? asked in Science & MathematicsMedicine · 1 decade ago

Is there any correlation between breastfeeding and taking fish oil with high concentrations on...?

...DHA and EPA in terms of

babies reaching developmental milestones early? Or is it more in terms of advanced eye/hand coordination? Is there any emotional difference in babies given DHA- calmer... less fussy.. sleep better...? Are there published studies to support your answer?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As in many things medical, there is no easy answer. Some studies

    recommend various amounts, while other studies recommend taking no

    supplements. Other physicians are leery of Omega oils due to their

    estrogen content. It does appear that supplements from algae are much

    safer than fish oils, as they contain negligible amounts to no

    mercury. However, they contain only DHA and not EPA.

    Please consult an obstetrician before taking any supplements.

    Follow the link for more details, but here is the gist.

    == (text from link) ==

    In a study from Connecticut, it was found that babies of mothers with higher DHA levels showed significantly more quiet sleep and less active sleep, and less sleep-wake transition than those of mothers with lower DHA levels. In other words, they slept better. This was interpreted as indicating greater central nervous system maturity in the higher DHA group.[4] That is very interesting news for all pregnant and nursing mothers, since the baby's sleeping pattern has such an effect on everybody in the family.

    Another important note for pregnant women is that women who develop postpartum depression have lowered levels of DHA. The developing fetus has drawn a lot of the maternal sources, and if the woman does not eat foods rich in omega-3 fats, she risks not only the baby's health but her own mental health. The researchers confirming the fact of low levels of DHA in depressed mothers suggested that "increasing the dietary DHA intake during pregnancy and postpartum, seems prudent.".[5] They always tell pregnant women that you need to eat your yellow vegetables, your dark greens, and your proteins, but mention NOTHING about the omega-3 fats!

    World's healthiest foods - Flaxseeds Information Sheet

    Seafood good for pregnant women, study says

    A large study has found that children of women who ate little fish during pregnancy had lower IQs and more behavioral and social problems than youngsters whose mothers ate plenty of seafood.

    (The Lancet - Vol. 369, Issue 9561, 17 February 2007, Pages 578-585)

    Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism

    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, published November 5, 2007, 10.1073/pnas.0704292104.

    See also a news article Gene links breastfeeding to IQ.


    A prenatal vitamin that includes DHA.

    Brain Food For Kids: Feed Your Children So They Excel At School

    Explaining brain nutrients for a good breakfast. By Marissa Lippert, RD.


    [1] Fluctuations in human milk long-chain PUFA levels in relation to dietary fish intake. Lipids. 2002 Mar;37(3):237-44.

    [2] Fatty acid composition of mature human milk in Nigeria. Z Ernahrungswiss. 1991 Dec;30(4):289-97. " N-3 LCP are very high in milk of the Nigerian women who obtain a large portion of dietary lipids from sea fish, but even then docosaehexanoic (C22:6n-3) and not eicosapentaenoic (C20: 5n-3) is the predominant n-3 LCP in milk."

    [3] Comparison of fatty acid composition of plasma lipid fractions in well-nourished Nigerian and German infants and toddlers. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 Jul-Aug;5(4):581-5.

    "The Nigerian group tended to have bigger proportions of the essential omega-6-fatty acids, linoleic acid, and its metabolites, and by far higher values for long-chain omega-3-fatty acids."

    [4] Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] during pregnancy is associated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;76(3):608-13.

    " Infants of high-DHA mothers had a significantly lower ratio of active sleep (AS) to quiet sleep (QS) and less AS than did infants of low-DHA mothers. Furthermore, the former infants had less sleep-wake transition and more wakefulness on P2 [second day post-partum]. ... The sleep patterns of infants born to mothers with higher plasma phospholipid DHA suggest greater CNS [central nervous system] maturity."

    [5] Increased risk of postpartum depressive symptoms is associated with slower normalization after pregnancy of the functional docosahexaenoic acid status. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2003 Oct;69(4):237-43.

    "From this observation it seems that the availability of DHA in the postpartum period is less in women developing depressive symptoms. AAlthough further studies are needed for confirmation, increasing the dietary DHA intake during pregnancy and postpartum, seems prudent."

    [6] Will dietary omega-3 fatty acids change the composition of human milk? Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Oct;40(4):780-5.

    "... relatively low intakes of dietary DHA [fish oil] significantly elevated milk DHA content."

    [7] Nutritional effect of including egg yolk in the weaning diet of breast-fed and formula-fed infants: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jun;75(6):1084-92.

    "Erythrocyte DHA concentrations were 30-40% higher after the n-3 egg intervention than after treatment with regular eggs or no eggs in both breast-fed and formula-fed infants. Egg treatment had no significant effect on plasma cho

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is not the regualar fish oil but a special kind , the name of which I forget!! Sorry. It is so very good for the baby in utero and helps develop the fetus brain. It serves to keep the mother from having raging hormones during her pregnancy. It is recommended by doctors to continue using this suppliment after giving birth. It is not harmful for the baby but a help for a complete variety of supplements taken by the nursing Mom. It does also help post partum depression, so keep taking it and know both you and the baby are getting the benefit of this oil. And keep nursing your new, wonderful baby. It is so much easier than bottles and so much better for the baby. I am sure you knew this alread!

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Kristy. There is a growing body of evidence that appears to provide support to the hypothesis that DHA supplementation does improve a variety of neurocognitive measures in infants/children. As with all science, this issue is controversial and is, therefore, a subject of ongoing research.

    Here are links to a variety of scientific review papers on this subject. You will see that conclusions vary from the Cochrane Review (which almost never finds scientific support for any nutritional intervention - I frankly think Cochrane Reviews would have trouble concluding that there is enough evidence to conclude that the world is not flat!) to other reviewers with much more positive conclusions.






    Best wishes and good luck.

  • laine
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Bad, dangerous, dangerous. Click my supply for more information, however I will provide you an excerpt: The record, Replacing Mother—Imitating Human Breast Milk within the Laboratory, main points study wondering the alleged advantages of including “novel” omega-three fatty acids, produced in laboratories and extracted from algae and fungus, into baby formulation. The components raised wellbeing and safeguard pink flags in the course of preapproval trying out even as competitive advertising campaigns through a few baby method brands look to have influenced new moms to quit nursing for the questionable baby merchandise.

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