In recent times healthcare providers are insisting to take DHA during pregnancy. Scientists have found the benefits of DHA supplements important for the growth of the child.
Now what is DHA? Let us know in detail.
DHA is short term for docosahexaenoic acid. It is an omega-3 fatty acid, which acts crucially in the development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system. DHA is not produced in our body therefore we have to rely it from outside food.
Foods which contain DHA in significant quantity are: fish, organ meat, marine plants, walnut and walnut oil. Among fish, salmon, tuna, sardines are good options. Eggs and milk added with DHA.
You can also eat DHA supplements derived from algae.
In order to get benefits of DHA during pregnancy, the mother should start eating DHA containing food and supplements, from second and third trimester. It is the time when the growth of the child is rapid.
DHA helps to develop sharp visual acuity in the child.
Researchers have shown that mother’s who consumed food rich in DHA in their third trimester had increased IQ level in their child. These children were found to be more attentive as toddlers.
Besides, mother‘s who consumed DHA and had increase level of DHA during pregnancy, had less incidence of preterm labor and postpartum depression. This was compared with women who had lower level of DHA during pregnancy.
National institute of health recommends 300mg per day of DHA in pregnant women or lactating women.
Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid fish which has high mercury level such as shark, swordfish, mackerel, tilefish.
Also see Irritability During Pregnancy & Cold During Pregnancy