World Breast Feeding Week
As part of World Breast feeding week I would like to encourage all breast feeding mums to eat more fish and particularly oily fish in their diet; for two reasons.
Firstly, fish contains two, special, oils which are essential for infant neurological development. The flexibility of cell membranes depends on a good supply of omega 3 oils and in turn this can affect signalling and neurone transmission in the brain.
Dr Alex Richardson who has spent her life researching the link between dietary oils and children’s health believes that deficiencies of omega 3 oils may be linked to reduced visual, motor and cognitive development in children.
Secondly, Omega 3 fatty acids can protect against depression. Recent research suggests these fatty acids may reduce the incidence of postnatal depression, as well. In the DOMInO trial, conducted in Australia, over 2,000 women were given a DHA and EPA supplement during their pregnancy and then followed up after the birth. Postnatal depression usually shows an average incidence of 15.5% in the general population and in this study the incidence was 9.6% for those women taking the supplement.
Women who are vegetarian, who have pregnancies which are close together or have multiple births are most at risk of having low omega 3 status.
The DOMIno Trial Makrides et al. 2010, JAMA. 304 (15): 1675 -1683