Eating More Fish Could Reduce Postpartum Depression
Evidence suggests many pregnant women are deficient in omega-3 which may lead to postpartum depression
Low levels of omega-3 may be behind postpartum depression, according to a review lead by Gabriel Shapiro of the University of Montreal and the Research Centre at the Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital.
Women are at the highest risk of depression during their childbearing years, and the birth of a child may trigger a depressive episode in vulnerable women.
Postpartum depression is associated with diminished
maternal health as well as developmental and health
problems for the mother's child.
"The literature shows that there could be a link
between pregnancy, omega-3 and the chemical
reaction that enables serotonin, a mood regulator,
to be released into our brains. Many women should
bring their omega-3 intake to recommended levels."
University of Montreal Research Centre
Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital
The findings were announced by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry on November 15, 2012.
Because omega-3 is transferred from the mother to her fetus and later to her breastfeeding infant, maternal omega-3 levels decrease during pregnancy, and remain lowered for at least six-weeks following the birth. Furthermore, in addition to the specific biological circumstances of pregnant women, it has been found in the US that most people do not consume sufficient amounts of omega-3.
"These findings suggest that new screening strategies and prevention practices may be useful," Shapiro said, noting that the study was preliminary and the further research would be needed to clarify the link and identify the reasons for it.
Original article: http://www.nouvelles.umontreal.ca/udem-news/news/20121115-eating-more-fish-could-reduce-postpartum-depression.html