Most doctors recommend that you take fish oil supplements during pregnancy.
That’s because fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). They have been proven to be beneficial to the growing foetus, especially in the development of the brain, eye and central nervous system.
Studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids are good for pregnant women as they help to reduce the risks of preterm labour and delivery, shares Dr Chee Jing Jye, the medical director and consultant specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology at The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre.
Take note, though, that fish oil supplements are made from deep-sea fish and may contain environmental toxins like mercury, Dr Chee adds.
While these toxins can be removed during the manufacturing process, the degree of elimination depends on the refining process.
So when buying such fish oil supplements during pregnancy, you should look for brands that have been tested by an independent third-party laboratory, such as the Health Sciences Authority, to prove the purity of the fish oil.