Fish oil is known to provide health benefits to just about everyone. What many pregnant women do not know is that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can provide them with additional health benefits. Taking a fish oil supplement and/or eating small amounts of fish is a great way to take advantage of these health benefits. Here is a list of some of the health benefits of fish oil during pregnancy.
Fish Oil Helps a Developing Baby
A developing baby can benefit from consuming fish oil. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help with visual, cognitive and neurological development. It plays an essential role in nervous system development. Also note that getting an adequate amount of omega-3 can reduce the risk of the baby experiencing allergens as an infant.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and a Healthy Pregnancy
Taking fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications. Women who take fish oil are less likely to experience premature labor or give birth to low weight babies, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Pre-eclampsia is also less likely to occur among women who consume omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy.
Fish Oil Benefits Women After Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, women who consume omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil are less likely to experience postpartum depression after they give birth. Women who are breastfeeding will also benefit from taking fish oil, as omega-3 fatty acids help with the production of breast milk. Since women become less deficient in omega-3 each time they become pregnant, this may explain why some do not experience postpartum depression until a second or third pregnancy.
Choosing a Fish Oil Supplement
It is important to note that just like eating fish, there is a slight risk of exposure to mercury or other contaminants. Taking a supplement is considered to be a safer alternative to eating fish for those who wish to get a regular amount of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil in their diets, however. Pregnant women – and anyone who takes fish oil, for that matter – should opt for fish oil supplements which are considered safe. For a list of the safest fish oil supplements on the market, be sure to visit the Environmental Defense Fund.
There are undoubtedly a number of health benefits associated with fish oil during pregnancy. Since many women do not get the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids while they are pregnant, it is ideal for them to consider taking a fish oil supplement. Not only will they benefit themselves, but they will benefit their developing babies.
American Pregnancy Association, “Omega-3 Fish Oil and Pregnancy.”