Brain booster supplements during pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Arjun KR

Arjun KR

DHA and Pregnancy

The infamous pregnancy brain is not a joke or an excuse for women forgetting important dates and appointments. It is in fact a real problem pregnant women face. Have you ever noticed how your razor-sharp memory seems to forget a lot of things when you are pregnant? The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy affect your brain too. This is why some pregnant women seriously consider taking brain boosters to help improve their brain functions.

Why Is It Important To Consider Taking Brain Booster (DHA) Supplements During pregnancy?

DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid. It is very important for the development of the brain during pregnancy. Our bodies produce small doses of DHA, which is not sufficient. You need to consume foods rich in DHA like cold-water fish, grass-fed meat, dairy products, or omega-3enriched products.

About 25% of the brain’s total fat content and 97% of the omega-3 fatty acids found in the brain are DHA. According to research, DHA can help with heart health, and vision, and also has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

DHA And Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes. The hormonal fluctuations can cause a lot of changes – some of which may not be visible. One such change is the effect these hormones have on the expecting mother’s brain.

Apart from helping with the pregnancy brain, pregnant women may be advised to take prenatal vitamins containing DHA, to help with the fetus’s brain development too. Many studies have found a positive correlation between DHA supplements and an infant’s brain development.

Benefits Of Brain Booster Supplements During Pregnancy

If you are still not convinced you may require additional sources of DHA while pregnant, here are a few advantages such supplementation can have on the fetus:

    1. Reduction in Chances of Autism and ADHD – Some research and studies have shown that a low DHA during pregnancy can increase the chances of autism spectrum disorders or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder). Both are neurological issues that can affect an infant right from or even before birth. Taking DHA supplements or increasing your intake of foods rich in DHA can help combat this problem to a great extent, according to some studies.
    2. Brain Functioning- Another important advantage of DHA is combating cognitive decline due to age. As we grow older, brain function declines. This is due to a decrease in the production of the limited DHA in our bodies. According to a few studies, DHA supplements can help with mild cognitive impairment. However, this does not include Alzheimer’s disease which is also due to a decline in brain function.
    3. Eye Health – DHA is also important for the eye or vision development of the baby. A lack of sufficient levels of DHA in the mother during pregnancy might affect the baby’s vision.
    4. Full-Term Birth – Some studies have shown pregnant women who were given DHA supplements had a full-term pregnancy and delivered babies that were higher in weight, height as well as head circumference than those women who were administered a placebo.
    5. DHA After Birth – The benefits of DHA do not stop with just the pregnancy phase. Since the expecting mother consumes these supplements when she is carrying the baby inside, the DHA will reach the child too. DHA is very important in the first 6 months of a baby’s life, for the development of the nervous system. DHA supplements do not stop with prenatal vitamins. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to continue taking DHA for a few weeks at least.
    6. Good Mood – Low levels of DHA has is also associated with depression. Taking DHA supplements to ensure you are not low on this component can reduce the chances of depression, which is again related to brain activity. Pregnancy hormones are known to cause mood swings and even depression. DHA can help with this problem.

Tips For Choosing The Right Brain Booster Supplements During pregnancy

DHA is available in many food sources. However, just that will not suffice during pregnancy for many women. If you are planning to take brain booster supplements, you need to be careful about what you put into your body, especially during pregnancy.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right DHA supplements when you are pregnant:

  • Certified Brands: Always check for certified brands for your DHA supplements. Many pharmacies may claim one brand to be better than the other but always do your due diligence. Get online, check out the websites, talk to your doctor, and consume only those that are certified. There is a reason all these supplements undergo a strict check for certification.
  • Prenatal Supplements: Most prenatal supplements today have DHA in them. Different prenatal supplements will have different compositions of DHA in them. Check with your doctor if your prenatal vitamins have enough DHA in them and if not which supplements to go for. You don’t want to overload on something when you are pregnant.
  • Additional Points: There are many brain booster supplements on the market today. Out of the brands suggested by your doctor –
  1. Opt for those with a flavour, to make it easier to consume these supplements
  2. Look for supplements that have other essential nutrients in addition to DHA in them
  3. Opt for those capsules that are easier to swallow
  • Availability: Always choose those supplements that are easily available around you. During pregnancy, you may be tempted to choose only those that are highly rated or recommended. Not all of these might be available around you. Never opt for a supplement that needs to be shipped from far away. Logistic issues may cause havoc in your supplementation.
  • Allergies: Pregnancy is a time you cannot predict how your body will react to certain drugs and supplements. If you are starting on a new drug, always check for reactions. If you don’t feel too good after taking them or notice any allergic reactions, then listen to your body. Ask your doctor for alternate supplements. Your supplements are meant to help you, not make the pregnancy more difficult.

Brain booster supplements may seem unnecessary for many expecting mothers. However, there is a positive effect of these supplements on the brain – for mother and child. It has many other benefits too as the brain controls everything. This is why many prenatal supplements have DHA in them. If you decide to take DHA supplements separately, you need to choose wisely.

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