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The importance of DHA supplements for breastfeeding mothers is among the topics at the forefront of current debates concerning new mothers. In America and Canada, diets are lower in Omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient that many people get through supplementation. Infants produce fatty acids such as DHA and ARA more slowly. Add to this the fact that the mother might be getting lower levels of this fatty acid themselves, and you can see the potential problem for the baby.

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Is Taking DHA Supplements Safe?

Many medical professionals are against nursing mothers taking any form of a supplement as the possible effects on a developing baby are never clear. A large number of doctors ask mothers to refrain from using DHA supplements when breastfeeding as natural means for obtaining this nutrient is considered the best and safest route to take. However, it has not yet been proven what the effects are of lower or higher DHA levels during breastfeeding. Vegetarians generally have lower DHA levels in their breast milk and their children generally develop without any ill effects.

Are There Any Risks?

There are certain risks associated with an overabundance of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids. Certain regions in the world whose diet consists of a large number of fish and seafood (one of the main sources of omega-3 fatty acids) are seen to have a higher risk of having a stroke once they get to a certain age. Of course, lower levels of essential fatty acids have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Doctors recommend that you go for the middle ground and try getting to that middle ground through natural means.Pregnant and nursing women are encouraged to aim for a healthy and natural diet instead of relying on supplements.

DHA Supplements And Breastfeeding: What You Can Do

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If you are looking to develop a healthy diet that will offer you adequate levels of DHA then try eating foods such as: Oily fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, herring, and mackerel. Try to moderate your intake though, as certain fish are known to have higher levels of mercury.Green leafy vegetables.Several types of nuts and seeds like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and ground flax seeds.Legumes like soy beans, navy beans and kidney beans.The important thing to remember is that moderation is the key. Having a deficiency of anything is not good but the same can be said for having too much. It is also highly recommended that pregnant and nursing women follow a natural and healthy diet and add supplements after consulting their doctor. We advise that you find a reliable company, which manufactures supplements,  that is third party tested to ensure quality. 

Researched and written by experts, brought to you by our team at Mommy Authority.