Tips for Nutrition When Pregnant: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your developing baby eats what you eat and it’s important to decrease the risk of chronic conditions that could show up when he or she is grown. There is no other time so important as when carrying a baby for the best health when pregnant. You are putting into your body the building blocks for your baby.
You must have the iron and calcium including brain building fats for your baby. And when you nurse, you must be a purist with food now too.
Be sure you get lots of iron, calcium, and the right fats for a healthy brain for your baby.
If you are feeling down and a bit blue having the blahs associated with pregnancy, get yourself a light therapy lamp or seasonal affective disorder SAD light.
What Are the Right Fats?
For the developing fetus’s brain and nervous system that is 60% of its dry weight, you will need the good fats. The nerves for the baby’s nervous system are insulated for messages and connections between the brain to carry out the body’s functions. For instance, if you are lacking in the good fats, such things such as learning issues, tremors, developmental delays, strokes, autism, and seizures can occur and you don’t want that to happen. Eating the proper fats when pregnant not only helps mom carry the baby, but gives her baby an advantage for a healthy life.
Worse Fats for the Brain and Nervous System
Of course, you want to know which fats are best and which ones are bad when pregnant. There are major differences and we’ve all heard about trans fats and unsaturated fats. These are not good or healthy for anyone. Trans fats are those that are called unsaturated and they become hard at room temperature. They cause all sorts of problems for everyone because they harden our arteries and interfere with nerve communication. These are most readily available in packaged processed food at the grocery, in fried foods, fast food, and all junk food. They are in French fries at chains for fast food. The boxes on the grocer’s shelves with trans-fat are chips, crackers, dried cereals—all to keep them crisp and fresh and to keep the moisture in those lovely cakes and scrumptious donuts. The best way to eat these days is like our earlier generations—from our homegrown gardens. The hydrogenated name on the label means it has trans-fat. Always read the labels. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) tells us that there is no safe amount of trans fat to ingest due to the damage these fats create within the body. Trans fats definitely have no place in your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
Best Fats for the Brain and Nervous System
For the newly developing fetus’s nervous system and brain the best fats are omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PURAs). It seems to be complicated, but it’s really not. Omega-3 is also called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA that are long-chain fats needed for brain growth and function. Lacking in DHA can cause such conditions as impaired vision, reduced IQ, dyslexia, and ADD (attention deficit disorder).
- EPA, DHA—found in marine oils, marine algae, and phytoplankton—the best sources.
- Omega-3 and DHA—found in walnuts, seeds to eat, algal oil, flaxseed oil, clary sage seed oil, hemp oil, Sacha Inchi oil, and Echium oil.
- Animal Omega-3 and DHA Fatty Acids—found in fish (mackerel, sardines, and salmon), fish oil, chicken eggs that are fed DHA and EPA, squid oil, and krill oil.
You can buy pharmaceutical grade supplements with omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the Meibomian oil glands in the eyes, and helps to avoid heart disease and cancer. The pharmaceutical grade gives the highest level of purity attainable in these supplements
to escape the damaging mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) as much as possible. Your OB-GYN will counsel you on what’s best for the baby and you. He or she might tell you that light therapy lamps and SAD lights are excellent devices for getting a good night’s sleep if you are somewhat depressed.
These good fatty acids give visual acuity, retinal function, behavior, learning, and a host of other benefits. A best-selling Amazon.com ® supplement for Omega-3s are shown here.
What Happens If Insufficient Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
When you are pregnant, fatty acid blood levels drop. That’s because the baby needs it for building his brain matter. Baby can only get this from mom, so you, mom, need to get all that’s needed for the both of you. If you do not have enough you are at risk of postpartum depression (new baby blues) because your nerves don’t have enough of this vital chemical to send the proper nerve signals for functioning correctly in your body after baby is born. The third trimester is the time your baby is developing his brain very capably and quickly. So, don’t neglect doing this!
Best of luck to you with your supplements, omega-3 fatty acids when pregnant, health, and rest during your 9-month’s journey to motherhood! If your heavy body is finding it hard to get comfortable, how about a body pillow just for you? You can use it nursing too.