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Ralph Teller

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Important to Mother's, Fetal and Infant Health

by Ralph Teller

Low Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Postpartum Depression

A woman's nutritional and overall health, before and during pregnancy, and during lactation, influences the health of her developing baby.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids is important to women's, fetal and infant health. The availability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids during pregnancy and lactation may influence maternal mental health, fetal neurotransmitter development and, later, childhood development.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids is an important building block of the central nervous system in infants. Adequate Omega-3 oil consumption by women during pregnancy not only is important to improve fetus neurodevelopment, but also plays a key role in fetal bone development and bone mineral density.

A recent study found that a mother's low levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids can increase the chance and severity of postpartum depression. Because omega-3 fatty acids stores are transferred from the mother to the fetus during gestation and lactation, levels of maternal omega-3 fatty acids decline during pregnancy and remain low at least 6 weeks after birth. Maintaining sufficient levels of Omega-3 Fatty acids during and after pregnancy can play a key role in improving a mother's mental health after birth. Postpartum depression can begin a few weeks after birth and can be a major setback to the mental health of the new mother should it last beyond several weeks.

A number of other studies have indicated a link between pregnancy, Omega-3, and the chemical reaction that enables serotonin, a mood regulator, to be released into our brains.

Natural Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids because they are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them. We need to obtain Omega-3 Fatty Acids through food or supplements. As our body cannot make Omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to maintain a diet high in Omega-3's.

For a list of natural food sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids see Omega-3 Fatty Acids Health Benefits.

Raw Milk is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids. See Raw Milk Nutrient Content

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Articles on Omega-3 Fatty Acids

PublicationEmerging Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression: Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status, Gabriel D Shapiro, MPH (PhD Candidate); William D Fraser, MD, MSc, FRCSC; Jean R Séguin, PhD; Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

PublicationOmega-3 fatty acids, University of Maryland Medical Center

PublicationMany Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D, Steven Reinberg, HealthDay

PublicationOmega-3 FA in Postpartum Depression: Prevention/Treatment, Depression Research & Treatment, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationMaternal Fish Intake and Child Neurodevelopment, Public Health Nutrition, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationPregnant women supplementing with fish oil show positive outcomes in fetal development, Anals of Medicine, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationVitamin D and Calcium may prevent type 2 Diabetes , Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationPUFAs Improve Insulin Action and Glucose Metabolism , Journal of Nutrition, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationFoods Containing Omega-3s Help To Lower Blood Pressure , Hypertension, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationFish Oil Supports Muscle Recovery, Journal of Nutrition, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationOmega-3 FAs And Exercise Reduce Body Fat; Improve Cardiovascular And Metabolic Health, Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Omega-Research Resource Library

PublicationOmega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements for the Treatment of Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Michael H. Bloch, M.D., Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

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