The importance in DHA for you and your baby

The importance in DHA for you and your baby

Author -  Good Health

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the information provided to you during all stages of pregnancy. Whether you are wanting to conceive, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding; it can often seem everyone has advice to offer or an opinion on your status of health.

As your body grows and your energy needs increase, so will your dietary needs. From preconception through to breast-feeding, nutrient requirements change and even the healthiest eaters often need extra support to ensure their baby has the best start in life. Research shows many women are not meeting their recommended daily requirements for the many nutrients required to not only help baby grow, but that ensure mum is happy and healthy. Many nutrients including iron, folic acid and iodine need to be at optimal levels to ensure the health of the pregnancy; however there is an important nutrient that is often overlooked.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a crucial Omega-3 Fatty Acid that has a vital role in crucial stages of baby’s development. Essential and only obtained through the diet, many people are already consuming less than the recommended requirement of Omega-3, however as baby demands more of DHA from mum, maternal stores often become depleted. DHA is important during all stages of pregnancy as it is crucial for the nervous system development of mum and baby, research suggesting DHA may reduce postnatal depression.

ING_42097_01693.jpg

Preconception

Conscious preconception care can significantly influence the future health of your baby however both mum and dad need to be mindful of their health and nutrient intake to increase the chance of conception. DHA can support proper hormone production, reduce high blood pressure, inflammation and help increase nervous system function to ensure proper physical and mental health and wellness. In the first few weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant, brain cell division is extremely active and the foetus needs a regular supply of DHA to support early stages of development.

ING_33594_193373.jpg

Pregnancy

A healthy baby requires the regular delivery of nutrients to support its growth, development and wellbeing. DHA is a crucial nutrient important for the development of the brain, eye-sight and nervous system. DHA intake throughout the pregnancy influences brain growth, function and is associated with higher intelligence in childhood. Children with ADHD have lower levels of Omega-3 Fatty acids, and supplementation during pregnancy can reduce symptoms; increasing communication and social skills and reducing behavioural problems such as inattentiveness. Pregnant women are likely to have an increased need for DHA as not only does baby absorb may of the nutrients, many DHA food sources such as shellfish and oily fish are avoided in pregnancy.

ISS_4266_01673.jpg

Breastfeeding

Breast milk contains everything that baby needs for proper development in the first few months of their life however if mum’s diet does not provide sufficient nutrients, it can affect the quality of the breast milk. Eating a variety of nutrient dense, whole foods during breast-feeding will increase the nutrient profile for both mum and baby, and ensure all nutrient needs are met. DHA occurs naturally in breastmilk however this is dependent on mum’s dietary intake. DHA is especially important during breastfeeding as it can reduce baby’s risk of allergies and influence your baby’s mental development later in life. It is also important to ensure you are drinking plenty of water during breastfeeding to increase lactation and meet your own fluid requirements.

ING_17215_07791.jpg

Vitamin D

The modern lifestyle has seen more time spent indoors, and especially in New Zealand, more time spent outdoors with sunscreen on. Vitamin D can be produced in our skin through direct exposure to sunlight however deficiency in New Zealand is high. Vitamin D is associated with skeletal growth, can stimulate the absorption of calcium, improve immunity and enhances mood through its production of serotonin. Take part in regular, gentle, outdoor exercise before 11am and after 3pm to avoid the strong sunrays and enhance the health and wellbeing of mum and baby.

dreamstime_l_50047700.jpg

As your body changes and baby grows, baby will consume your own vital nutrients and may leave you depleted. In order to provide the best possible start for your baby, it is important to look after yourself first and remember that despite different approaches to pregnancy across the globe, women have been bearing healthy children for hundreds of years. The body has an innate ability to care for and create a healthy child; and often we feel like we are not doing enough when we are. Prioritise sleep, nourish the body with whole foods and avoid placing extra pressure on yourself; these extra steps can help to ensure the health of you and your baby

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The importance in DHA for you and your baby

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the information provided to you during all stages of pregnancy. Whether you are wanting to conceive, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding; it can often seem everyone has advice to offer or an opinion on your status of health.

