New Study Suggests That Taking Fish Oil During Pregnancy May Not Be Helpful After All

When I was pregnant, I dutifully took my doctor-prescribed prenatal vitamin and fish oil supplement every day -- despite the indigestion and fishy burps the softgels frequently gave me (sorry, TMI, I know). To me, a little tummy trouble was a small price to pay for the health benefits that fish oil could seemingly provide my baby and me.

But a new study out of Australia, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has debunked some of those benefits -- including claims that fish oil rich in docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, can lower a new mom’s risk of postpartum depression and boost kids’ language and cognitive development. (Those results, the researchers note, “are at odds with the results of some large-scale epidemiological studies.”)

Still, the researchers did find one big benefit of DHA: a reduction in the risk of pre-term (34 weeks or earlier) labor. For some doctors, that’s reason enough to recommend that pregnant women take a daily 200mg DHA supplement. Confused? Ask your doctor if fish oil supplements are right for you.

Did/do you take fish oil supplements during pregnancy? Chime in below!

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