During my years in practice as a pharmacist, it was common to see expecting mothers enter the pharmacy with a script for prenatal vitamins. Many of these
prescription vitamins contain high levels of minerals. Many other moms-to-be were told by their doctors to take vitamins high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There are a
few over-the-counter options out there, but they tend to be expensive when compared to regular multivitamins. One was to get the DHA you and your newborn need is
through the supplementation of fish oil.
Everything mothers do and take during pregnancy can affect the future health of their babies. New studies suggest taking fish oil for its DHA while pregnant may provide an early boost in immunity for children. The study randomly assigned 1,000 pregnant women to take fish oil or a placebo. Their babies health was then evaluated at 1, 3, and 6 months of age. At every age, babies whose mothers took fish oil were healthier than their counterparts. The results were based on occurrence of cold symptoms as coughing, runny nose, and nasal congestion. At 1 month old, infants were 24% less likely to present with these symptoms, 14% less likely at 3 months.
By 6 months old, there was minimal difference in the newborns, however children with mothers who took fish oil had a shorter symptomatic period. The authors of the study concluded that expectant mothers receiving 400mg of DHA daily were likely to have initially healthier babies in terms of immunity. The average American woman consumes 200mg of DHA daily according to the FDA. The authors also noted that fish oil was started between 18 and 22 weeks pregnant. Give your
baby a healthy start to life, remember to add fish oil to your diet, for everyone’s benefit.