Pregnant Women Should Get DHA Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The March of Dimes suggests that pregnant women consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA, one of the three major omega-3 fatty acids, every day to help support fetal brain and eye development. After the baby is born, DHA omega-3 fatty acids consumed through breastfeeding may also help support mental, visual, and motor skill development, Dr. Fleischman says.

Many baby formulas now contain DHA. DHA is found naturally in breast milk. You can also expect to see DHA in prenatal vitamins. Of course you should always read the label to see what each vitamin pill actually contains.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain types of fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. However, DHA is present naturally in specific fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna, as well as algal oil, organ meats and breast milk. Pregnant or nursing women or those planning a pregnancy should eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury content fish per week and avoid high-mercury content fish, Dr. Fleischman advises.

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Source: March of Dimes


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