Taking omega-3 in pregnancy doesn’t affect your mood or your baby’s development but might prevent early birth, finds new study
Taking fish oil during pregnancy may not have any effect on your chances of developing post-natal depression, according to a new study. Researchers also found that babies’ brain development was not improved by the supplements but their risk of being born early appeared to be reduced.
Of the 2,000 mums-to-be who took supplements of either fish or vegetable oil containing omega-3, around 10% reported high levels of depressive symptoms which matched the group not taking the supplements. When the babies reached 18 months, they were also evaluated for their mental development, including language and object recognition. No significant differences were discovered in those whose mums had been given the supplements during pregnancy.
“These results show that recommendations to increase omega 3 fatty acids in pregnancy are being made without sound evidence,” said Professor Maria Makrides, who led the study.
However, the study also found that mums taking fish or vegetable oil supplements were less likely to give birth before 34 weeks. The risk went from above 2% to 1% for the group taking the supplements.
Find out more about supplements in pregnancy.
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