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Nursing Mothers Need Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Aug 17, 2007
Do you know why pregnant and nursing women should supplement their diet with omega 3 fatty acids each day?

Well, the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are found only in salmon and other fatty fish, are vital for the optimum growth and development of her growing baby.

It's a proven fact that women who eat fatty fish on a regular basis increase their chances of having a full term, higher birth weight baby with a fully mature brain, better vision and a fully developed central nervous system.

And, after the birth, the baby's need for DHA and EPA continues. These omega 3 fatty acids are responsible for the early development of a newborn baby's brain, retina and central nervous system.

Did you know that an infant's brain continues to grow and develop rapidly for the first year after birth? In fact, it triples in size during this time. And 70% of this rapidly growing brain is made up of DHA and EPA.

That's why the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommend that all pregnant and lactating women eat fatty fish at least 2 times a week. Alternatively, they could supplement their diet with a pure fish oil supplement that provides a combined total of 1 gram per day of DHA and EPA.

But here in the United States, 85% of women are deficient in these vital omega 3 oils. And nearly 20% are so low that DHA and EPA cannot be detected in their blood at all.

So, if Mom is deficient in the omega 3s, her baby isn't getting the brain food it needs to be healthy and smart.

Pregnant women in the U.S. are told it's important to eat a balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins, containing adequate amounts of iron, calcium and folic acid. But that's about it.

Very few expectant and nursing mothers are ever told by their physician to take omega 3 fish oil supplements. Why this is so, I have no idea. But I suspect that it'll change in the future.

In the meantime, the only way baby can get these essential oils is from the mother's diet or supplementation. That's why so many pregnant and nursing mothers who want to have healthier, happier, smarter babies take personal responsibility for getting more fish oil omega 3 fatty acids in their diet.

Fish and fish oil are healthy foods. Even mercury contamination isn't a threat if you avoid eating large predator fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and white snapper (tilefish).

In fact, a recent Harvard School of Public Health research study concluded that fish oil health benefits, especially for pregnant and nursing mothers, far outweigh any perceived threat of mercury toxicity. So that's not a concern anyone needs to worry about.

So, if you're pregnant or nursing and want a smart, healthy baby, eat more fatty fish on a regular basis and take a high quality fish oil supplement. And, if you're not nursing, you can squeeze a little fish oil with DHA into your baby's formula.

Fish oil is essential for your child's health and well being. Make sure they get enough.
About the Author
Interested in learning more about the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids and foods containing omega 3 fatty acids? You can learn more at http://www.omega-3.us.
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