Men's Articles

Fatty Acid Good For New Mum And Baby


DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is a fatty acid essential for optimal growth and functional development of the brain and eyes in infants. Current research suggests that adequate DHA may help to prevent pre-term labor and decrease the risk of post-natal depression.

Various studies also show that if mothers take DHA supplements during pregnancy and when breastfeeding their babies, the children will tend to be more intelligent and capable of longer attention span, and are generally associated with better mental development. Babies receive DHA from their mothers through the placenta during pregnancy and through breast milk after birth.

Since developing babies rely on their mothers to get the needed DHA, adequate consumption of DHA by mothers is required. Pregnant and lactating women should supplement their normal diet with 200mg to 300mg of DHA a day (or 2.6g of omega-3 fatty acids). Unfortunately, most pregnant and lactating women's daily DHA intake falls below the recommended daily requirement.

Cold-water fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel and whitefish, are good dietary sources to fulfil your requirement for DHA. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that up to 12oz per week (3oz is a normal serving size) of other cooked fish is safe for pregnant and nursing women.

Time For Yourself

Being a stay-at-home mother can be stressful. In between looking after baby and keeping house, you probably find little time for yourself. Ask the hubby to look after the baby for a day and use the time to do something just for you. Focus only on your own needs for a change. Whether you spend the day watching DVDs in bed, taking a long walk on the beach or going shopping and for a facial, re-acquaint yourself with you and just enjoy the solitude.

Childbirth

Childbirth is referred to as labor and parturition, and it occurs in three stages. The first stage starts with uterine contractions, which press the amniotic sac into the cervix where it is ruptured. The amniotic fluid lubricates the cervical canal, facilitating the passage of the head of the fetus through the cervical canal. In the second stage of labor the uterine contractions become more severe.

The abdominal muscles contract and aid in propelling the fetus through the vagina. The birth of the baby occurs in this stage. At this point the umbilical cord is still attached and needs to be severed. After the birth of the infant the placenta, or afterbirth, is expelled in the third stage. A full-term pregnancy is usually regarded as one which ends in delivery anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks.

Fishy Business

If reports of mercury in fish are making you steer clear of seafood, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. In five recent studies published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it was found that just two four-ounce servings of fish a week can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, says Professor Joshua Cohen, a researcher at Tufts New England Medical Centre.

However, pregnant women do need to be cautious about mercury as small amounts can harm foetuses because their nervous systems are still developing. Instead of avoiding fish altogether, mums-to-be just need to be vigilant about the type of fish they eat. Opt for low-mercury fish such as salmon, canned light tuna and catfish as omega-3 and lean
protein are essential for the baby's brain development.

 

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