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Omega-3 and cod liver oil - have I poisoned my baby? Seriously scared.

(16 Posts)
Fenaklu Tue 25-Jun-13 17:45:31

So confused and worried - I was told that omega-3 was really important while pregnant, now I've just read on the NHS pages that fish liver oil supplements are really bad because of the Vitamin A levels which can be highly detrimental or even toxic to a developing foetus.
I am 15 weeks and switched from normal multivits with cod liver oil capsules to pregnancy vits with cod liver oil capsules at 8 weeks (when I found out I was expecting). This is my first (and at 41 with no previous pregnancy scares, could be my only) baby. Shit shit shit.

Rockchick1984 Tue 25-Jun-13 17:56:54

If they are pregnancy vitamins they won't contain cod liver oil, it will be omega 3 from another source so you will be fine.

Fenaklu Tue 25-Jun-13 19:15:03

I was still taking the ordinary cod liver oil capsules though - because there was no omega-3 in the pregnancy vits.

growyourown77 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:18:36

I felt the same early on so switched to the vegetarian, algae based capsules from holland and Barrett. You could try those.

Fenaklu Tue 25-Jun-13 19:35:03

growyourown77 - thanks I will get some tomorrow - but still worried about the effect of the ones I have been taking up until this morning!

Rockchick1984 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:38:46

I'd suggest getting in touch with your midwife or GP - hopefully everything will be fine but you will spend the rest of your pregnancy worrying if you don't speak to them. What strength were the tablets? A quick google said not to have more than 5000IU but its not clear if that's normally or during pregnancy.

Fenaklu Tue 25-Jun-13 20:31:01

Hi Rockchick1984 - I did the same Google search and have come up with numbers as low as 6000 IU causing problems in pregnancy - just my luck I am away from home until the morning and don't have the bottle to hand to check the dosage! I have my first community midwife appointment next week and will ask then - obviously I am doing the 1st time mum over-reaction as I am usually chilled out when it comes to my own health - but it is scary when you think you are taking something to help and it turns out to be detrimental sad

rallytog1 Tue 25-Jun-13 22:24:02

My midwife implored me to take Omega 3! I took her advice - it made me feel good and now DD is here everyone comments on how bright and alert she is. Not sure if there's a connection but it definitely didn't do her any harm.

yogafan Wed 26-Jun-13 10:26:41

My mum told me that 30 years ago the advice was to eat liver etc as vitiamin a was thought to be good in pregnancy. She did, and I'm fine! I'm sure there's nothing to worry about, maybe speak told wife for peace of mind. You are right though, so easy to get anxious as you are responsible for this tiny being. I am usually chilled too, but pregnancy makes it hard to have a 'gah, I'm sure it'll be fine' attitude. Good luck with the rest if your pregnancy x

wispa31 Wed 26-Jun-13 10:44:28

fish oils are important for brain development in baby and also very good for you and esp your skin. so keep taking them, just buy the best you can afford, the better ones have a far superior filtration system which removes the toxins while leaving the efa/dha intact. ive been taking fish oil caps with 2000mg per serving and i take 2-3 a day.

Rockchick1984 Wed 26-Jun-13 10:46:26

Wispa its the vitamin A that the OP is concerned about, as it can cause birth defects! Encouraging her to continue is hardly helpful hmm

wispa31 Wed 26-Jun-13 10:54:24

rockchick there isnt any vit a in the ones im using. all vits/supps im taking at the min were recommended by doctor, infact my fish oil caps and amino acids were designed by a doctor himself, who was ob/gyn doc. if she is that concerned she can switch to a prenatal one.

Rockchick1984 Wed 26-Jun-13 11:34:36

Ok, I understand now. I thought you were recommending she continues to take cod liver oil, entirely different to fish oils that don't contain vitamin A! smile

wispa31 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:11:53

best taking a fish oil blend rather than cod liver then if vit a in it. everyone needs fish oil, preggo or not. but as i said, make sure its of good quality.

Fenaklu Wed 26-Jun-13 16:36:41

Thanks everyone for your good wishes - I have checked the capsule bottle and it is a blend of fish oil and cod liver oil with 8000ug of Vit A (the absolute limit is supposed to be 3000ug = 10,000IU). However, they also contained Vit D which is supposed to offset Vit A damage to some extent. My nutritionist friend said although this is high (for pregnancy) there is no Vit A in my pregnancy tablets and as I do not eat meat, poultry, fortified cereal or use skin creams with retinol in, this has reduced my exposure anyway. She also said "what's done is done - stressing about it won't help you or the baby (especially as we have the age-related tests to go through) and women of her generation were practically force-fed cod liver oil when pregnant and her kids turned out ok".
I will be getting the algae based ones from Holland and Barrett at the weekend - thanks for the info and support everyone! xx

achill11 Mon 05-Jan-15 15:48:00

Hi. I have just read that you took cod liver oil during the early weeks of you pregnancy. I too have taken them and didn't realise it can be harmful. Im only six weeks but am worried. Was everything ok in the end?

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