fish oil pregnancy

Did You Know?

Before, during, and after pregnancy, Omega 3 fatty acids are critical to a fetuses development

Fish Oil and Pregnancy

Government and numerous medical agencies in many countries recommend that pregnant women, breastfeeding women and women who plan to become pregnant strictly monitor the amount of fish that they are ingesting. Fresh water fish and many ocean fish contain dangerously high levels of mercury, and mercury is harmful to everyone, but more so to fetuses and infants.

Women should avoid eating shark, mackerel, tile fish, mahi mahi, fresh water fish, tuna, and swordfish. These fish contain the highest levels of mercury. Instead, women who do enjoy seafood should switch to catfish, pollock, shrimp, and salmon. Even then, they should limit themselves to no more than 12 ounces per week.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Helps Cells Grow

Mercury can be found in oceans, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and all other water sources. The metal enters the environment through fires, manufacturing plant emissions, and more. During a pregnancy, a fetus develops at a rather high rate of speed. Because mercury travels in the bloodstream, the mercury easily enters the placenta and then travels into the fetus's blood. As the fetus's brain is still developing, the mercury is able to enter the brain but a fetus lacks the proper functions to then rid itself of the mercury. As the mercury sits in the brain, it damages the growth of cells in the cerebellum and in the cerebral cortex. Many fetuses will then die, but those who survive usually are born with cerebral palsy, seizures, frequent muscle spasms, vision problems, and problems with movements.

At the same time, Omega 3 Fatty Acids help cells grow, making them increasingly helpful in preventing many other birth defects. Studies show that with women who take Omega-3 supplements during pregnancy, the fetuses thrive. Women who are deficient in one fatty acid, DHA, that is created by Omega-3 have a higher risk of giving birth to a child with vision problems and ADHD. For this reason, it is important for women to take Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements. Eating seafood is risky, but high-quality Omega-3 supplements can be mercury free.

Find a Safe Dosage

A safer source of Omega 3 comes from flax seeds and walnuts. Unless a pregnant woman is allergic to nuts, she can safely add these Omega 3 to her diet to help aid her fetus's growth without risk of mercury poisoning. This is usually the method that makes new-mom's feel better, but it isn't necessary.

Before, during, and after pregnancy, Omega 3 fatty acids are critical to a fetuses development. Talk to your Obstetrician/Gynaecologist to find a safe dosage and ask for a list of brands that are certain to be mercury free. There is no need to risk your fetuses life by skipping the pills completely, especially with so many safe fish oil supplements on the market.