Omega 3 Fats: Alternative medicine during pregnancy

“The demands on a woman’s body during pregnancy often leave her feeling depleted, physically and emotionally,” says, and “depression is common among pregnant women.” However, care-takers have expressed concern about the possible harmful effects of anti-depressants on both mother and child, and so the search is on for an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

A possible lead appeared when researchers at China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan noted that depression is often associated with lower levels of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). So Dr. Kuan-Pin Su and colleagues performed a study to test this out, and found that two thirds of the women consuming PUFAs showed significant improvement, compared with 27 per cent of the control group.  “The best news came when researchers noted the absence of negative effects on either mothers or their newborn babies. A few mothers experienced minor stomach upset the first few days while their systems got used to the new substances.”

NaturalNews goes on to say that,  “In an effort to provide for the baby’s needs, a woman may lose 3 percent of her brain mass during the last trimester.” (Side point: I knew it! I always said that, in addition to making me forgetful, each pregnancy makes me a tad less intelligent than I used to be. No, seriously! I wasn’t always like this…) This loss is also thought to be responsible for postpartum depression.

The American Chronicle claims that Omega-3s consumed during pregnancy are also beneficial for the baby, assisting with the development of baby’s brain, nervous system, and the retinal tissue of the eyes.  If you want to go back further, the benefits of PUFAs begin even before conception. Omega-3 oils are required to produce healthy and vigorous eggs and sperm.

It is worth noting that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obsterticians and Gynocologists cautions women in regards to certain nutritional suppliments. “There is a deficiency of high quality evidence that would support the use of other nutritional suppliments in pregnancy eg. omega 3-fatty acids. In the absence of such evidence, the best advice would be to avoid such suppliments, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy, where any unanticipated adverse effects would be most likely to occur.” The safest thing to do is to consume your omega 3’s as part of a nutritious diet, including things such as whole flax seed, certain types of fish, spices, nuts, and soy products.

For more information on Omega-3’s and what foods you can eat to incorporate them into you diet, visit

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