Omega 3 Acid and Vitamin D in Pregnancy

Deborah A. Klein's picture

QUESTION

Hello,
I am 18 weeks pregnant and would like to know when I can start this vitamins. Until then, should I take omega-3 acid capsules? how much is needed per day please?

The same question please for vitamin D.

Many thanks.

ANSWER

Go ahead and include dietary sources of Omega-3's and Vitamin D immediately. In regards to supplementation, fish oil capsules are fine while pregnant (with your Ob/Gyn's approval, of course). However, the Vitamin D supplement is not recommended, since excess can cause abnormalities in the your baby. Definitely not the route you want to go.

No need to wait on the food sources. Omega-3's are essential for your baby's brain growth and health. Great omega-3 sources include:

  • Ground flaxseeds (make sure they are milled/grinded, if they are whole, they won't be absorbed) and keep your ground flaxseed in the opaque packaging sealed in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Shelled hempseeds -- great source of protein, too
  • Organic Eggs with omega-3's (the chickens are fed an omega-3 rich diet)
  • Raw almonds and walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Wild fish (keep the fish to 6 ounces per week)

Fish oil capsules are also great to take with a meal (two capsules maximum per day) while pregnant with your Ob/Gyn's approval)

Also, have vitamin D with meals that have some source of dietary fat, or the Vitamin D won't get absorbed, since it's fat soluble. Vitamin D dietary sources include salmon, sardines, Vitamin D fortified milk. The best source of Vitamin D is getting yourself some sun, the ergosterol underneath are skin when exposed to UV rays converts into Vitamin D. Enjoy the sun for about 15 minutes a day, when it's out, exposing as much skin as possible.

Health and happiness to you,
Deborah Klein, MS, RD