Consumers / Pregnancy

Why we need Omega-3s | Importance of Long Chain Omega-3s | Pregnancy | Children | Teenagers and Adults | Consuming Omega-3


Long chain omega-3s, in particular DHA, are important for the development of the brain, eyes and central nervous system of the growing baby. Higher intake of DHA has also been shown to reduce the risk of premature births (less than 34 weeks).

Long chain omega-3s are passed to the baby via the placenta during pregnancy and breast milk after the baby is born. The amount of omega-3s passed onto the baby is dependent on the mother’s dietary intake of these essential nutrients. The last trimester of pregnancy is the time when DHA accumulation into the growing baby’s brain and nervous system is at its greatest.

A high dietary intake of DHA by the mother, particularly in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, is associated with beneficial effects on eye sight development, motor activity and various cognitive functions in full term infants after birth.

If dietary intake of long chain omega-3s during pregnancy is inadequate, omega-3 fatty acids are taken from the mother's own body, leaving her depleted, possibly increasing the likelyhood of post natal depression. No adverse effects to the mother or baby have been found in providing high levels of DHA to women during pregnancy.

The World Association of Perinatal Medicine Dietary Guidelines Working Group recommend pregnant women consume at least 200mg/day of omega-3 DHA.