Omega 3 supplements during pregnancy benefits are balances production of prostaglandins, safe pregnancy and labor, prevent mood disorders, improved immunity in the infants and fetal development.
Right from the day you receive a positive pregnancy test to the breastfeeding stage Omega 3 is one of the most important nutrients to keep the mother as well the baby happy and healthy as it plays certain crucial roles in the growth and development of the baby. Omega 3 is basically of three types, that is, alpha-linolenic acid(ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid(DHA). The main sources of omega 3 for pregnant women are trout, salmon and mackerel. The daily recommended dosage of omega-3 fatty acids for pregnant women should be 650mg, of which 300mg is DHA.
Around 20% of our brain is made up of omega 3 and DHA which is a supplement of Omega 3 contributes in the growth and development of the eyes and brain. Along with many more such benefits, omega 3 also has some side effects during pregnancy. So, let us explore a bit deeper into the benefits and side effects of Omega 3.
All You Need to Know About Omega 3 Supplements during Pregnancy
Benefits of Omega 3 supplements
Balances production of prostaglandins
Prostaglandins are responsible for regulating the blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation and allergic responses, gastrointestinal and kidney functioning, hormone production and nerve transmission of your body. Omega 3 supplements help you to keep the level of prostaglandins in a balanced state.
Safe pregnancy and labor
Pregnancy is a very crucial situation and this beautiful aspect of your life can be eclipsed by preeclampsia and preterm labour. The intake of Omega-3 supplements lowers the risk of such problems and also manages the weight.
Prevent mood disorders
Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are a macronutrient which are very essential for the body. Several studies implicate that omega-3 fatty acids are important in the treatment and development of several mental illness, including mood and anxiety disorders. EPA and DHA are considered a support to positive mood, well-being during the pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Improved immunity in the infants
The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 are very strong, so they are a great help in strengthening the newborn’s immunity. Thus, building a strong immune system against allergies, flu, common cold and other immune-mediated diseases.
The proper development of the fetus is also boosted by omega-3. Mothers who get a supplement of omega-3 through fish oil have babies with better developed brain and better hand-eye coordination.
So, these are some significant benefits of omega -3 supplements. They suggest that the intake of omega-3 stands inevitable. But, there are certain problems related to it which make make you question your choice or rather warn you against some issues that may arise.
Side effects of omega 3 supplements
High or low blood pressure
Studies have shown that the increased level of omega 3 fatty acids in the blood can increase the blood sugar level in people who are suffering from diabetes. A large dose of omega 3 can stimulate the production of glucose as it can lead to high level blood sugar level for a long time. It has also be noticed that omega 3 can also lower the blood pressure in the body if it interacts with the blood pressure lowering medicines, so you must consult the doctor if you are suffering from any such problem.
Excess of omega 3 taken in form of fish oil can cause nose bleeding and bleeding gums. Many studies have concluded that adolescents who regularly take in 3-5 gm of fish oil have nose bleeding problem. This happens because the intake of large amount of fish oil which is a primary source of omega 3 leads to blood clotting, thus bleeding in the gums and through nose.
Upset stomach, that is, diarrhea is inevitable if you are taking fish oil as a supplement of omega 3. It occurs mainly if the dose of omega 3 supplements is high. It is one of the common side effects along with flatulence. So, if you experience any such problem, you must make sure that you take the supplement only during meals and reduce the dosage of the supplement.
Heat burn is one of the most reported side effects of omega 3 supplements mainly fish oil. Along with this are some other symptoms of acid reflux, such as, belching, nausea and stomach discomfort. This is basically due to the high fat level in the body. So as to relieve these symptoms, you must moderate the dose and take it only with meals. In order to combat indigestion, you can split your dose into smaller parts and take it twice a day.
Vitamin A toxicity
Several types of omega 3 fatty acid supplements are high in vitamin A, which can lead to toxification, if taken in large amount. Vitamin A toxicity comes with side effects such as dizziness, nausea, joint pain and skin irritation which do not last long. The long-term damages caused by vitamin A toxicity is liver damage or liver failure in fatal cases. So, to save yourself from extra trouble, you must always check the Vitamin A content of any omega 3 supplement that you take. Cod liver oil has high amount of Vitamin A. Beware!
So, these were the benefits and side effects related to omega 3 supplements. Generally, omega 3 is safe during pregnancy, but you must inform your doctor about the source of omega 3 you are taking. You must always take in omega 3 in the purest form. Also, the dosage and additional content in each supplement of omega 3 should be analysed before use. Beware! Happy parenting!