The Bottom Line On Fish Oil In Pregnancy
Always check with your doctor before you start any new supplements, but fish oil is widely known to be safe and effective for absorption in utero. If you’re looking to increase your omega-3 intake by eating fish, this is great!
But make sure you are aware of mercury levels and the effect it can have on your baby and stick to just one to two serves of fish a week.
- Fish oil in pregnancy supports child retina and brain development. It also can have an effect on birth weight and can minimise the occurrence of preterm birth.
- It is a safe, convenient and effective option for pregnant women and this safety is backed by a huge amount of scientific evidence.
- Stick to less than three portions of fish per week in your diet.
- It’s important to have a varied diet to help support the many, many needs of your unborn baby. Taking omega-3s will certainly assist child brain development, but it is not the only supplement you should be relying on.
- Speak to your doctor about whether or not fish oil supplementation is right for you.
Benefits Of Fish Oil Omega
Research has shown that taking the right amount of omega-3 brings health benefits in supporting normal brain and eye development of the foetus. Taking fish oil supplements in pregnancy may also have enormous long-term impact on children a recent study¹ showed that women who took a fish oil supplement in pregnancy had healthier children right up until the 6th year after birth. The children had stronger bones and muscle mass and lower rates of obesity. Omega-3 is also really important in the production of breast milk postnatally.
When To Stop Taking Fish Oil During Pregnancy
Fish oil is a great source of omega-3s and has many health benefits to support your pregnancy. Its possible youve heard that fish oil can lead to increased bleeding during surgeries such as cesarean sections, but a recent study concluded that there is no link to fish oil and increased bleeding during or after surgery. However, it is important to note that this data may not be applicable to pregnant women and those undergoing cesareans specifically, thus more studies are needed.
And while thereâs no universal guidance on when to stop fish oil during pregnancy, its abundantly clear that the earlier you start, the better. Especially since the diet of pregnant women is largely deficient in DHA intake, making it difficult to comply with current recommendations without dietary supplementation.
Omega-3s, DHA, and fish oil are often used interchangeably, and thats because they all do very similar things for your body. DHA is an essential nutrient found in fish oil supplements that supports the development of your babys brain and eyes. Fish oil also contains vitamins A and D, plus EPA, another important omega-3 fatty acid. The recommended amount of fish oil during pregnancy is at least 300 mg, and its important you find a reputable supplier that provides purified fish oil, free of any toxins such as mercury or lead. Have more questions about omega-3s, DHA, or fish oil? Check out this article to learn more about their differences.
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Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
A healthy pregnancy should start with a healthy diet, which is why prenatal vitamins and supplements are so important. A good prenatal supplement routine will include a multitude of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Folate: vital for a developing neural tube
And of course a DHA supplement, a necessary omega-3 fatty acid that supports fetal development and more.
How Much Fish Oil During Pregnancy
Ten years ago, scientists said 300 mg of DHA should be the minimum. This is why the DHA pills your OB/GYN office gave you contain 200 to 300 mg DHA.
But what scientists know about fish oil and pregnancy has changed in the last 10 years. Now, the latest consensus calls for a MINIMUM of 900 mg DHA per day. And that just covers the basic, bare-minimum needs for your baby and your body.
900 mg DHA is the new minimum.
Turns out 90% of pregnant women were not even getting 300 mg a day.
Then why does your prescription prenatal have only 300 mg DHA? Well, their dosage is based on old science. Drug companies and the FDA are very slow to react to new science.
Heres what some of the popular prenatal supplements contain:
- Expecta: 200 mg DHA per pill
- Prenate: 300 mg DHA per pill
- Prenexa: 300 mg DHA per pill
- CitraNatal: 300 mg DHA per pill
- Duet DHA EC: 295 mg DHA per pill
- NatureMade Folic Acid with DHA: 50 mg DHA per pill
Other Nutrient Deficiencies To Watch Out For:
Ideal Dosage For Pregnant Women
If you are already consuming fish on a regular basis, then there is no need for supplements. Just make sure that you are having between two to three servings of fish every week. If you do not have access to fish during your pregnancy, then the daily recommended dosage will be around 300mg per day. You can get this taking fish oil supplements.
