Omega 3 Use in Pregnancy
Balanced and adequate nutrition, which is important in all periods of human life, is an indispensable rule of healthy life. During pregnancy, the responsibility of a baby that grows in his body and whose health is defined only by the healthy integrity of the female body comes into play. In this sense, balanced, adequate and regular nutrition is more important during pregnancy.
Basically, in addition to pregnancy, Omega 3 intake should be taken into consideration in our normal life without any discrimination between men and women.
The need for the need for folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D increases in pregnancy, and it is now well perceived socially. Folic acid is started to be taken at least three months before pregnancy, and iron is started between 12 and 20 weeks, at weeks that vary according to the values of the woman’s blood count. Calcium is mostly obtained from natural sources, because it is found in many foods such as greens, red meat and dairy products. It is determined that the increase in omega 3 need is also important due to the positive effects of nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Omega 3 is an essential unsaturated multiple fatty acid. Being essential means that it cannot be produced in the body, that is, it should be taken from the outside. There are three different types of omega 3 products.
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
- DHA (docosahexanoic acid)
- ALA (alfalinoeic acid)
All three of these products are essentially essential. However, the most important is DHA. EPA and DHA are mostly found in fish. ALA is mostly found in dark green leafy vegetables; it turns into EPA and then DHA.
What are the benefits of Omega 3?
First, let’s talk about the benefits for the baby. The benefits of the baby in the development of the brain, nervous system and retina (visual function) have been identified. Especially in the last three months, this development process accelerates even more. It was found that low birth weight was observed less in babies who received enough omega 3 in the womb. In addition, it was found that their mental and physical skills increased and their ability to collect attention and make decisions improved. It is thought that the development of breast cancer and prostate cancer also decreases in the advanced life of infants. There is no evidence that the use of Omega 3 increases babies’ IQ scores.
It is also stated in the studies that during pregnancy, preeclampsia (high-risk pregnancy disease known as pregnancy poisoning with hypertension and protein loss in the urine) and the possibility of preterm delivery are reduced. There are also findings that depression decreases after birth.
When and from which sources should Omega 3 be consumed?
Omega 3 must be taken in sufficient quantity, especially in the last three months of pregnancy. It is found mostly in fish, walnuts and dark green leafy foods. It is appropriate to consume fish two days a week, eating dark green leafy foods such as spinach and kale, twice a week, consuming two or three walnuts every day. Due to the high mercury content they contain, it will be appropriate to avoid large fish such as swordfish and mackerel. In our country, which we can find abundantly; Fish such as horse mackerel, anchovy, sea bass, sea bream, sea bream and sardines are safer in terms of mercury. In other words, it would be more appropriate to prefer small-medium fish. Canned tuna can be consumed up to four times a month. There is also enough omega 3 in salmon. Horse mackerel and sardines have at least as much salmon as omega 3, and in our country the fish are easily accessible in the winter season and sardine, even in the summer season.
Omega 3 should preferably be taken naturally. If it is determined that it is not taken enough, it can be used as a capsule or syrup. At least 250 mg per day should be used during the last three months of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Too high doses can increase bleeding tendency. In this sense, attention should be paid as it may cause an increase in bleeding after delivery and delivery. Increased bleeding tendency and decreased coagulation support the logic that explains the prevention of clot in the coronary vessels and the reduction of the risk of heart attack.
Omega 3 is obtained from two different regions from fish. The form called ‘Cod Liver Oil’; It is obtained in fish liver and contains high doses of vitamin A. High doses of vitamin A should not be preferred in the first trimester of pregnancy, as it can negatively affect the development of the baby and increase the risk of miscarriage. ‘Fish Body Oil’ is obtained from the body of the fish and this is the form we prefer during pregnancy. In addition, omega 3 preparations from krill creatures contain phospholipid-derived omega 3, their usefulness is higher and I prefer this form entirely in my patient groups.