During pregnancy, the mother has to not only take care of her growing nutritional needs but also the foetus’s. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to take supplements along with nutritional food at regular intervals to maintain a healthy pregnancy. There are several reasons why Omega 3 during pregnancy can be a great idea. But first, let us dig deeper into the importance of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Understanding Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that must be taken separately as our bodies are unable to make them. A group of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids are important for several functions of the body. Mainly, three types of omega 3 fatty acids are crucial to maintain optimum health in human beings. They are α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Marine fishes like salmon and anchovies are good sources of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Plant oils such as soybean oil, walnut oil, canola oil, and flaxseed oil are rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA). It is also a very common practice to acquire omega 3 fatty acids through dietary supplements.
Making oily fish a part of diet at least twice to thrice a week is enough to satisfy a person’s omega 3 fatty acid requirement. This becomes particularly challenging for people who are vegetarians or who do not like to consume seafood items to get their dose of omega 3 fatty acids. Fortunately, a lot of alternatives are available in the market for them. People who don’t like consuming seafood items for the fishy aftertaste may consume omega 3 fatty acids in the form of capsules.
α-linolenic acid (ALA) can be consumed by people who are vegetarians. α-linolenic acid (ALA) supplements are available in the market as well but are a little more expensive than eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Omega 3 Pregnancy Benefits
Listed below are some of the reasons why you must take Omega 3 during your pregnancy:
1. Aids in Foetal Development
Taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy promotes foetal nervous system development by ensuring that the right nutrients reach the foetus through the mother’s blood in the right quantity.
2. Healthy Birth Weight of Baby
Consuming omega 3 fatty acid supplements from the twelfth week of pregnancy helps in ensuring that the birth weight of the baby is not too less. Low birth weight makes babies vulnerable to several illnesses. They have a hard time fighting infections and are also unable to regulate their body temperature due to very low body fat.
3. Regulating the Right Type of Prostaglandins
During pregnancy, several types of prostaglandins are produced but it is essential to make sure that each prostaglandin is produced in the right quantity. Otherwise, it may lead to prostaglandin imbalance. Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy help in regulating these prostaglandins.
4. Increased Breast Milk Production
Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are also taken to promote the production of breastmilk. Breast milk is essential for newborn babies to develop immunity and keep diseases at bay.
5. Reduced Risk of Postpartum Mental Disorders
Mental disorders like postpartum depression and postpartum mood disorders are common in new mothers. Mood swings are also common in pregnant women. Regularly consuming Omega 3 during pregnancy to satisfy the body’s heightened requirement of nutrition is a great way of alleviating mood disorders during pregnancy and after delivering the baby.
6. Reduced Risk of Cardiac Diseases in the Newborn Baby
Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in preventing cardiac diseases. Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy reduces the risk of the foetus developing cardiac issues.
Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely important and should be consumed during pregnancy along with the other nutritional supplements to satisfy the growing needs of the body as it begins providing for two. There are several positive effects of consuming Omega 3 during pregnancy, including low risk of cardiac issues in the unborn foetus and increased breast milk production after delivery. It is an essential nutrient that cannot be produced by the body on its own, thus, it has to be taken separately.