Fish liver oil is made from the oily liver of fish, most often cod. The oil is very rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are essential for fetal brain and eye development (
). Fish liver oil is also very high in vitamin D, which many people do not get enough of. It may be highly beneficial for those who donвt regularly eat seafood or supplement with omega-3 or vitamin D. Low vitamin D intake has been linked with an increased risk of preeclampsia. This potentially dangerous complication is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in the urine (, ).
Consuming cod liver oil during early pregnancy has been linked with higher birth weight and a lower risk of disease later in the babyвs life ( ). A single serving (one tablespoon) of fish liver oil provides more than the recommended daily intake of omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin A. However, it is not recommended to consume more than one serving (one tablespoon) per day, because too much preformed vitamin A can be dangerous for the fetus. High levels of omega-3 may also have blood-thinning effects ( ).
Bottom Line: A single serving of fish liver oil provides more than the required amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin A. Fish liver oil may be particularly important for women who donвt eat seafood. Pregnant women should aim to get three to four daily servings of dairy. It\’s packed with calcium, protein, and vitamin D to help build your baby\’s developing bones, teeth, heart, and nerves. But there is one caveat: not all dairy products are safe to eat when you\’ve got a bun in the oven. \”Avoid raw milk and other raw dairy products,\” says Sarah Krieger, RDN, a registered dietitian who specializes in maternal and prenatal nutrition.
Check the label to see if your milk and cheese has been pasteurized. \”[The process] kills bacteria, which can be harmful if consumed,\” she says. Certain varieties of are considered risky, such as Brie, Camembert, blue cheese, and feta. These are often (but not always) unpasteurized, and can carry Listeria, a germ that can cause miscarriages.