The importance of fish oils during pregnancy
Omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA and EPA, are essential fatty acids that are found in fish foods and fish oil supplements. These fatty acids are “essential” as our bodies cannot make them, and we have to obtain them from a food or supplement source. EPA and DHA have many different roles in our bodies. They are necessary for healthy fetal development, making them exceptionally important during pregnancy. Many women are deficient in omega-3s, possibly due to the concern of mercury being found in some fish. To avoid this, supplements containing these essential fatty acids are becoming increasingly more important.
DHA is important in the development of a baby’s central nervous system, brain, and eyes. The brain and eyes of a baby undergo major development in the third trimester of pregnancy. During this time, lots of DHA can be found within the tissues of the retina and brain of the baby, showing the importance of essential fatty acids in the development of these organs. The amount of DHA the baby receives correlates with the amount of DHA the mother consumes making fish oil intake essential for pregnant women.
For the DHA to travel from the mum to the growing baby, it needs to travel through the placenta. EPA is important in assisting DHA to travel through the placenta to the fetus. EPA also assists the development of the baby’s heart and immune system.
Additionally, EPA and DHA have been shown to have important roles in reducing the risk of premature births as well as having anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The anti-inflammatory effects of DHA and EPA in the mother may be important in reducing the risk of the baby developing asthma and allergies.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids may help to lower blood pressure, which helps to reduce stress on the heart and kidneys. For pregnant women, this would reduce the risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia, premature births, and detachment of the placenta from the womb.
DHA is also thought to reduce the risk of postpartum depression and contribute to the composition of breast milk. This is of significance to pregnant women as DHA in breast milk contributes to a baby’s neurodevelopment for several months after birth. Ensuring you consume enough DHA through your diet and supplements can help to make sure that your baby receives enough in the breast milk for healthy brain development.
How much DHA and EPA should I have?
It is recommended that pregnant and lactating women should have at least 300-900 mg of EPA and DHA combined per day, with at least 300mg of this being DHA. However, 300 is the minimum as research has shown that higher doses (around 900mg) are associated with fewer preterm births.
The importance of vitamin D during pregnancy
Vitamin D is necessary for the development of healthy teeth and bones of a growing baby in the womb. Unfortunately, many pregnant women are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies can increase the risk of complications such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus which in turn, can negatively affect the baby.
It is recommended that pregnant women should have at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day. A dose of 800-1000 IU of vitamin D per day is sufficient to ensure that the baby will receive enough vitamin D as well.
The importance of vitamin A during pregnancy
Vitamin A plays an important role in fetal organ and bone development, as well as the immune system. Deficiencies in vitamin A may result in restriction of growth of the baby, premature delivery, and development of anemia in the pregnant woman. Vitamin A should be taken in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Rosita Real Food Supplements
In the recommended dose of Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil Liquid (5ml), you will get 1,293 mg of essential omega-3s. This includes 605 mg of DHA and 443 mg of EPA, ensuring you will have enough of both of these essential fatty acids for you and your baby. This supplement also contains 3900 IU (1,170 mcg) of vitamin A, which meets the recommended amount of vitamin A and is well within the safety limit.
There is also 395 IU of vitamin D in EVCLO liquid. To ensure you are getting enough vitamin D for you and your baby, foods such as red meat, liver, egg yolks should be consumed alongside this supplement.
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil Softgels (serving size of 3 softgels) contains 417 mg of omega-3s: 195 mg of DHA and 143 mg of EPA. To ensure you and your baby receive enough essential fatty acids foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and fish low in mercury such as salmon, canned tuna, and catfish are good options to have in addition to this supplement. EVCLO softgels also have 1260 IU (278mcg) of vitamin A and 127 IU of vitamin D. In addition to taking EVCLO softgels, you should also make sure you eat foods such as red meat, liver, egg yolks for optimal vitamin D levels as well as dairy products or green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale for vitamin A.
Rosita Premium Extra-Virgin Ratfish Liver Oil (recommended dose of 4-8 drops) contains vitamin E in addition to vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids like EVCLO softgels and liquid. Vitamin E provides additional support for the immune system and further helps to reduce inflammation and promote eye health.
The bottom line
Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), vitamin D, and vitamin A are essential for growing a happy and healthy baby, as well as maintaining your health. As always, check with your doctor or healthcare professional before starting any new supplements if you are pregnant, to make sure they are right for you. Rosita EVCLO liquid, EVCLO softgels, and RFLO liquid are all excellent additions to a balanced diet to help you and your baby be as happy and healthy as possible.