Through the years, expectant mothers are insisted on consuming of a rich portion of proteins in their daily intake. However recently, with the deemed importance of fatty acids on fetal health, Omega-3 fatty acid is a new inclusion to the existing list.
During the pregnancy phase, the maternal nutrition is transferred to the baby in the womb through the placenta. The amount of Omega-3 DHA the baby gets is merely dependent on the amount ingested by the mother and her reserve in the system. DHA is the nutrient required for the brain development of the baby.
A study done by US Department of Health and Human Services Dietary Guidelines recommends expectant and nursing mothers to ingest a weekly dose of 225-350 grams of seafood that contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Several other studies have also confirmed the correlation of Omega-3 DHA with the proper development of brain and retina. It has been proven that during the third-trimester vast amount of DHA is infiltrated in certain fetal tissues and the two areas where maximal infiltrate concentrations are found is in the brain and retina of the baby.
DHA supplementation for mothers during pregnancy showed better problem-solving skills in children. The cognitive assessment in children also revealed significantly higher scores in relevance with eye and hand coordination. 85% of deaths of the normally formed infants through preterm delivery was triggered by lower levels of this fatty acid. The supplementation of this nutrient also reduced the incidence of preterm delivery and various infant diseases leading to lesser infant mortality. Thus, it is inferred that for a normal pregnancy, sufficient levels of Omega-3 DHA is needed.
When a combination of EPA & DHA was administered to a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, the nutrient protects her baby against allergies as they grow up. This is due to the property of fish oil in decreasing the level of inflammation in the body and boost the immune response.
Talking about heart health, DHA is essential for maintaining normal levels of triglycerides, heart rate and blood pressure, say claims. Thus, with all the above-listed benefits of this particular nutrient, pregnant and nursing mothers should check the level of Omega-3 DHA in their bodies. If the levels are found to be low, supplementing this essential nutrient can yield the peak of health for their babies.