Scientists believe they have found a link between low-levels of omega-3 in new mothers and post-natal depression.
Researchers from the Universtiy of Montreal found that a mother’s omega-3 levels fall during pregnancy and remain lowered for at least six weeks after birth. They believe that a combination of certain genetic factors and a deficiency of the acid can lead to depression after childbirth.
Dr Shapiro, of the University of Montreal, said there might be a connection between the fatty acid, pregnancy and the chemical reaction in the brain that produces the mood regulator serotonin.
Post-natal depression affects 10%-15% of mothers in the first year after birth.
Further research is needed to reinforce the findings, but Dr Shapiro said that women should make sure they take recommended levels of foods containing omega-3. The most common source of omega-3 is oily fish, or certain food supplements.