Pregnancy requires that an expectant mother take good care of her health and nutrition. Health care professionals routinely prescribe prenatal vitamins as a form of prenatal health care both for the mother and the baby. Fish oils are another vitamin source that can benefit pregnant women. The omega-3 fatty acids found in this type of supplement is beneficial to the developing baby and growing mother.
Fish Oil as a Supplement in Pregnancy
Pregnant women are required to ensure that their diets are rich omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids – abundant in fish oil – contribute in the proper development of the baby. However, research findings suggest that only 2% of pregnant women meet this nutritional requirement and that a staggering 85% of pregnant females have diets low in the aforementioned fatty acids. Thus, they should take fish oil supplements for a healthier pregnancy.
Recommended Dosage of Fish Oil in Pregnant Women
The recommended daily dosage of fish oil by many nutritionists is 900mg. Taking fish oil supplements is necessary because it is difficult to meet the required dosage from the daily diet. If taking the capsules, be sure to buy the best quality fish oil supplements, since many of the cheaper versions may stem from fish that were not necessarily free of pollutants and contamination.
Health Benefits from Fish Oil in Pregnancy
A wide range of health benefits exist for both the mother and the developing baby from fish oil. The mother has a reduced risk of developing pre-eclampsia or brain loss during pregnancy. She also has a lowered risk of preterm labor, c-section delivery, post-partum depression as well as breast cancer.
Fish oil helps aid in the development of a baby’s brain, leading to high intelligence. Better development of the central nervous system and retina eye formation is another benefit for the baby. After birth, studies have revealed babies who received fish oil supplements from their mother demonstrate less behavioral problems and a better sleep pattern. A study has also been conducted that shows children whose mothers took fish oil during their pregnancy scored higher on hand-eye coordination and vocabulary (Science Daily).
Other Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Besides taking supplements, a pregnant woman can receive her daily omega-3, DHA and EPA need through fish consumption. Flaxseed is another food source of these nutrients. However, some doctors recommend against the intake of too much fish and taking flaxseed while pregnant. It is wise to consult a doctor first for optimal health.
Prenatal Care and Health
Pregnancy requires routine prenatal care in order to ensure both the baby and the mother fare well. Proper nutrition is extremely important for pregnant women, and taking a fish oil supplement alongside a prenatal vitamin can positively impact the pregnancy and developing baby.