Fish Oil And Babies

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is crucial for the proper development of the brain and retina of fetuses and infants.

Fish Oil And BabiesDHA is a type of Omega 3 and it is an “essential fatty acid.” That means that your body requires DHA but cannot produce it. Instead, you must ingest DHA through your diet or by taking a supplement.

(You might be surprised to learn that Omega 3 is not the only essential nutrient that has to be taken in through the food you eat because your body cannot produce it. There are about 50!)

The best way to get the DHA you and your baby need, as well as the best way to get other essential nutrients, is eating a balanced diet.

The primary source of dietary DHA is cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, halibut, sardines and hoki. There are smaller amounts of DHA in organically raised animal products like free-range eggs and chickens and grass-fed beef.

However, if you can’t or don’t always eat a proper balanced diet, fish oil supplements with high concentrations of DHA are an easy way to be sure you get the requisite amount of this nutrient.

Let’s discuss the ways that DHA, as found in fish oil, is indispensable for babies.

Fish Oil Is Crucial For Fetal Brain Development

DHA is a “building block” which is an essential component of the membrane of each cell in the brain (and, for that matter, of each cell in the body).

Therefore, it is imperative that fetuses receive adequate supplies of DHA, particularly during the final trimester when the fetal brain grows threefold.

Where does the fetus get the DHA it needs? From the mother, of course.

Pregnant women require DHA not only for their own use, but also for the use of their developing fetus.

In addition to brain development, studies have established that DHA is essential for retina development.

Fish Oil’s Effects On Babies’ Births

Recent studies have shown that an adequate maternal intake of DHA reduces the risk of pre-term birth and low birth weight.

It also is credited with improving an infant’s problem-solving capacity and eye and hand coordination.

The Importance Of Fish Oil After The Baby’s Birth

The child’s brain continues to develop rapidly during the first few months of life, so your baby needs an ample supply of DHA during this stage of development.

Fish Oil and BabiesAfter birth, instead of receiving that supply through the umbilical cord, as was the case during gestation, the infant receives the necessary DHA from its mother’s breast milk or from a DHA-fortified formula. (If you are feeding your baby a formula, make sure it is DHA-enhanced.)

Studies have shown that infants whose mothers had the highest amounts of Omega 3 intake had higher IQs, advanced attention spans and fewer incidences of asthma, eczema and food or environmental allergies.

Furthermore, numerous other studies have shown that when infants receive adequate amounts of Omega 3, they perform better on hand-eye coordination tests and their eyesight is on average 1.5 lines better on an eye chart than their peers who did not have as much Omega 3.

Finally, scientific investigation has shown that DHA also helps the maturation of the baby’s immune system.

When To Take A Fish Oil Supplement That Is High In DHA

The current recommended amount of DHA during pregnancy is 200-300 milligrams a day (depending on which expert you consult).

Consistently eat a good balanced diet and you — and your baby – will be good to go!

Unfortunately, however, studies show that 98% of pregnant and nursing women don’t get enough DHA through their diets.

Are you one of them?

In spite of your best intentions, and your motivation to do everything you can for your baby, the demands of today’s world make it difficult to always eat a perfectly balanced diet which includes at least 2 servings of fish each week.

Perhaps you don’t like fish. Maybe you have an allergy to fish. Or you might not have access to a good, clean, reasonably-priced supply of fish. It could be that you simply aren’t sure that you can consistently eat a balanced diet, especially in view of the increased demands of your pregnancy.

If any of these situations describe you, after checking with your obstetrician, you should consider taking a fish oil supplement that is molecularly distilled and high in DHA.

The Fish Oil Supplement I Recommend
Xtend-Life Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil

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