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What Is The Best Omega
A supplement that contains a lot of DHA will be the best fish oil for pregnancy. And make sure you look out for one thats free of mercury, metals and other toxins, which can damage a developing babys nervous system. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and Committee on Toxicitys advice on eating fish while trying to conceive, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, is to avoid shark, swordfish and marlin completely because they contain more mercury than other types of fish.
Make sure you buy a safe and pure supplement that publishes its test results and has third party certification, such as Mums & Bumps fish oil capsules.
How Much Dha Is Too Much
But people shouldnt take more than 3 grams of DHA or other omega-3 fatty acids daily, and no more than 2 grams daily should come from a dietary supplement. Taking more than 3 grams daily of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids is possibly unsafe. Doing so might slow blood clotting and increase the chance of bleeding.
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Benefits Of Fish Oil For Pregnant Women
There are many reasons why you must incorporate fish into your diet or take fish oil supplements rich in Omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy. These include:
- Immunity: When pregnant women take fish oil supplements, the child is usually observed to have a more robust immune system.
- Mood: It has been observed that children whose mothers had taken fish oil supplements during pregnancy are generally more stable and are not prone to mood swings or tantrums.
- Nutrition: Fish oil supplements are a well-known source of nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and D.
Consult your doctor if you have any further doubts regarding the consumption of these supplements. While it is true that not all women take this supplement, new research is bringing out the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially for pregnant women.
What Dose Of Omega
The National Institutes of Health recommends 1.4 grams of ALA per day for pregnant women. Remember that ALA has to be converted to EPA and DHA by the body for it to work. How much ALA becomes DHA in the body depends on many factors, including genetics.
Since DHA is important for a growing babys development, its important to pay attention to how much youre getting. Its recommended to get at least 200 mg of DHA daily while pregnant. And some studies have shown that higher doses may be even better.
But how much omega-3s are too much? The upper limit isnt completely clear. In pregnant women, doses of up to 1000 mg of DHA or 2,700 mg of DHA/EPA have been used without significant side effects.
The side effects of omega-3s can include unpleasant taste, smelly breath and sweat, as well as an upset stomach.
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Benefits To The Pregnant Woman
According to studies, there are two main benefits of omega-3s for a pregnant woman:
Reduced risk of postpartum depression. This is a mental health condition that causes feelings of ongoing sadness after giving birth. Studies have shown that omega-3s can reduce the risk of postpartum depression. They may also help reduce symptoms of depression during pregnancy, but the evidence for this isnt as strong.
Always Take Quality Fish Oil Supplements
Taking quality omega-3 and multi-vitamin supplements during pregnancy can be highly beneficial if they are high-quality supplements.
With fish oil, look for a pharmaceutical grade, molecularly distilled oil that is free of heavy metals, harvested from organic fish, etc.
Molecularly distilled fish oil is more pricey than its generic counterparts, but its benefits are immense.
Another reason for getting high-quality fish oil is that you can count on the oil being as nutritious as possible without other filler oils.
Some unscrupulous companies put other oils in with fish oil and sell it at low prices.
Lastly, be sure that you discuss how much DHA during pregnancy you should take with your practitioner, as most fish oils have a precise ratio of their fatty acids.
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Benefits To The Growing Baby
Omega-3s are also important for the growing baby. Theyre needed to develop a healthy brain and eyes. DHA is particularly important for this. An unborn babys brain and eyes begin storing DHA in the womb, especially in the second half of pregnancy.
Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy may also lower the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Taking omega-3s during pregnancy may also result in higher intelligence and memory scores in children later in life. But the research on this is mixed.
Is Diphenhydramine Safe During Pregnancy
Diphenhydramine is a medication that is used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies, insomnia, and motion sickness. It is a type of antihistamine that works by blocking the effects of histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical that is released by the body in response to a trigger, such as an allergen or a virus. It is responsible for many of the symptoms of an allergic reaction or a cold, such as sneezing, a runny nose, and a cough.
Diphenhydramine is considered to be safe during pregnancy. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking any medications during pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the safest course of treatment for you and your baby.
