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Omega-3 and Omega-6 in pregnancy

What do these essential fatty acids do, and how should you take them during pregnancy?

Posted: 18 December 2007
by Sarah Lawson

Although you don't have to be a slave to a dull and worthy diet when you are expecting a baby, there are few things you can include in your daily intake to make up the best pregnancy diet which will not only make you feel more energised and brighter, but are known to be good for the growing baby inside you.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 have become increasingly popular in people's nutritional awareness. But what are they and what good can they do?

Omega-3 and Omega-6
These are EFAs – essential fatty acids – which are nourishing for your body at any time during your life.
In pregnancy, research has shown that they can be good for brain development in the unborn child.
Good for you: At a time when our hormones are playing havoc with our skin, hair and nails, these EFAs are a good natural source of the right building blocks to keep our bodies looking and feeling better.
Good for your baby As well as good brain development, a diet rich in these EFAs has been linked to a lower likelihood of premature birth or a low-birthweight.

Good sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6
It is known that oily fish is good for you during pregnancy, so long as you eat it in moderation. Fish like sardines and salmon are good for Omega-3, as are pumpkin seeds and leafy green vegetables.
For Omega-6, try pumpkin, sunflower and seasame seeds, olive and walnut oils, nuts, and soya.

If you want to take Omega-3 and Omega-6 in a supplement, make sure you get a pregnancy-suitable one, and mention you are taking it to your midwife.

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