I am really proud to introduce Skye Macfarlane...today she gives the breakdown on why essential fatty acids are crucial to pregnancy, babies, and beyond.
For your daily EFA boost, you can buy on-in, my exclusive blend for the whole family, here.
Pregnancy. We don't know a more demanding time on your body or mind. Let alone when you actually have the baby and breastfeed (if that is what you chose to do) - in both cases nutritional support is key for pre and post natal care.
Something we are starting to see is so many new mums going into pregnancy with low nutritional levels and then post baby, suffering from post natal depletion which has a huge effect on the health of the mum and the new family. Let alone recovery from child birth. Hence why good prenatal and post natal care is essential. Speaking of essential....
Why do we need essential fatty acids (EFAs)?
- They promote healthy skin and hair (bonus)
- Support thyroid function
- Support Adrenals
- Support Immunity
- Required for energy and repair
- Needed for healthy blood, nerves
- Help to move and breakdown cholesterol
So they do a few things to say the least...
And if we are thinking for mums and bubs - it is pretty important that they are supported in the growth and maintenance of these key areas. Plus EFAs are required for prostaglandin production which are involved in regulating fertility, blood pressure and plays a role in labour starting.
EFAs are required for the development of the baby’s brain and also the neural tube during pregnancy. And in breastfeeding the baby gets their EFAs through breast milk.
Maternal essential fatty acid stores progressively deplete during pregnancy as the baby demands increase. As with so many nutrients - the baby takes first pick leaving the mum depleted.
One specific EFA - DHA starts accumulating in the 2nd half of the pregnancy and continues for the first few years of life with children 2-4yrs acquiring 4gm of DHA. DHA is most commonly found in fish oil but despite what some people think it is not the fish that produce the DHA it is the microalgae they consume that gives them the Omega 3/DHA content. So you can consume microalgae or nori/seaweed to increase your intake. Eating seaweed throughout you pregnancy and when breastfeeding is a great idea to top up your levels and to make sure you are also getting a good dose of iodine - something New Zealanders are severely lacking in.
As we cannot produce all the needed EFAS - we do need to supplement them. Dietary wise - polyunsaturated oils contain EFAs but they can also oxidise quickly so it is important to choose good quality and cold pressed flax seed oil, hemp seed oil as a source. .
The body does not work in isolation - if something helps to support thyroid function - that can also help with hormone regulation, and if it helps hormones it can also help support adrenals (which is where we produce our stress hormones in response to actual, imagined or physical stress). And if we are highly stressed (and we are not supporting our adrenals) - the stress response over rides our immunity response meaning we are more likely to catch everything. That is why we get sick more quickly when stressed.
However, the body is amazing and by supporting one function we can usually see it flow through to support us as a whole. Which is why EFAs are definitely essential and most essential in pregnancy, breastfeeding and new mum hood.
If you would like to get in touch with Skye, you can reach her through her website, by clicking here.