Fish Oil During Pregnancy

For years doctors have been advising women to take supplements during pregnancy . The typical pre-natal vitamins include high amounts of iron, folic acid, and calcium. But there is another nutrient expectant mothers need that can benefit both the mother and the baby, especially if taken during the third trimester.

It has been found that the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil that are so essential for everyone to maintain good health are also very important in the development of a healthy baby. These fatty acids are vital for heart health as well as for the health of both the brain and the nervous system. A large part of the brain consists of two of these fatty acids, DHA and EPA. But the body cannot produce more of these Omega 3s so women who are pregnant are encouraged to get as much as they can through diet.

One of the most important of these fatty acids in the development of a baby , especially its brain, is the DHA. Taking enough DHA during pregnancy can increase the birth weight of the baby, enhance its sleep patterns, and improve hand eye coordination. DHA can also make a woman’s pregnancy and the birth less difficult and can cut down on the chances of postnatal depression.

While pregnancy and fish oil is an important concept, there are some mothers who are worried about the possible risks. It has long been known that fish can be contaminated with heavy metals like mercury as well as other toxins. If these toxins are contained in the water, over time they can also get built up in the fish. Because of this there are certain types of fish that you should avoid entirely when you are pregnant, but there is still no way of knowing how much, if any, toxins you are consuming.

As an expectant mother, if you want to be sure you are getting enough Omega-3, particularly DHA, and that the fish oil you do get is safe for your baby, a fish oil supplement is the answer. A trustworthy source of fish oil supplements will process the fish oil they use in a way that eliminates any contaminates like mercury.

Both the Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommend that fish oil supplements be taken during pregnancy. The dose that is suggested is 1200 milligrams a day, an amount that is virtually impossible to get by eating fish. The safest way to get that amount of Omega 3 is by taking a fish oil capsule. This is also the safest way to take fish oil during pregnancy.

10.09.2010. 13:44

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