I will give you a moment to get the always catchy 90’s Salt-N-Pepa tune out of your head, while we talk about all the good things and the awesome things EPA and DHA can bring!… Ok that didn’t quite help did it, we shall digress…

EPA and DHA—the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil—are crucial throughout life, but especially during pregnancy, when a woman’s demand for DHA in particular increases substantially. DHA comprises approximately a substantial portion of the fatty tissue in the brain and eyes. That’s why DHA is among the most important nutrients for pregnant and lactating women. The DHA ingested by the mother sets the foundation for her baby’s developing brain, eyes, and nervous system. DHA also provides mood and nerve support for the mother.

While it is VITAL to have a balanced diet, being physically fit and healthy as well as taking other nutritional supplements for pregnancy support, let’s have a look at how Omega 3 plays a major part from preconception to birth:

Getting Prepared

Omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oil are an important strategy in enhancing female fertility and carrying a pregnancy to term. Chronic inflammation and infection are involved in female infertility in cases related to endometriosis and pelvic infections. Reducing inflammation and enhancing the immune system is a vital aspect of treating these conditions and in supporting the implantation of the embryo in the uterus. Omega-3 essential fatty acids play a critical role in these anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating mechanisms.

It Takes Two To Tango

Studies have shown that fertile men have higher blood and spermatozoa levels of omega-3 PUFAs compared with the infertile counterparts. Also, the serum omega- 6/omega-3 PUFAs ratio was significantly higher in infertile men. Therefore omega 6/omega 3 ratio in spermatozoa cell membrane has utmost importance in maintaining normal sperm integrity and function.  By eating fewer omegas 6 foods and increasing the omega 3 levels this will increase healthy sperm and therefore chances of conception. –> Click Here For The Full Study

Bring Back The Va-Va-Voom In The Bedroom!

Although it is quite common during the menopause, younger women can see their libido diminish as a result of stress, an unhealthy diet, weight gain, psychological or other problems. During pregnancy, it is common for women to take fish oil supplements to support the neurological development of the baby, but you may be surprised to learn that a taking omega 3 can also enhance a woman’s sex drive. The omega-3 fatty acids have a multitude of health benefits and have been proven to boost cardiovascular health, lower triglycerides, and increase dopamine production – all factors which may also contribute to a raised libido.

Pregnancy

A woman’s demand for DHA increases significantly during pregnancy and her reserves will remain low for 9–12 months after delivery unless her diet is supplemented. World’s leading experts on lipids conclude that during pregnancy and lactation women must ensure a minimum DHA intake of 300 mg daily. But what about all the information about NOT eating fish during pregnancy?…

Is Fish Oil Safer Than Eating Fish When I Am Pregnant?

Fish Oil is a safe and natural source of DHA ideal for pregnancy and nursing. Making sure you take a high quality fish oil product is vital to ensure that it has been carefully processed to remove environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, PCBs, and Dioxins. While it does not need to be eliminated from your diet, you do need to be careful with what sources of fish you do choose to eat while pregnancy. If you are concerned, studies have concluded that Fish Oil may be a healthier source of DHA than fish because environmental toxins can be removed from fish oil.

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Fish Oil During Pregnancy?

Trials on omega-3 fatty acids conducted in pregnant women have shown a significant reduction in the incidence of premature delivery. In one such study, fish oil was investigated for its effects on pregnancy duration, birth weight, intrauterine growth restriction, and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation of 2.7 grams per day was compared to olive oil and/or no supplement. The fish oil-supplemented pregnancies lasted four days longer and birth weight was 107 grams greater.

Importance Of Taking DHA Post-Birth

A woman’s demand for DHA increases during pregnancy. Research shows that DHA rapidly accumulates during the last trimester of pregnancy (beginning around week 26), and continues for the first two years of life. After delivery, a mother’s level of DHA can remain low as breast-feeding transfers her stores of DHA to the breast milk for the continued development of her baby’s delicate systems. Multiple pregnancies, especially those that are close together, also deplete the mother’s store of essential omega-3s. This is why it is also important to continue to take DHA post-birth and while breast feeding.

Healthy Bub

Cod liver oil supplementation in pregnancy and post-delivery has also been shown to improve mental processing in children. In one published study, children whose mothers had taken cod liver oil during pregnancy and lactation scored higher on tests at age four as compared to children whose mothers had taken a corn oil placebo. It has even been proposed that dietary DHA played a significant role in the evolutionary expansion of the human brain!

Guest Author - Alex Hills

GradCertEvidCompMed, BMedsMgmentProfHonsCM, BHSci (Comp Med), AdvDipNat, AdvDipWHM

Alex is a qualified naturopath and has been in the natural medicine field for over a decade in Australia. During this time, she has had the opportunity to experience almost every aspect of the industry.

She has been in clinical practice, vitamins manager at a pharmacy, marketing coordinator for an organic skin care company as well as actively involved in natural health practitioner training from within an area manager’s role.

This diverse experience helps her ability to deliver high-quality content and cutting-edge research to consumers in a simple and relatable manner.