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Omega 3 and pregnancy: the complete guide

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid with a vital role in our body. These beneficial fats are not produced naturally by our bodies, which is why it is essential to obtain them from our diet. Omega 3 is widely recognized for its many benefits, especially for pregnant women.

Unfortunately, our modern diet, and with it maternal nutrition, often fails to meet our needs. This is so much so that certain companies, in a charter of commitment to nutritional progress , undertake in particular to improve the omega 3 content of some of their products!

Well, you will have understood, omega 3 and pregnancy are closely linked to ensure the well-being of the mother and the baby. That is why, in this guide article, we will examine in detail the importance of omega 3 during pregnancy , focusing on its benefits for the mother and the fetus. Here we go 💪

omega 3 and pregnancy

I. Omega 3, a short presentation

1) But what are omega 3?

Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids essential to our health. Although our body cannot produce them naturally, they are essential for the proper functioning of our body. Omega 3 plays a crucial role in the development of the nervous system, brain and retina .

The main benefit of these fatty acids is their ability to reduce inflammation and maintain lipid balance in our body: they are therefore a real support for the immune system. 🦸‍♂️

During pregnancy, omega 3 contributes to the healthy brain development of the fetus. We talk in more detail in this article about the benefits of omega 3 on the brain, don't hesitate to take a look!

2) Various needs, various types of omega 3

There are different types of omega 3 , but the most beneficial for mother and baby are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

  • EPA is particularly renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, essential for supporting the cardiovascular system and preventing tension problems in pregnant women.

  • As for DHA, it plays a role in the development of the fetal brain and retina, thus promoting normal growth and proper functioning of the nervous system.

➡️ Note that a 3rd type of omega 3 exists: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), whose benefits are less obvious, although it would help maintain normal cholesterol levels. You will find more information in our article dedicated to omega 3 .

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II. Omega 3 and pregnancy, the crucial role of DHA

Now that we've become a little familiar with omega 3 , let's look at its positive effects on pregnancy. 🤰

1) Importance for the fetus and the future baby

DHA plays a fundamental role in the neurological development of the unborn baby. During pregnancy , the fetal brain develops at a rapid rate, and DHA is a key constituent of brain cell membranes.

An adequate amount of DHA is necessary to ensure proper formation and function of brain cells. Thus, by consuming enough DHA, future mothers take care of their child's cognitive development and visual functions .

In addition to the brain, DHA also promotes the development of the fetal nervous system, helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy and proper development of the unborn baby. 👶

2) Beneficial effects for the mother

In addition to its benefits for the baby, DHA also has beneficial effects for the mother's health during pregnancy.

DHA helps maintain normal blood pressure, thus limiting the risk of complications related to blood pressure, which is quite common during pregnancies. Additionally, DHA may help reduce inflammation in the body, providing additional benefits during pregnancy.

Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are also beneficial for the mother's heart by maintaining a good balance of lipids in the blood. A diet rich in DHA can therefore provide multiple benefits for both the mother and the unborn baby.

III. In search of omega 3! 🔎

1) Omega 3 and pregnancy: the foods to favor

For pregnant women , it is important to consume foods rich in omega 3 in order to benefit from all the benefits of these essential fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies are among the best sources of omega 3. 🐟

These fish contain both EPA and DHA, which promote brain and nerve development in the unborn baby .

Chia and flax seeds are also excellent plant-based sources of omega 3, rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can be converted to EPA and DHA in our bodies, although less efficiently. Nuts, especially walnuts, also offer an appreciable amount of omega 3 🥜.

2) Optimal omega 3 consumption

Don't panic : there are many ways to incorporate these omega 3-rich foods into your daily diet!

For example, you can prepare a delicious grilled salmon with a light marinade made from herbs and olive oil... 🫒 enough to already make your mouth water!

Sardines, too, can be added to salads or spread on slices of wholemeal bread for a healthy snack. 🍞

Chia and flax seeds (perfect especially for vegetarian moms) can be sprinkled on yogurt or added to smoothies for a nice nutritional boost 🚀

Walnuts can be eaten as is or added to breakfast cereals.🥜

Finally, organic eggs (important clarification!) are also a good source of omega 3 , and can be consumed in many easy and practical ways.🍳

omega 3 and pregnancy

IV. Omega 3 and pregnancy: 2 solutions for good intakes

We can never say it enough: the prevention of complications takes place on the plate before anything else. 🍽

However, it is not forbidden to take food supplements during pregnancy – far from it.

1) A balanced and adapted diet

During pregnancy , it is therefore essential, as we have seen, to adopt a balanced and diversified diet to benefit from the benefits of omega 3 .

In addition to the fatty fish and chia and flax seeds mentioned above, other foods can be included in your diet to increase your omega 3 intake:

✅ Green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils are another great option.

✅ Choose vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil and linseed oil for cooking, as they also contain essential fatty acids.

✅ When preparing your meals, opt for healthy cooking methods like steaming or baking.

A balanced and diverse diet will help you get the necessary nutrients, including omega 3, for a healthy pregnancy .

2) The boost: omega 3 supplements

In addition to a balanced diet, pregnant women can consider taking omega 3 supplements , but it is essential to do so in consultation with a health professional.

Fish oil-based omega 3 supplements may be an option for those who struggle to meet their recommended daily intake through diet alone.

Remember to consult your doctor or midwife before starting any supplementation! They will be able to advise you on the appropriate dosage and make sure it suits your needs.

⚠️Remember that food supplements should never replace a balanced diet, but rather supplement it if necessary... as their name ultimately suggests. 😉

V. Recommended intakes of omega 3 for pregnancy

In France, health authorities recognize the importance of omega 3, particularly DHA, for pregnant women. According to ANSES recommendations (p. 265), pregnant women should consume around 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA per day during their pregnant months.

📝 Please note that these recommendations aim to support the proper development of the brain and nervous system of the fetus, as well as to preserve the well-being of the mother. They are therefore not to be taken lightly!

When we tell you that omega 3 and pregnancy go hand in hand, that's why: this delicate period no longer involves one person, but two beings (or more!), hence increased needs for certain essential nutrients. . Quite logical, when you think about it…

VI. Omega 3 and pregnancy, a winning team 🥇

In summary, omega 3 plays an essential role during pregnancy by contributing to the healthy development of the baby and preserving maternal balance. These beneficial fatty acids are found in a variety of delicious foods, such as oily fish, chia and flax seeds, green vegetables…

In conclusion, the importance of omega 3 during pregnancy cannot be underestimated. These essential fatty acids play an important role in the health of the mother and fetus, particularly regarding brain development and growth. Combined with vitamin B9, they contribute to good development from the first weeks of conception until birth.

It is important to emphasize that omega 3, particularly DHA, plays a preponderant role in this determining period. Seafood and fish, rich in these precious fatty acids, can be thoughtfully included in the future mother's diet.

By following official recommendations and choosing foods rich in DHA, future mothers can ensure a fulfilling pregnancy, and above all, a safe one for baby . So, treat yourself to these tasty dishes for a pregnancy full of vitality! 🌞


Co-founder of NOVOMA

Passionate and expert in micro-nutrition, Lucas founded Novoma in 2012. It is with conviction that he develops food supplements with effective, carefully chosen and 100% clean active ingredients, to best meet the body's needs.

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