Dietary food supplements form a strong part of our arsenal in protecting our health, and omega 3 fish oil is one of the vital nutrients we can have in it. More so during pregnancy because omega 3 fatty acids are important, not only for the mom-to-be but also for the growing fetus.
Omega 3 are essential fatty acids required by our bodies. Unfortunately humans are unable to produce these fatty acids and we have to rely on our diet to get them. However, medical experts agree that since most of us don’t eat adequate amounts of fish which is a very good source of omega 3, adding fish oil supplements to our diet can help with our requirement.
The benefits of fish oil fatty acids are well-known. They contribute not only to our physical, but also to our emotional and mental health. These essential fatty acids are necessary for a healthy heart, and support our immune system and digestive health. They even help with certain kinds of depression. In fact, certain studies recommend omega 3’s for children who have symptoms of ADHD and ADD.
Research indicates that 800-1000 mg fish oil supplements is the approximate dosage for most people. You may need to increase / decrease the amounts depending on the health condition you have.
But why is omega 3 fish oil so important during pregnancy? For pregnant women, consumption of omega 3 fish oils is required for healthy fetal development. Omega 3 acids have two main components – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both of them are important for our health, and each of them contribute to our well being in different ways. DHA is important for our brains and our nervous system. Our brains are largely made up of DHA, and DHA acids play a crucial role in the formative years for brain development. EPA supports the immune and cardiovascular systems, and helps control inflammation.
While essential fatty acids are required at any age, pregnant women who intake adequate amounts of these acids have an advantage. Lack of this nutrient affects both mother and child. During pregnancy, the fetus needs the omega 3 for neurological development, and mothers often do not have enough of it.
Studies show that the required ingestion of omega 3 contributes to the well being of the child. The child is born with a healthy immune and neurological system. Omega 3’s also have a positive effect on the weight of the baby. Further, research has shown that children who get higher amounts of omega 3, before and after birth, have better resistance to allergies. They also have better attention and concentration levels, and advanced learning abilities.
For the mother, omega 3 essential acids provide other benefits – from normal labor and formation of breast milk to alleviating postpartum depression. Emotional stability is crucial to cope with the changes that come with pregnancy. And the added benefit is a glowing skin!
As we can see, the importance of omega 3 fish oil supplements cannot be ignored. They are required to address the special needs during pregnancy and childbirth. However, most pregnant women are not aware of the importance of omega 3 fatty acids.
Nonetheless, when you begin your supplementary health regimen, it is best to consult your doctor before you add fish oil supplements to your daily intake, especially if you are on any medication.
Also, most supplements have higher amounts of EPA as against DHA. While both are important, DHA is vital for healthy fetal development. So be sure to check if the supplements carry adequate amounts of DHA. Health nutritionists advise that pregnant women should ingest fish oil supplements containing at least 250-300 mg DHA. These amounts ensure sufficient quantities for the health of both, mother and child.