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Why Take Fish Oil During Pregnancy

Did you know that fish oil during pregnancy can have a positive effect on both parent and child alike?

During pregnancy, fish consumption is typically limited to two 6 oz. servings of low mercury fish or seafood to avoid mercury toxicity. However, during pregnancy, the body's requirement for omega-3 fatty acids increases and with limitations to consumption of fish and seafood, the mother may not be getting enough omega-3 through diet alone. Therefore, it is then that supplementation can be of great benefit.

Why are omega-3 fatty acids necessary during pregnancy? Omega-3 fatty acids help in bodily functions such as oxygen transport, energy storage, cell membrane function, regulation of inflammation, brain development, and eye health (hence making omega-3 fatty acids essential for the developing fetus). And because the mother is in fact eating for two, the mother's levels of omega-3 may decrease and/or not be receiving enough as a lot of the nutrients go to the growing fetus.

And how does taking omega-3 supplements benefit the mother? Adding supplemental omega-3 has been proven to help prevent preterm labor and reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

Therefore, when selecting a fish oil supplement, make sure that the supplement is from a reputable source. Also, make sure to read the label for listing of fatty acids included as well as look for additives that can reduce the effectiveness of the product. And most importantly, make sure to discuss with your provider first about the benefits or risks of adding supplements during pregnancy.



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