Courtesy Getty Images, all rights reserved
Just as a strong and beautiful tree growing in ideal conditions will produce the healthiest fruits, a woman whose nutritional needs are met completely during pregnancy will significantly lessen the potential for complications and interventions throughout the gestational and delivery process.
The importance of proper nutrition during this time cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, most of the attention given to a pregnant woman’s diet and nutrition centers merely around weight gain and postpartum weight loss, but the conversation could and should be so much more.
Sufficient omega-3 levels in the diet and the body have vast scientific evidence for their role in supporting healthy blood pressure ranges, healthy weight gain, achieving a full-term gestational period, and even supporting a healthy mood postpartum.
Essential omega-3s, particularly DHA, are critical for ensuring proper fetal development, especially neurological wellbeing. Most women tend to be highly deficient in these beneficial fats throughout their lifetime, even without the added demands of pregnancy.
It is worth noting that countries with the highest fish consumption, such as Japan and Norway, experience some of the lowest rates of post-partum depression. Even with high intake of omega-rich fish like salmon and sardines, however, it’s difficult to achieve adequate levels of omega-3. For this reason, many women have better success supplementing with high-quality fish oils to meet their essential omega-3 needs.
Everyone can agree that a healthy baby and healthy mama are the ultimate objective of pregnancy and childbirth. Key to this is making the best nutritional choices possible and finding a prenatal care provider who can provide expertise on these matters. Remember: “You are what you eat” doesn’t just apply to just you when you’re eating for two. With every food choice you make, you have the power to contribute to the health of you and your baby and to give your little one the best start in life possible. What could be better than that?
As a writer, educator, and frequent featured radio guest for Nordic Naturals, Eliza focuses on the topic of maternal and neonatal health as they relate to omega-3 deficiency. Eliza empowers others on their health journeys with compassion, candor, and a unique ability to convey complex scientific principles in a down-to-earth, accessible manner. Follow her on Twitter.
Disclaimer: Nordic Naturals is a paid sponsor for the Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) Campaign 2015. The opinions expressed by Nordic Naturals, Eliza Leggatt, and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of PAM or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Nordic Naturals or Eliza Leggatt. Always consult with your medical provider regarding any personal health questions or decisions (including nutrition, diet, and exercise).
fish oil and pregnancy, Nordic Naturals, postpartum health, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Awareness Month, prenatal health