Being pregnant is an experience that women cherish. It is an experience that enriches their life and changes them forever. Taking care of yourself, your body and your baby during pregnancy is the most important, if not the only job that you are required to do. And taking care of yourself includes maintaining your health by consuming a diet that is nutritious for both, you and the life growing inside you. This means you need to take care of what you eat; what you need to avoid and what you need to take in large proportions. One such matter of doubt that most pregnant women face is whether krill oil is safe during pregnancy. In this HerHaleness article, learn about krill oil benefits, and find out if consuming it during pregnancy is safe or not.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
What is Krill Oil
Before we move on to whether it is safe to consume krill oil or its supplements during pregnancy, let us understand what it is. Krill are marine creatures that live right at the bottom of the ocean. They are approximately 6 cms long and are vegetarian in their diet. They eat plankton found at the bed of the water body. Krill are towards the end of the food chain and serve as food for other sea creatures like penguins, seals, squid and even whales.
Krill have a naturally occurring oil in their bodies. This oil is extracted from their bodies and stored in capsules and sold. This oil is known to have many health benefits for men and women. It is also one of the nutritional supplements that is recommended to pregnant women for its health benefits. In the section below, you'll get to know why this is.
Is it Safe to Consume it During Pregnancy?
Krill oil is the purest form of fish oil that can be extracted. Just like other fish oils, it has a lot of nutrients in it. This is the reason it is recommended for pregnant women. Apart from that, since krill are found right at the bottom of the ocean, they are far away from the various pollutants in the water. This makes it much safe for consumption. Also, the mercury content in krill oil is much lesser than that in other fish oils. Given below are the reasons why it is especially beneficial for pregnant women.
The first benefit for pregnant women is the abundant supply of Omega-3 fatty acids in it. Omega-3 fatty acids [docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)] are generally essential for the good health of the heart. They are also essential for the clotting of blood and for reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition to these benefits, these acids are especially advantageous for the development of the brain of the baby. It also helps with the motor development of the baby. For the woman, it helps with 'brain fog' that some women experience during pregnancy. It also helps with postpartum depression (PPD) issues that may creep in.
The other reason why it is suggested to pregnant women is due to the high content of antioxidants in it. Generally, antioxidants are taken to balance out the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids need to be oxidized so that they don't get turned into free radicals within the body. However, when you consume krill oil, it is just for a natural oxidation process, not one that needs to be done for the intake of Omega-3 acids. These antioxidants protect from damage to the nervous system, and also help in the prevention of chronic diseases.
Natural krill oil is safer than the ones with synthetic additives in them. They are purer than other fish oils and hence, have higher level of nutrients in it. However, even though it has these benefits, make sure you consult your obstetrician before you begin consuming it or making any other changes in your diet. There could be some side effects that you need to take into account before doing it.