Unfortunately, the typical diet is vastly deficient in this crucial nutrient, and pregnant women in the U.S. have among the lowest levels of DHA in the world.
The good news is, a high-quality, purified, fish oil supplement is the ideal way to increase your intake of DHA during pregnancy.
WHAT WILL IT DO FOR MY BODY AND MY CHILD?
Research shows that moms who take fish oil have healthier deliveries, are more likely to give birth to full-term babies, and have a lower risk of postpartum depression.
DHA plays a significant role in the normal physical and mental development of the fetus. DHA is transferred from the mother to the developing baby throughout pregnancy and especially during the last trimester when it plays a key role in the fetal “nervous system growth spurt.” When pregnant women consume adequate levels of DHA, their babies are more likely to have healthier birth weights and enjoy healthier sleep habits.
DHA levels also impact the long-term mental and physical health of children. High levels of DHA are associated with reduced incidence of allergies and diabetes. Research has even shown that children whose mothers took cod liver oil during pregnancy and while lactating had higher IQs at age four than children whose mothers did not.
ARE FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS SAFE?
Because of toxins such as mercury, experts advise women to limit fish intake during pregnancy, precisely when the need for omega-3s is the highest. That’s why a high-quality, purified fish oil supplement is so important. It provides essential fatty acids without the risk of toxins.
If the thought of fish oil is more than your pregnant palate can stomach, have no fear! A quality fish oil product will not only be free from toxins, but also fresh and pure in order to avoid fishy taste or burps. Look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and freshness. Only third-party analysis can verify the quality of a fish oil supplement. Choosing a fish oil that is produced in the triglyceride form can also ensure effectiveness, since triglyceride omega-3s are better absorbed by the body.
WHAT IF I AM A VEGETARIAN?
There is a vegetarian alternative to fish oil that will provide an adequate dose of DHA without having to consume animal products. While most vegans and vegetarians have long relied on flaxseed products to acquire essential fatty acids, marine omega-3s are the most reliable and effective source. Algae oil is a great alternative to fish oil and is naturally rich in DHA.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
A woman’s demand for DHA increases substantially during pregnancy, and will remain high for 9-12 months after delivery, as her stores of DHA are transferred to baby through her breast milk. To maintain optimal health, international experts recommend a minimum of 300 mg of DHA per day.
WHICH PRODUCTS ENSURE PURITY AND THE CORRECT DOSE OF IMPORTANT OMEGA-3s?
Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA is the official omega-3 fish oil of the American Pregnancy Association. You can visit them on the web at http://www.americanpregnancy.org.
Prenatal DHA provides 450 mg of fish oil in easy-to-swallow soft gels. Surpassing all international standards for purity and freshness, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA provides the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids without the risk of toxicity. With added natural vitamin D3 for further support for both baby and mom, Prenatal DHA provides a strong foundation for a healthy pregnancy.
Nordic Naturals Algae Omega™ is the ideal vegetarian omega-3 alternative to fish oil. It is available in both soft gels and liquid. Soft gels deliver 320 mg of DHA and the liquid contains 350 mg per serving.
To learn more about the benefits of taking a fish oil supplement during pregnancy, check out this article, “Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Mom and Baby,” by Dr. Keri Marshall, at the American Pregnancy Association website. Use this link: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/PEfattyacids.html
Compliments of Nordic Naturals www.nordicnaturals.com.
Question Of The Week
“Pregnant women in the U.S. have among the lowest levels of DHA in the world.” What do you do to increase your DHA levels?
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I try to eat fish a few tines a week. I have also been taking Omega 3 supplements.ReplyDelete
I take omega supplments. I am not a fan of fishReplyDelete
I take fish and flaxseed oil supplements to increase my Omega intake! :)ReplyDelete
I eat wild salmon once a week.ReplyDelete
I try to eat fish regularly (salmon is our favorite, but so EXPENSIVE), and when I remember, I take supplements.ReplyDelete
I love fish (when I can afford it), and I always take my suppliments.ReplyDelete
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Salmon can be delicious! Although I do have concerns about toxins in salmon. This is where a good Omega supplement comes in handy. Quite naturally, I recommend Nordic Naturals. Their fish oil does NOT taste like fish! I take Complete 369 with D3 and GLA daily. I just love it! If you eat salmon, try grilling it in virgin coconut oil, with pink salk, lemon and fresh Thyme. :)ReplyDelete
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I eat a fish weekly and I also take Omega supplements!ReplyDelete
I eat fish at least once a week, and also take cod liver oil supplements.ReplyDelete