Omega 3 For Pregnancy
Omega 3 for Pregnancy
Expectant mothers do all they can to make sure their baby has everything it needs, including the right nutrients. Pregnant women require more calories and nutrients than other women and preventing deficiencies can ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Getting enough Omega-3 has many benefits for mother and baby, both during pregnancy and in the years that follow. Omega-3 is a family of healthy fats classified as ‘essential’ – this means that we cannot make them in the body and so must get them from our diet. Pregnant women can get enough Omega-3 by eating a diet rich in nuts, green leafy veg and oily fish. But for those who do not enjoy fish, or follow a plant-based diet, they will need to take a supplement to meet requirements.
DHA, a healthy fat which is part of the Omega-3 family, is essential for the normal growth of the foetus. From conception to birth, it plays a vital role in the development of the baby’s brain and eyes.
Studies have shown that getting enough DHA during pregnancy is linked with having more intelligent children with higher IQs in later life. Mothers who supplemented with Omega-3 by eating oily fish had children who scored slightly higher in comprehension tests at the age of 18 months. The same set of children then went on to score higher in vision tests at the age 3, in comparison to the children of mother’s who had not consumed Omega 3.
Recent research has shown that Omega-3 requirements increase baby after baby. Because the need for essential fatty acids during pregnancy is so high, and most mother’s intakes are so low, body stores are not readily replenished after birth. This can cause deficiency to get worse and worse with multiple babies. Some are even linking this with other studies, which have shown that first-born children have a higher IQ than their siblings. They propose that this is down to having a better supply of essential fatty acids in the womb than the babies that follow. Women planning a second or subsequent pregnancy should take a DHA supplement to protect themselves and their baby from deficiency.
Meeting your Omega-3 requirements during pregnancy supports the normal growth and development of your baby. This helps you to reach full-term, ensuring your child is ready to be delivered. The earlier a baby is born pre-term, the higher the risk of complications. It is recommended to take an Omega-3 supplements 6 months prior to conception and throughout pregnancy, to increase the chances of a baby that is born later with fewer complications.
Omega-3 supplementation also reduces the risk of a low-birthweight baby. Data collected from 19 European studies, which looked into the birthweight of over 150,000 babies found that mothers who supplemented Omega-3 gave birth to babies almost 10% heavier than those who did not. This is favourable because it indicates that the foetus has fully developed all of its organs and is better prepared to be separated from the mother.
Pregnant women need enough Omega-3 to meet their own needs, as well as the needs of their unborn child. Aside from benefiting the baby in many ways, adequate Omega-3 intake can help to reduce some of the discomfort experienced when pregnant. The anti-inflammatory action of DHA and EPA (another member of the Omega-3 family) has been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, as well as fluid retention during pregnancy.
On average a woman will gain around 5kgs of fat when they have a baby. The type of fat stored will depend on their dietary intake. Getting enough Omega-3 encourages the body to store DHA, which will later help to top-up the amount present in breast milk. This can also assist in weight loss following the birth, by discouraging the storage of other fats which aren’t so easily metabolised.
Omega-3 continues to benefit the mother even after the baby is born. As DHA is a key chemical in the brain, the demand for it during pregnancy can cause deficiency after birth. By supplementing Omega-3 new mothers can ensure that they avoid deficiency, which can help to protect against post-natal depression and improve concentration towards the end of pregnancy.
Aside from all of these wonderful benefits, Omega-3 supplementation will also provide you with all of the usual goodness you get from DHA and EPA intake. This includes improved memory and cognition, better heart health and enhanced mood.
Pure and Natural
It is impossible for pregnant women to meet their fatty acid requirements from omega-3-rich vegetable oils and 2 servings of seafood a week.Fish oil supplements provide a good dose of Omega-3, but the industry is killing millions of fish each year and depleting the oceans of fish at a rate which is unsustainable. What’s more, fish oil supplements are contaminated with mercury and microplastics which can be harmful to mother and put baby at risk.
At Bloom we’ve taken out the middle-man to extract DHA and EPA from their original and pure source – algae. We grow our own algae in purified pools of water in Switzerland, then extract its nutrients to provide you with a pure, natural and sustainable supplement.
By supplementing your diet with Bloom Omega-3 from algae, you can be confident that you and baby are getting the highest quality DHA and EPA, without being exposed to harmful toxins and pollutants. It’s the safe, convenient and reliable way to make sure you are both getting all that you need to thrive.
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Fleith M, Clandinin MT: Dietary PUFA for preterm and term infants: Review of clinical studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2005;45:205-229.
Muhlhausler, B., Gibson, R. and Makrides, M. (2011). The effect of maternal omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 LCPUFA) supplementation during pregnancy and/or lactation on body fat mass in the offspring: A systematic review of animal studies. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 85(2), pp.83-88.