DHA: Omega-3s and Pregnancy



Moms-to-be want to be sure to consume all the nutrients needed to support their own health and that of their developing little one. Experts agree that one of the most important nutrients for pregnant or nursing moms is Omega-3. The U.S. Academy of Pediatrics recommends 200-300 mg of DHA Omega-3 to be consumed daily by pregnant and nursing mothers[1]. As a contrast, the Japanese Ministry of Health recommends 1900 mg of total Omega-3 daily[2]! Why? Omega-3 is crucial for the proper development of brain and eyes. It is also vital to the integrity of our cellular health. Babies need Omega-3s present as they grow within their moms, and after birth, they need a good supply from mom’s breast milk. In fact, we all need Omega-3s during every stage of life. Omega-3 is essential.

Several great options exist for moms to supplement with Omega-3s. Fish oil is a standard, proven way to boost Omega-3s. Just make sure the fish oil you use is a recognized, quality brand that is purified to remove heavy metals, like mercury, and other toxins. Fish oils are available in liquid or softgel form, and even some delicious, creamy emulsified forms that are easy-on-the-tummy! Try Barlean’s Mango Peach Omega Swirl, for instance. Mom will be able to take it right off the spoon with no fishy-queasiness—it’s super-easy to digest and absorb all those great Omega-3s. Of course, if mom decides to supplement with any nutrient, it’s best to take the supplement to her next doctor visit to get a professional nod. Do you need to “double up” since you are supplementing for two? No, just take the recommended amount on the label (or as recommended by your health care provider) and do it faithfully every day!

Organic flax seed oil is a great solution for moms who want a vegan Omega-3. With 7700 mgs of parent Omega-3, called ALA, in each tablespoon, mom’s body will begin to convert some of the ALA into EPA and then to DHA. The conversion rate for healthy moms is stated to be as high as 21% to EPA and 9% to DHA according to the Journal of Progress in Lipid Research[3]. Adding a spoon of pure, organic flax oil to a smoothie, yogurt or even oatmeal, daily, is simple and provides great nutrition. Ground flax seeds and chia seeds supply about 3,000 mg of ALA per serving. All are clean, organic, vegan sources of important Omega-3. Wishing for a vegan delicious, creamy alternative like the Omega Swirl mentioned earlier? Try flavorful Blackberry or Pomegranate-Blueberry Vegan Omega Swirls!


[1] Johnston M Landers S Noble L Szucs K and Viehmann L for the Section on Breastfeeding (2012). Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics 129:e827-e841.


[2] Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (2010). Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese. Daiichi Shuppan Publishing Co., Ltd., Tokyo, 2009


[3] Progress in Lipid Research.2009(48) 355-374