Most women take folic acid, follow a healthy diet and generally avoid certain foods during pregnancy, but did you know that Omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role when it comes to a baby’s growth and development?
DHA which is a type of Omega 3, is imperative for proper development of babies’ brains and eyes. The human brain consists of 60% fat and more or less 20% of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Another great benefit of Omega 3 is that it can reduce the risk of your baby suffering from eczema or allergies.
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Why should I consider taking Omega 3 supplements?
Omega 3 is usually consumed by the body when eating oil fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or tuna fish.
Most doctors will advise pregnant mothers to lessen their intake of fish due to the risk of exposing your unborn baby to pollutants such as mercury, PCBs and dioxins and when you’re experiencing morning sickness, cravings and signs of fatigue, the last thing you might want to eat will be fish. That’s why it is a good idea to rather opt for a fish oil supplement when pregnant.
Make sure you choose one that is DHA and EPA rich. Cod liver oil is not always a good idea, as it is taken from the fish liver making it rich in Vitamin A but contains less Omega 3s.
When should I start taking Omega 3 supplements?
Ideally, it is best if you start taking Omega 3 a few months prior to conceiving, as the will allow the body to build up and store essential fatty acids, as this is something that you’ll be needing since day one. The brain and nervous system are the first things to develop in a tiny embryo, therefore it is paramount to take Omega 3 in the first trimester of pregnancy. Being pregnant can reduce the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in your body and this is a factor that is linked to development of postnatal depression. It is highly recommended to take Omega 3 throughout the pregnancy as well as afterwards.
How much Omega 3 should women take during pregnancy?
The minimum dietary goal of DHA in pregnant women is 300g. Omega 3 capsule usually contain the right amount that is safe for women to take during their pregnancy. As with any other medication, it is important not to exceed your intake and stick to the recommended dosage.
There is a great selection of products available on the market today. How will you know which are the best omega 3 supplements pregnancy related?
X Best Omega 3 Supplements for Pregnancy
- One fish two fish prenatal DHA dietary supplement
- Ultra-pure and superior triglyceride and not a semi-synthetic oil as the case is with other brands.
- Effective for reducing the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Formulated by a neurologist for the purpose of providing the correct dose to assist with eye and brain development for your baby.
- The product is made from 100% wild caught anchovy fish and is safe for both mom and baby.
- The soft gel capsules are easily swallowed and are lemon flavoured, ideal for women that have sensitive palates and that are experiencing extreme morning sickness and nausea during their first trimester.
- The product is free of ascorbyl palmitate, soy, GMOs, gluten, dairy, preservatives, dairy, sugar and artificial colours or flavours.
- Contains 60 soft gel capsules.
- Brilliant DHA dietary supplement
- The product is made from natural ingredients and contains the purest DHA & EPA and a high concentration of triglycerides (90+ %).
- Free from any synthetic ether esters unlike most fish oils.
- The soft gel capsules are healthy for mom and baby as it is free of toxins, mercury, PCBs and other possible contaminants relating to consuming fish during pregnancy.
- One capsule to be swallowed once daily and are not conductive to causing heartburn, fish-burps, constipation or nausea.
- Product is made from high-quality ingredients which is also therapeutically-active and the DHA is derived from wild caught fish and the bioavailable nutrient content keeps babies and moms healthy and balanced.
- The DHA supplement is manufactured by a clinical nutritionist and certified nurse midwife with sixteen years of experience background.
- Contains 6- soft gel capsules.
- Natural Factors RxOmega-3 pharmaceutical grade fish oil
- Ultra-strength RxOmega-3 contains high potency of DHA and EPA to support overall health conditions including foetal development, immune function and heart health.
- The product is manufactured with stringent quality control standards to ensure a concentrated and highly purified fish oil that is free from mercury and other toxic environmental contaminants.
- Manufactured by Dr. Michael Murray, an accomplished authority and manufacturer of natural medicine.
- Contains 150 soft gel Entripure capsules.
- Xtend life Omega 3/ DHA Dietary supplement
- This product is an all-natural Omega 3/DHA fish oil formula containing Omega 3 fatty acids including DHA which is vital for overall health and vitality.
- Containing high levels of EPA and DHA which is recommended for healthy brain development and growth in children.
- Other benefits of Omega 3s:
- Great for boosting circulation.
- Increasing mental clarity.
- Managing inflammation.
- Assisting with quality learning (including behaviour, reading and memory) and sleeping abilities.
- Supporting brain health.
- This product is safe and free from microbiological impurities.
- Contains 120 soft gel capsules.
- Saha Ultra-pure natural Omega 3 fish oil
- This product is highly absorbable and molecularly distilled for purity.
- The special enteric-coated surrounding the capsules protects the stomach and prevent gastric juices from dissolving the soft gel in the stomach which means you won’t be stuck with fish burps all day.
- The product contains EPA & DHA and is gluten and cholesterol free.
- For every bottle sold, a packet of food is supplied to children that suffers from malnutrition.
- Contains 90 soft gel capsules.
- Rainbow light prenatal DHA Smart essentials Omega 3 Fatty Acids (2 x 60 Soft gel packs)
- Prenatal Omega 3 fatty Acid supplement for promoting neurological development of babies.
