Doctors recommend the daily intake of essential omega 3 during pregnancy. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are important to the fetus ‘ cognitive and visual growth.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that enable vital body parts to be developed and maintained. The human body does not synthesize these and they must be ingested from an external source.
What is Omega 3?
There are three main types of fatty acids of Omega 3: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in supplements and plant foods such as flaxseed and chia seeds, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found mainly in animal sources such as oily fish. Some of the best Omega 3 pregnancy foods include mackerel, salmon and sardines.
Omega 3 Importance
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are the most essential of the Omega-3s. Typically, all happen as well as functioning in the body together, each has its own unique advantages. Although DHA allows the brain, skin, and central nervous system to develop properly, EPA supports the immune system, heart, and inflammatory response.
Omega 3 during pregnancy is helpful in maintaining stable prostaglandin production which controls various physiological functions, such as blood pressure, nerve transmittal, blood clotting, allergic reaction, hormone production and the proper working of the kidney and gastrointestinal tract.
Benefits Of Omega 3 During Pregnancy
- For fetal neurological development, omega-3 fatty acids are important. The fetus requires DHA and EPA during early pregnancy in order to develop the brain and the vision. The brain of a child, even in the early years after birth takes up large amounts of DHA, which are extremely high in DHA compared with the rest of the body.
- Pregnant women are often deficient of omega 3. Since the body uses it to build the nervous system of the fetus. Physicians also prescribe a daily supplement for pregnant women. Even after birth, women must also eat omega-3s as they are helpful in the production of breast milk.
- With each childbirth, omega-3 levels are growing in the body of the child. Women must add EPA and DHA to their regular diet during each pregnancy in order to maintain the baby’s healthy cognitive development.
- Beyond neurology, the probability of pre-morbid labor and delivery is also known to lower omega-3s, reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, and reduce the risk for postpartum mood changes that get worse after all subsequent pregnancies.
When should you start taking Omega 3?
Unlike folic acid, it’s a good idea to start taking a pregnancy supplement of Omega 3 fish oil before you even get the exciting extra line on your pregnancy test.
Taking Omega 3 about six months before pregnancy allows the body to build up essential fatty acid stores before you are pregnant. And from the start, you’re going to need them. It is vital to take fish oil in your first trimester of pregnancy because one of the first things that develop in your little embryo is the brain and nervous system.
During your pregnancy and beyond, you must take Omega 3. Because your body should use your own DHA for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. Being pregnant can only deplete your own stocks of Omega 3 fatty acids. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep taking it after conception, even if you’re not breastfeeding.
Best Source Of Omega 3
- The best source of EPA and DHA is cold-water fish Doctors recommend salmon, rainbow trout, anchovies, herring, and sardines because they contain low levels of mercury. Yet no more than 5 ounces of salmon, 16 sardines and 14 ounces of rainbow trout should be eaten each week during pregnancy.
- By contrast to popular belief, flaxseed is not the correct omega-3 for childbirth. Flax is an ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) source of omega-3 fatty acid, not as essential as EPA and DHA. ALA has a short-chain omega-3 in contrast to EPA and DHA. Previously, it was believed that the body could transform ALA into EPA and DHA, but further research proved otherwise.
- Many manufacturers extract omega-3 algae supplements, making them an ideal vegetarian option. Milk, soy, eggs, cereals, bread, juices and yogurt are now filled with omega-3s. Some of them do not contain large amounts of DHA or EPA. But they may add up even small amounts from various sources. The labels should be reviewed in each material for at least 50 milligrams of DHA per serving.
Fish Oil Quality Matters
The fish oil used during pregnancy should be of good quality. Some people prefer to eat fresh fish, but that may increase their body’s amount of mercury. Fish oil supplement manufacturers treat the fish oil to refine it and extract from it traces of mercury. Therefore, by consuming supplements, it is better to meet the need for omega-3.
In a nutshell, faithfully following the nutritional guidelines for pregnancy is very important for the mother. A little slip or mistake in terms of developmental standards can lead to setbacks for the fetus, which is the last thing a mother would want.
Also Read: Smart Ways To Prepare For Childbirth