Boost Your Baby: Omega 3 Supplements & Pregnancy
Posted on April 20
It comes as no surprise that Omega 3 is extremely beneficial throughout the pregnancy stage. In this short blog post, we’re going to explore exactly how useful it is, if there are any risks when taking Omega 3 during pregnancy, and how much you should be taking.
Firstly, DHA from Omega 3 plays a vital role in the development of babies. It contributes towards:
Forming of the baby's retinas
Developing the baby's nervous system
Developing the baby's brain
Improvement of overall health for both mother and baby
Reducing the chance of preeclampsia
Reducing the risk of post-natal depression
Many studies have been conducted that analysed the benefits of Omega 3 DHA in pregnancy. In particular, DHA found in Omega 3 plays an important role for foetal development of the brain and retina during the third trimester and up to 18 months of life.
In one such study, Omega 3 intake throughout the pregnancy period has been correlated with higher IQ in the children1. Mothers that supplemented with Omega 3 by eating oily fish had children that scored slightly higher in comprehension tests at the age of 18 months. The same set of children then went on to score higher in vision tests at the age 3 in comparison to the children of mother’s who had not consumed Omega 3.
There’s also a decreased risk of low birth weight, pre-term labour and preeclampsia when supplementing with Omega 32. Mothers who supplemented with Omega 3 during their pregnancy saw their children born later and with fewer complications. Therefore, there are definite benefits for the child by supplementing Omega 3 throughout pregnancy, along with a reduction in any risks.
However, more evidence is coming to light about the dangers of mercury in fish and the subsequent effects this may have on the development of the baby during the time of pregnancy3. In fact, the government’s own health authorities now recommend limiting your oily fish intake to 2 portions per week whilst pregnant in order to minimise exposure to harmful toxins. Even Fish Oil capsules that contain Omega 3 may have dangerous contaminates lurking side.
Alternative sources of Omega 3 that do not contain mercury, such as Algae Oil are therefore excellent clean sources of DHA4. As our Algae Omega Oil is fermented in a controlled pharmaceutical facility, it's free from toxins and heavy metals. It's 100% natural, plant based and non-GMO. It's the perfect way to get your Omega 3, especially at a time of pregnancy.
How much DHA should you be taking per day whilst pregnant? There is no guideline amount but around 300mg is adequate. As our Algae Omega capsules contain 200mg DHA minimum, we recommend taking 2 capsules per day in order to ensure you’re getting enough.
1 Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study. (Feb 2007) Retrieved 20th April 2015 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17307104
2 The use of omega 3 on pregnancy outcomes: a single-center study. (Dec 2014) Retrieved 20th April 2015 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25842578
3 Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy. (2008) Retrieved 20th April 2015 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2621042/
4 Prenatal omega-3 fatty acids: review and recommendations. (Nov 2010) Retrieved 20th April 2015 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974414