- Benefits relating to baby: DHA may also prevent allergies, promote better sleep and support your baby’s immune system, respiratory and cardiac systems.
- Benefits relating to Mom: this supplement contains ultra-pure fish oil and DHA that can enhance the quality of your breast milk, prevent postpartum depression as well as support healthy labour
- The soft gels are easy to digest with no fish-burps or fishy smell.
- Made from sustainable, wild deep ocean fish that are molecularly distilled for purity and the product is tested for toxins.
- The product’s citrus scent is attributed by orange peel essential oil which makes it palatable for pregnant women plus it supports digestion.
- Made from natural ingredients and contains no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavouring or colouring and is vegetarian.
- OmegaVia DHA 600
- Ultra-pure and contains no mercury.
- Contains 600mg DHA per tablet.
- Recommended for use three months prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
- OmegaVia is the ideal choice for expecting Moms.
- The tablets have an enteric coating which prevents any unfavourable odours.
- This product is IFOS 5-star certified and purified to contain no mercury.
- Made in the US.
- Contain 120 Capsules.
- Nutra Champs Omega 3 fish oil
- Made from freshly caught fish from coastal sea waters.
- Contains EPA & DHA.
- The product is ultra-pure and molecularly distilled, therefore containing no harmful contaminants, heavy metals or mercury.
- Made from natural lemon flavour ensuring no fishy burps.
- This product supports a healthy heart and brain as it lowers the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and improves blood vessel health.
What are possible symptoms of an Omega 3 fatty acids deficiency?
- Dry skin
- Dull or lifeless hair
- Brittle and weak nails
- Joint pain
- Poor concentration
Do fish oil supplements smell fishy?
One of the best ways to determine if a fish oil supplement is of a lesser quality is the smell. Fish oil supplements must not smell fishy. A fishy odour may be an indication that you’re about to take a low-quality supplement that can be potentially harmful to you and your baby.
What are possible side-effects of taking too much Omega 3?
It is vital to stick to the recommended daily dosage of Omega 3. As with any other supplement or drug, you can experience serious side-effects when you do not read the instructions on the enclosed leaflet or on the bottle and stick to them.
Have a look at the list possible side-effects of taking too much Omega 3:
- High blood sugar
Although scientific evidence was not conclusive, there was a concern that taking too high doses of omega-3 fatty acids can incite glucose production which may cause high blood sugar.
Two of the most obvious side-effects of taking too much Omeg-3 fatty acids are bleeding gums and nosebleeds. Consuming large amounts of fish oil may obstruct blood clot formation which can cause these symptoms.
- Low blood sugar
Studies found that fish oil can lower blood pressure especially with people that has high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels which is certainly beneficial. But for people suffering from low blood pressure it can cause serious health problems. Blood pressure-lowering medications might interact with fish oil; therefore, it is essential to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements if you are on medication for high blood pressure.
One of the most well-known adverse effects of fish oil or flaxseed oil are symptoms of diarrhoea and other digestive symptoms i.e. flatulence.
Ensure that you are taking your supplements with meals, but if the symptoms persist, consider decreasing the dosage.
- Acid Reflux
Although fish oil has beneficial effects on the heart, people have reported experiencing heartburn after taking fish oil supplements.
Other acid reflux symptoms that can be experience due to the high fat content of fish oil are:
- Stomach discomfort
Sticking to a low dose and taking your supplements with meals may lower the symptoms of acid reflux. Or alternatively, you can split the dose in smaller portions throughout the course of the day.
- Haemorrhagic stroke
Animal studies found that there is a link between high omeg-3 fatty acids and increasing the risk of a haemorrhagic stroke. A haemorrhagic stroke happens with bleeding in the brain that is caused by weakened blood vessels that ruptured.
Further human studies need to be conducted to establish whether a high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids can cause a haemorrhagic stroke in humans.
- Vitamin A envenomed
Certain kinds of Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (for instance, cod liver oil) contains a high amount of vitamin A which can be toxic when taken in large amounts. Pregnant women should not take Omega-3 supplements that contains a high amount of vitamin A, as it is not safe for the baby or themselves.
Side-effects of Vitamin A toxicity include:
- Joint pain
- Skin irritation
Long-term it can also lead to liver failure in more serious cases.
During some studies it was found that taking modest quantities of fish oil can improve sleep quality, especially with children.
However, a high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids supplements can have the opposite affect and can be conductive to insomnia.
In one particular case study it was found that taking too much fish oil aggravated the symptoms of insomnia and anxiety in a patient with a history of depression.
Omega-3 is a vital part of your diet and supplements such as fish oil can have an array of benefits associated with them.
Fish oil and flax oil have been found to assist in regulating hormones in the body, increasing cervical mucus, promoting ovulation and overall improving the quality of the uterus with increased blood flow to the reproductive organs. Therefore, it is recommended for people struggling with infertility.
Even women that are not struggling with infertility can reap the benefits of taking Omega-3 supplements prior to pregnancy as it allows the body to store amino fatty acids which is much needed with development of the nervous system and brain in the tiny embryo.
Just remember to stick to the recommended daily dosage to avoid unfavourable and possibly harmful side-effects.