Thursday, March 8, 2012

Adding Omega-3's to my prenatal supplement regime

So I'm taking prenatal vitamins, and extra folic acid, vitamin D, and calcium -- everything my nutritionist recommended. This week, after doing some reading, I've added DHA & EPA Omega-3 fatty acid tablets.

Dr. Sears from our baby book says: "DHA is the most important brain-building nutrient at all ages, especially during pregnancy and the pre-school years when the child's brain is growing the fastest."

Right now our son's brain is developing rapidly and I'd like to give him all the advantages I can. DHA supplements are being recommended for women during Third Trimester and breastfeeding. Studies show that children of women who took supplements during third trimester and breastfeeding have IQs 10 points higher than control subjects, have better attention spans, etc. It also seems that taking DHA helps reduce postpartum depression.

It is difficult to get DHA via dietary means when I'm pregnant and breastfeeding because the best sources of DHA (Omega-3 fatty acids) are oily fishes and organ meats -- things most women avoid during pregnancy because of the bio-accumulation of toxins like mercury and PCBs in the big fish and animal organs. I've all but eliminated tuna from my diet, and while I still have salmon and cod on occasion, it's not enough.

I used to take fish oil capsules a few years ago, but I found the fishy aftertaste and the fish-burps unbearable. And with supplements made from fish oil, I'm still concerned about toxins. Fortunately, I found an alternative: DHA from the same place that fish get it. Algae.

I'll keep taking it for the next 6 months or so.

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