Cod Liver Oil for Your Fertility

Why you should take cod liver oil if you’re trying to conceive

Cod Liver Oil for Your Fertility

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to good health. That’s especially true for women who are trying to conceive, currently pregnant, breastfeeding or just trying to get their hormones back on track. But while essential fatty acids are so, well, essential, we cannot produce them on our own, so we must consume them through diet and supplementation. Research shows that the best source of omega-3 fats is fatty fish, followed by walnuts, eggs, pumpkin seeds and freshly ground flax seeds. Yet eating a serving of each of these foods per day may not give us all the amount that our bodies need. And while fish oil is a great way to supplement, cod liver oil may be the healthier choice for couples who've decided to start a family.


Here are 5 reasons you should start taking cod liver oil before getting pregnant.

  1. It can boost fertility. Omega-3 fatty acids -- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) -- are known to provide a wide range of health benefits -- from a lower risk of heart disease to improvement in cholesterol. They can also reduce inflammation, balance your hormones, increase blood flow to the uterus, up the production of egg white cervical mucus, improve sex drive and even support proper sperm production. Cod liver oil thus fosters a vaginal environment that is favorable to conception and provides you with all the ingredients you need to potentially get pregnant faster.

  1. It’s lower in mercury and other heavy metals. Mercury is an element that collects in oceans, lakes and streams; and in high quantity, it can be detrimental to the nervous system. So you want to avoid fish that is at risk of high mercury content. Cod, especially Atlantic cod, is a deep-water fish that tends to have much lower mercury levels , making it safer for women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant. It’s also important to choose brands that adhere to strict extraction and distillation processes so that their oil remains clean and toxin free. A few of the brands I know are free of heavy metals and contaminants are Green Pasture's Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil, and Carlson's Cod Liver Oil.

  1. It’s rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts the immune system and promotes good skin, bone and vision health. But it doesn’t stop there: it’s also essential for reproductive health. Vitamin A helps follicles mature properly and promotes cervical fluid that is more abundant and more nourishing to the sperm. It also helps regulate hormones. There are two types of vitamin A: preformed vitamin A (retinol or retinoid), which you can find in animal products; and provitamin A (carotenoid), which are found in fruits and vegetables. During pregnancy, it's important not to get too much preformed vitamin A -- the kind that is in cod liver oil -- because it can cause serious risks to your unborn baby, including birth defects. So talk to your doctor to figure out how much vitamin A you can and should take.

  1. It’s a great source of vitamin D. The human body produces vitamin D in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. You can otherwise get this "sunshine vitamin" through food and supplements. But according to a Harvard study, 1 billion people are low in vitamin D, which can cause short- and long-term health effects -- one of them being the imbalance of sex hormones. Vitamin D can help women who suffer from PCOS and can boost progesterone and estrogen production, both of which are responsible for regulating menstrual cycles, therefore upping your chance of successful conception.

  1. It’s also good for the baby. During pregnancy, essential fatty acids are important to your baby’s brain, nervous system, eye and heart development. Studies also show that babies of women who consumed cod liver oil are at lower risk for juvenile type 1 diabetes. What’s more, having a sufficient level of DHA and EPA acids can help prevent complications like preeclampsia, premature birth and miscarriage. Finally, if you plan on breastfeeding your child, taking cod liver oil can continue to contribute to your baby’s brain development. And since cold liver oil is rich in vitamin D and A, it can boost immunity and keep baby’s bones strong.

Personally, I take one teaspoon daily of the Green Pasture's Fermented Cod Liver Oil as the fermentation process makes this oil easier to digest (and it shouldn't repeat on you). To hear more about my favorite supplements for moms-to-be, check out my “Top Three Fertility Vitamins” video.

* The tips in this article have been adapted from my book, Yes You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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