Fat and happy

If you’re not already taking fish oil along with that prenatal vitamin, it’s time to start now. Because a new review of over 75 different studies shows that you might be at risk for postpartum depression.

A mother’s omega-3 fats transfers to her fetus during pregnancy, and later, while breastfeeding. This leads to a dip in omega-3 status that lasts for at least six weeks after she has her baby.

And for a woman already at elevated risk of depression, failing to replenish these omega-3 fats through diet or supplementation could lead straight to a serious case of the baby blues.

These findings appeared in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Omega-3s also play an important role in fetal brain and vision development. So mothers have more than one reason to fill up on these fatty acids now.

If you’re pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, you should get at least 300 mg of DHA–from a high-quality, molecularly distilled fish oil–every day.

“Emerging risk factors for postpartum depression: serotonin transporter genotype and omega-3 Fatty Acid status.” Can J Psychiatry. 2012 Nov;57(11):704-12.