The topic of DHA during pregnancy has recently become an area of great interest for scientists and doctors. DHA, as you might know, is a type of omega 3 fatty acid that is commonly found in fish oil. DHA is also found within every cell in our body and is crucial for the proper functioning and development of the eyes, brains and the central nervous system.
When it was discovered exactly how vital a role DHA plays in the physical and cognitive development of infants, scientists soon asked the question of whether supplementing the mother's diet with DHA during pregnancy would help the baby in any way. Research conducted in this area revealed not only that taking DHA while pregnant was essential for the healthy development of the infant, but also that most pregnant women do not get the recommended amount.
Other studies and articles published in Pediatrics journals show that children whose mothers took supplements of DHA while pregnant score higher on intelligence test compared to children whose mothers did not. They also displayed longer attention spans, better cognitive and motor skills and IQs of up to 10 points higher than other children.
Deficiencies of DHA during pregnancy can inhibit the cognitive development of your fetus, leading to visual impairment and numerous other health complications. From the mother's perspective, lack of DHA consumption while pregnant can also increase the risk of premature delivery and postpartum depression.
If you are an expecting mother, including a supplement of DHA during pregnancy will help both you and your baby. In order to make sure that your baby is getting adequate amounts of DHA without being exposed to toxic contaminants, taking a good fish oil supplement with your diet is a much better idea than eating actual fish. All fish contain trace levels of mercury and other toxic metals which can severely damage your health if the fish is improperly cleaned or under-cooked. Fish oil supplements are a much safer choice as manufacturers have to follow a rigorous process of cleaning the fish and distilling and purifying the oil before it can be sold on the market. As a result, fish oil supplements are the safest and easiest source of DHA during pregnancy.
Now it's time to start putting these facts in to practice. Giving your baby the best start possible is as simple as supplementing your diet with a good quality fish oil supplement.