Omega 3 fatty acids from fish or supplements have been shown to reduce the risk of postpartum depression by researchers.

"Baby blues" can manifest through sleeping problems and mood swings, and are mostly temporary. However, it can lead to a more serious condition called postpartum depression with symptoms such as feelings of sadness, guilt, eating problems, confusion and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers from the University of Connecticut and Louisiana State University let 52 pregnant women take either a placebo pill or a fish oil capsule that contains 300mg of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. The supplement is roughly equal to DHA found in a half serving of salmon.

After delivery, the women participated in follow-up assessments to detect symptoms of postpartum depression.

Those who took the capsules with omega-3 fatty acids had markedly less symptoms of anxiety and postpartum depression compared to those who received the placebo pill.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in other studies to benefit cardiovascular health. Experts are still beginning to explore if they can also improve mood and reduce the risk of conditions like postpartum depression.

From the April 13, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.