Pregnancy Vivian | 26 Feb 2011 10:26 am

How Fish Oil in Pregnancy Can Help Your Baby

When it comes to child birth; every couple wants to do the best possible care for to be mom and the baby. Recently there has been lot of emphasis over inclusion of omega 3 fatty acids in the diet for pregnant women. There are three major types of omega 3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Amongst these three DHA and EPA are more readily absorbed by our body and are very good for brain and nervous system development.

Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be generated inside our body so they have to be compensated by external food sources. Foods like oils, flaxseed are rich sources of ALA. Once taken by our body, it gets processed to DHA and EPA. Since this conversion is not very effective it is recommended that pregnant females should take DHA and EPA directly.

Fish oil is a direct source of essential DHA and EPA fatty acids. Also fish oil in pregnancy should be taken in form of supplements and not in form of fish or any other sea food. This is to make sure that you and your baby are safe from various contaminants like mercury and lead present in the sea water.

Studies have shown that Omega 3 in form of supplements has immense positive effects on the developing baby inside the womb. Here is a list of benefits for the baby that is growing inside the womb-

1. Human brain is mass of tissues and fat, a large portion of fat is omega 3 fatty acids. A regular dose of fish oil in pregnancy has a direct affect on the fetal development of brain.
2. Fish oil also helps in healthy development of retina of the baby.
3. Babies whose mothers were on a regular dose of Omega 3 were born much healthy, had lesser sleep disorders.
4. Such babies while growing up showed better concentration and lesser anxiety.
5. It was also found that such kids had higher IQs compared to the ones whose mothers were not in Omega 3 supplements while they were pregnant.

For a developing fetus the only source of food and energy is what mother eats. Whatever you eat during pregnancy is also absorbed by your baby. So be very careful when it comes to including a fish oil supplement in your diet during pregnancy. Do consult your physician before you start any kind of supplement because he/she is the best person to decide the right dosage for you.

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