I started my personal journey into supplementing my lifestyle with Omega-3 DHA over a decade ago. At that time, the Omega-3 supplements were not widely sold or even being talked about. All my education about the benefits of Omega-3 was done with the help of limited online resources. I also visited health shows and expos where Omega-3 DHA supplements were unveiled and promoted. CHECK OUT THEM ON AMAZON HERE.
From everything I learned about Omega-3 DHA has been a valuable journey for me and my child. I took Omega-3 before and during my pregnancy. And I still continue to take it on the daily basis. My child is the recipient of Omega-3 DHA as well. We do it religiously in our family.
In this post, I’d like to emphasize the importance of Omega-3 DHA during pregnancy. Babies totally depend on the supply of DHA from a mother, as they are unable to convert enough alpha-linolenic oil (an omega-3 oil) into DHA.
Look at the benefits Omega-3 DHA supplies to the growing babies inside the mother’s womb!
“Researchers at the School of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia found that two years after birth, the children whose mothers had received a high dose of fish oil (including 2.2 g of DHA) in the second half of their pregnancy had higher scores in tests of their eye-hand coordination. ” (Ref. Everyday Health)
Another study done in the UK has found the following benefits of eating foods rich in Omega-3 DHA:
“The study found that children of women who ate more than the recommended amount of seafood during pregnancy had higher scores for verbal intelligence, fine motor skills, communication, and social development.”
Many studies suggest that higher DHA levels in babies’ diets does translate into better brain functioning, especially for cognitive and visual function. Simply said, babies see better, and their vision plays a more powerful role in developing other important functions as they grow.
(Ref. McCann JC, Ames BN. Is docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, required for development of normal brain function? An overview of evidence from cognitive and behavioral tests in humans and animals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;82(2):281-95.)
Higher Birth Weight
Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands found that mothers whose DHA levels, especially early in pregnancy, were higher had babies with better developed weight and head circumference at birth. (Ref. Everyday Health)
What are the Sources for Omega-3?
• Coldwater Fish – Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Anchovies, Krill
• Avoid these fish – Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish
• Eat Sparingly – Canned Albacore Tuns and Freshwater Fish, Shellfish
• Walnuts and Walnut Oil
For pregnant and breastfeeding women, do use caution if you go after fish, as it may contain high levels of mercury. It is safer to use Fish Oil Omega-3 supplements.
Obviously, food sources for the Omega-3 are the best way to go. However, with pollution widely-spread, you may be better-off with high quality fish oil or plant source for Omega-3 DHA supplements.
Currently, there are no official recommendations on the amount of DHA pregnant women need. What is clear is that Omega-3 DHA is one of the key supplementations our bodies need.