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How Much Fish Oil Should A Pregnant Lady Take
Studies recommend at least 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids of combined EPA and DHA per day.
Moreover, the quantity of DHA should be greater than EPA.
You will find most fish oil supplements hold more EPA than DHA. So, you need to consider fish oil with a higher DHA ratio.
Additionally, you need to be careful while taking cod liver oil during pregnancy, as it contains large amounts of vitamin A.
The large amounts of vitamin A can be problematic during different health conditions.
Always contact your physician before taking any fish oil supplements.
Also, it is not recommended to take very high doses of fish oil supplements during the final weeks and days before you give birth.
The blood-thinning properties of fish oil may contribute to excessive bleeding during birth or postpartum.
Dha & Brain Development
DHA is a necessary structural component in the central nervous system . Although the structural and neural foundation for the babys brain begins in the early days of pregnancy, the development of the brain tissue is accelerated in the third trimester. To accommodate this fast growth, the fetal brain requires high amounts of DHA, accumulating between 50 to 70 mg of DHA per day in the third trimester . This fast brain development process continues until the second year of life, and the DHA absorbed and used in the brain will remain throughout all the years of life .
While the brain requires high concentrations of DHA, it is also needed to develop the retina of the eye. The amount of DHA present in this stage of pregnancy has been found to have an impact on the childs visual acuity later in life . Finally, the growth spurt of the third trimester sees an increase in fat tissues and overall weight . Although the fat tissues contain some smaller amounts of DHA compared to the brain and eyes, it is another example of the babys need for DHA at this time .
Despite the evident need for DHA, the baby can only accumulate as much DHA as is available. Since babies receive all of their nutrients through their mother, they will absorb only what is provided from the mothers nutrient intake and stored nutrients . This is why DHA intake is extremely important in the third trimester, and might be a good time to include fish oil in your nutrition plan. But wait, theres more.
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Is 200 Mg Of Dha Enough During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, women need at least 200 milligrams daily of this powerful omega-3 fatty acid to support the development of babys brain, eyes and nervous system. Plus, getting that daily dose of DHA has been shown to prevent pre-term labor, increase birth weight, and support postpartum mood in new mothers.
Which Foods Contain Omega
The best sources of EPA and DHA are cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and herring. Many people are justifiably concerned about mercury and other toxins in fish, especially during pregnancy. For this reason, purified fish oil supplements are often the safest source of EPA and DHA. A high-quality fish oil supplement from a reputable manufacturer like Nordic Naturals delivers the health benefits of EPA and DHA without the risk of toxicity.
Many people think that flaxseed or flaxseed oil contains omega-3s. But flaxseed contains the shorter-chain omega-3, ALA , which is different from the longer-chain EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the Omega-3s that the body needs for optimal health and development. While it was once thought that the human body could convert ALA to EPA and DHA, current research shows that such conversion rarely and inefficiently occurs. Fish oil is a more reliable source of EPA and DHA.
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Caution Advised Over Fish Oil In Pregnancy
7 July 2022
Omega-3 is recommended in pregnancy, but new research suggests care is needed to avoid oxidised fish oil.
A group of scientists from the University of Aucklands Liggins Institute is sounding a warning after new research finding highly oxidised fish oils may be harmful in pregnancy.
Fish oil goes off or oxidises very easily. The researchers wanted to find out whether there could be negative health effects from oxidised oils, in particular, whether they could be harmful in pregnancy.
Pregnant rats were given fish oil in a range of doses and levels of oxidation, plus a control. See American Journal of Physiology: in press 2022.
It would not be possible to do this research in humans, so an animal-based study was conducted, according to strict legislative and ethical protocols.*
All the animals appeared healthy during pregnancy, says Dr Ben Albert. However, in a group which received human-relevant doses of highly oxidised oil, six percent of the offspring died.
In a 2015 study by Liggins researchers, of 32 fish oil products on store shelves, one was around this level of oxidation and the other products were less oxidised
In the newly published trial, fish oils within recommended levels of oxidation, when given at human-relevant doses, did not cause any harm to the offspring.
Earlier research suggests half fish oil products oxidised