Disclosure: I may have received a free product or other compensation for any/all products on this site in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nordic Naturals Review and Giveaway- Baby's DHA and Prenatal DHA

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

When I saw a review pop up for Nordic Naturals, I had to apply. I was very happy to get accepted too!

I was also extremely excited when I got my package from Nordic Naturals. They sent the 2 products to review, as well as an awesome bag of swag. There were samples of chews, other types of tablets etc. and stickers! My daughter went insane for the stickers. I loved all the fun stuff to try- there was even a sample for my dog! 

(note- stickers were removed by toddler immediately)

It is no doubt the reason they are the #1 seller of fish oil products in the US!

They sent a very informative packet with the samples. I really like this about the company. They really would like an informed customer for their product. Not just a person to pop pills and not understand. They want you to make a good choice based on information, not a fad! Their website links to several studies on the benefits of the oils, sustainability and testing results.

Their focus on this review campaign is to educate new mothers on the value and health benefits of DHA. 

 From their website:

"EPA and DHA—the omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil—are crucial throughout life, but especially during pregnancy, when a woman’s demand for DHA in particular increases substantially. DHA comprises approximately a substantial portion of the fatty tissue in the brain and eyes. That’s why DHA is among the most important nutrients for pregnant and lactating women.* The DHA ingested by the mother sets the foundation for her baby’s developing brain, eyes, and nervous system.* DHA also provides mood and nerve support for the mother.* Fish oil is a safe, pure, effective way to promote the optimal health of both baby and mom.*

The research-backed benefits of fish oil include:
  • Promotes the healthy development of the fetal brain, eyes, nervous system*
  • Promotes positive mood and well-being for mothers*
  • Supports healthy birth weight and gestational length*
  • Promotes attention and focus in infants and children*
  • Supports healthy immune system development*
  • Is natural and safe for long-term use"

They are also recognized as the official prenatal supplement for omega-3 from the American Pregnancy Association.

They also informed me that:

  • Maternal DHA supplementation resulted in improved eye-hand coordination at 2.5 years old and improved attention in 5 year olds.
  • Infants whose mothers had higher blood levels of DHA showed better sleep patterns.
  • Children of women who took cod liver oil while pregnant and nursing had higher IQs at age 4 than children who received a placebo.
  • When mothers took cod liver oil during their pregnancy, their offspring had lower levels of diabetes. 

There is clearly something to this supplementation. I am sold!

Prenatal DHA

I have been using their fish oil products ever since I became pregnant with my daughter. I did tons of research on what to take, and found that a lot of fish oils have contaminants that can be harmful when concentrated into an oil. (PCB's, heavy metals etc.) I had reviews and endless websites to look at to find an oil that was tested and guaranteed that the heavy metals were not present. After all, we are taking supplements to help our growing babies, not to harm them!

I really do love eating fish, but I have a hard time finding "good fish" that is considered safe to eat while pregnant. I am also a bit of a fish snob. After visiting Alaska a few years ago, I have found it hard to eat anything but Pacific wild fish. This is hard to do on a budget- Coho salmon and fresh Alaskan cod taste best to me but can be very expensive if you try to eat it a few days a week. I will not ever touch farm raised salmon. See- I am a snob.... 

So I knew I needed to supplement to make up for my snobbery, as well as my skittish stomach. Cooking fish in the house was hard for me while pregnant. Smells bothered me a lot. 

I selected the Nordic Natural DHA prenatal and I was able to take it almost every day. ( hey, there were days when nothing was getting down, let alone fish oil pills;)  The pills are not terribly big, they don't have that strong of a smell, and I found the burping to be minimal. I do take them mostly at night though, so anything that is happening as they digest is at night.

(They do offer a lemon oil infused pill, but my daughter has a bit of a citrus allergy, and that little bit of lemon through breastmilk gave her a bit of a break out. For anyone else, this is probably a great option. The burps are lemony.. lol.)

Once I was breastfeeding my daughter, I was still taking the pills. The oils are so important for me and to my daughter. They keep my skin from getting all dried out, and they help with my achey joints.  I really do feel better while taking them, and miss them when I don't. As I said- I started prenatally, which is over 2 years ago- so I have a long history with them.

Baby's DHA

For some reason, I never looked into fish oil for my daughter. I guess for a long time she was exclusively breastfed so I wasn't too concerned about her, since I was taking the DHA already. Now, however, she is nursing only once a day, and gets most of her calories from food she eats on her own. A DHA supplement is great for her too!  If your baby is using formula, this would probably be very helpful to add to baby's diet to make up for the maternal DHA from breastfeeding. 

My note- some companies add DHA to their formulas- but I have seen no evidence that it is tested for metals like this one is.. so be sure to research..

I do not consider my toddler to be a terribly picky eater, but we do not eat a lot of fish still, and even when we do, she does not ever really dig into it. There are non fish sources of course-  seaweed, lamb, beef, egg, game meat, poultry- but these are not really her favorites either.  If I can get her to eat a serving or 2 of these a week I feel lucky. She loves fruit and vegetables and pasta.. lol. A supplement could be the ticket. 

The question I had though, was whether she  would allow me to administer a fish oil. She is generally really good about taking medicine in a dropper, so I was pretty hopeful she would take this. 

Day 1-no problem. She drank it right up. She kind of made a funny face, I think because she was expecting something sweeter like she is used to, but she swallowed it so it must have been ok. I was only able to give her part of a does though. This was not surprising, as she has a limited acceptance of me putting something in her mouth lately. 

Day 2- no problem. She made more of a face, but she took it.

Day 3- Now, this was a bad day for us. She is cutting 2 year molars, so she is less than cooperative for anything. She wouldn't take it. 

Day 4- no problem again.

There are many parents that will mix in the oil with another beverage. That is probably the route we will be taking in the future. 

(There were a few samples of Nordic Omega-3 Gummies in the swag bag. I suspect this is going to be the product we opt for in the future. The Baby's DHA is for kids up to 35 pounds, and we are almost there. My daughter thought the gummies were candy and she inhaled them, so we know there will be no struggles even on grumpy days!)

But what happened with the toddler? I don't know if it is the DHA, but this baby has been on a crazy energy high for days. She is literally running around in circles, giggling and having a good time. Could there have been something to this DHA? I couldn't say for sure. We will only know when we run out I guess. 

Do I know it is a healthy choice? You bet, and that is enough for me!

DHA for dogs- 

As I mentioned- there was a sample of DHA for my dog.. I left it in her food bowl and she gobbled it in 2.5 seconds. It was amazing. That dog never takes pills for me but those were gone in an instant. Since she has some risks for arthritis because of her short little legs, we will be considering buying her a supply as well.

I have to say- I had not planned to write such a long review, but I really am a huge fan of these products and a firm believer in the value of these pre and post natal supplements.

Thanks so much to Nordic Naturals for sending us all the great product and information. I thought I knew a lot- but I learned even more!

They would like to share with you!

Enter here to win:
A bottle of Prenatal DHA
A bottle of Baby's DHA
A Nordic Natural's "What's Essential" t-shirt 
and an awesome swag bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.