Why Pregnant Women Need More Omega-3

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When you?re pregnant, no doubt you want to do what?s best for your body and baby. But did you know that many expectant mothers aren't getting enough omega-3?

Recent research from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta found that most pregnant women aren't consuming enough omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 LCPUFA) for optimal health.

Why do pregnant women need omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely essential when expecting a child. And they are something we can only get from our diet. But while the best source of omega-3 is oily fish, pregnant women have to restrict their seafood intake.

That's why health authorities strongly recommend increasing your intake of:

Fatty fish ? at least 2 servings each week of low-mercury fish Fish oil supplements Vegetable oils

But why are omega-3 fatty acids so important? Because they are essential to foetal brain development and ensuring a healthy birth weight. They are also imperative to the growth of the central nervous system.

How much omega-3 fatty acids do pregnant women need?

Most health associations agree that adults need a minimum of 500 miligrams per day of omega-3.

In Europe, pregnant women are specifically advised to get at least 200 miligrams of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

What did the omega 3 study find?

The study investigated 600 women during and after their pregnancy, to see if their omega 3 levels met the recommended levels.

Alarmingly, only 27% of the pregnant women and 25% of the postpartum women met the DHA recommendations.

Interestingly, the research revealed that pregnant women who took omega-3 supplements were up to 11 times more likely to meet the recommendations. But many women stopped taking supplements after giving birth, which means they missed out on crucial postpartum nutrition during breastfeeding.

Are you getting enough omega-3

The take away here is that most pregnant women don't get enough omega-3 for the healthy development and growth of their baby.

If you're unsure if you're getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, see your health professional and look into omega-3 supplements and eating an appropriate amount of healthy, fatty fish.

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