As your body grows and your energy needs increase, so will your dietary needs. From preconception through to breast-feeding, nutrient requirements change and even the healthiest eaters often need extra support to ensure their baby has the best start in life. Research shows many women are not meeting their recommended daily requirements for the many nutrients required to not only help baby grow, but that ensure mum is happy and healthy. Many nutrients including iron, folic acid and iodine need to be at optimal levels to ensure the health of the pregnancy; however there is an important nutrient that is often overlooked.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a crucial Omega-3 Fatty Acid that has a vital role in crucial stages of baby’s development. Essential and only obtained through the diet, many people are already consuming less than the recommended requirement of Omega-3, however as baby demands more of DHA from mum, maternal stores often become depleted. DHA is important during all stages of pregnancy as it is crucial for the nervous system development of mum and baby, research suggesting DHA may reduce postnatal depression.

ING_42097_01693.jpg

Preconception

Conscious preconception care can significantly influence the future health of your baby however both mum and dad need to be mindful of their health and nutrient intake to increase the chance of conception. DHA can support proper hormone production, reduce high blood pressure, inflammation and help increase nervous system function to ensure proper physical and mental health and wellness. In the first few weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant, brain cell division is extremely active and the foetus needs a regular supply of DHA to support early stages of development.

ING_33594_193373.jpg

Pregnancy

A healthy baby requires the regular delivery of nutrients to support its growth, development and wellbeing. DHA is a crucial nutrient important for the development of the brain, eye-sight and nervous system. DHA intake throughout the pregnancy influences brain growth, function and is associated with higher intelligence in childhood. Children with ADHD have lower levels of Omega-3 Fatty acids, and supplementation during pregnancy can reduce symptoms; increasing communication and social skills and reducing behavioural problems such as inattentiveness. Pregnant women are likely to have an increased need for DHA as not only does baby absorb may of the nutrients, many DHA food sources such as shellfish and oily fish are avoided in pregnancy.

ISS_4266_01673.jpg

Breastfeeding

Breast milk contains everything that baby needs for proper development in the first few months of their life however if mum’s diet does not provide sufficient nutrients, it can affect the quality of the breast milk. Eating a variety of nutrient dense, whole foods during breast-feeding will increase the nutrient profile for both mum and baby, and ensure all nutrient needs are met. DHA occurs naturally in breastmilk however this is dependent on mum’s dietary intake. DHA is especially important during breastfeeding as it can reduce baby’s risk of allergies and influence your baby’s mental development later in life. It is also important to ensure you are drinking plenty of water during breastfeeding to increase lactation and meet your own fluid requirements.

ING_17215_07791.jpg

Vitamin D

The modern lifestyle has seen more time spent indoors, and especially in New Zealand, more time spent outdoors with sunscreen on. Vitamin D can be produced in our skin through direct exposure to sunlight however deficiency in New Zealand is high. Vitamin D is associated with skeletal growth, can stimulate the absorption of calcium, improve immunity and enhances mood through its production of serotonin. Take part in regular, gentle, outdoor exercise before 11am and after 3pm to avoid the strong sunrays and enhance the health and wellbeing of mum and baby.

dreamstime_l_50047700.jpg

As your body changes and baby grows, baby will consume your own vital nutrients and may leave you depleted. In order to provide the best possible start for your baby, it is important to look after yourself first and remember that despite different approaches to pregnancy across the globe, women have been bearing healthy children for hundreds of years. The body has an innate ability to care for and create a healthy child; and often we feel like we are not doing enough when we are. Prioritise sleep, nourish the body with whole foods and avoid placing extra pressure on yourself; these extra steps can help to ensure the health of you and your baby

The importance in DHA for you and your baby
 
 
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