Omega-3 Fish Oil Aids Pregnancy How You Can Benefit From Eating Seafood and Taking Supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids are becoming an increasingly popular dietary supplement. Benefits in pregnancy include decreasing maternal depression and asthma in children.
If you are taking a serious look at your pregnancy diet and want to be sure you are getting all of the right nutrients, do not forget about including omega-3 fatty acids. You might be surprised to hear about all of the benefits of this popular supplement for both mothers and children.
Omega-3/Seafood Consumption Decreases Pregnancy Depression.
As many as 70% of mothers describe having some symptoms of prenatal depression. Medication, in the form of antidepressants, may be appropriate to treat symptoms of depression. However many mothers are likely to be interested in learning that there are options other than medication to treat pregnancy depression.
A recent British study published inEpidemiologyincluding nearly 10,000 women looked at consumption of seafood and the effects on pregnancy depression. Seafood is a natural source of omega-3 fish oil. Compared to the mothers who ate.no seafood, mothers who ate 3 or more servings of seafood (the equivalent of 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acid) each week were about half as likely to experience depression symptoms. This is good news for mothers who want to lower their risk of pregnancy depression.
Omega-3/Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy Increases IQ in Children.
Who could have imagined that fish oil might have an effect on your child’s IQ? A 1991Lancet study of over 14,000 women and 13,000 of their children in the UK measured the effects of seafood consumption during the third trimester. The children participating in the study were given intelligence tests at the age of 8. Children whose mothers consumed the most fish had significantly higher verbal IQ scores and fewer behavioral problems that the children whose mothers ate simply the amount of seafood recommended by the EPA. Hopefully future research can be done regarding omega-3 supplements and potential benefits for the at-risk preterm infant.
Fish Oil Supplements in Pregnancy Decreases Asthma in Children
Asthma is now the most common chronic childhood illness is North America and affects about 1 in every 15 children. One of the easiest forms of prevention may be right in front of us. A long-term Danish study looked at fish oil consumed by the mother during pregnancy. Olsen et al, 2008 found that the difference between mothers who consumed fish oil during pregnancy versus those who consumed olive oil or nothing was significant. Rates of asthma were reduced by 63% and allergic asthma by 87% over the babies who were not exposed to fish oil.
Omega-3 Fish Oil During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Reduces Allergies and Eczema in Children
Given that allergies in children are also on the rise in many parts of the world, parents will be glad to learn that prevention of allergies is possible with fish oil. New studies show benefit with prenatal supplements of fish oils during pregnancy and in the first months of breastfeeding..Mothers who received omega-3 fish oil supplements lowered their child’s risk of allergies by 13% and eczema by 16% over the mothers receiving a placebo.
Omega-3 Fish Oil Can Reduce Postpartum Depression
Postpartum mood disorders can affect up to 80% of mothers after they give birth. About 10-15% can develop symptoms that become moderate to severe. However one of the exciting benefits of omega-3 fish oil is that it may play an instrumental role in helping to alleviate postpartum depression in some mothers. A 2003 British study discovered that the more fish oil a woman consumed in her third trimester, the less likely she was to have signs of major depression throughout the first 8 months after giving birth.
If you need more information about the amount of seafood to eat during pregnancy or safe amounts of omega-3 fish supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your care provider, herbalist or naturopathic doctor.
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