Daily vitamins are an important supplement for everyone, but they are especially important during pregnancy. Taking a prenatal vitamin is essential for both the mother and the developing child. A good prenatal vitamin contains three key ingredients:
- Iron: to help deliver oxygen to the baby and prevent anemia in the mother
- Folic acid: to help prevent neural tube defects
- Calcium: to help develop the baby’s bones and prevent bone loss in the mother
However, sometimes prenatal multivitamins are not enough on their own. Adding a fish oil supplement (a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acid) to your regimen can add a multitude of benefits. Unfortunately, the human body cannot produce Omega-3s on its own; these important and helpful building blocks must be obtained by diet or supplementation.
One very important Omega-3 found in fish oil is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and aids in brain, eye, and central nervous system development. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is another powerful Omega-3 that contributes to heart health, the immune system, and helps fight inflammation.
In the average diet, Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight blood clotting, inflammation, digestive issues, and migraines. They can also help lower blood pressure, balance hormones, and aid in allergic responses.
During pregnancy, the presence of Omega-3s is even more beneficial. Developing infants use most of their mother’s Omega-3 fatty acid for their own development and often leave her with Omega-3 deficiency. Taking extra fish oil can prevent this. For the mother, enough Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the risk preeclampsia and postpartum depression. It can also be a factor in preventing preterm labor and delivery. It also helps in the production of breastmilk. For the infant, it aids in eye and neuro development and is thought to help reduce the risk of developing allergies.
While Omega-3s are found in some vegetables and in fish, the safest and best way to obtain them is through fish oil pills. To find best fish oil, check:
- The manufacturing process to be sure it is sustainable and pure.
- The smell; if it is too “fishy,” it may be starting to go rancid. High quality fish oil will not smell.
- The taste; again, too “fishy” is a telltale sign of low quality and of an oil turning rancid.
Fish oil is one of the best ways to absorb Omega-3 fatty acids and their health benefits, and it should certainly be part of a prenatal vitamin routine.