DHA in Pregnancy: Fetal and Newborn Health

DHA: Omega 3 fatty acids for you and your baby

A recent article in Time magazine called  Fish Oil During Pregnancy Fights Colds Among Newborns highlights the benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil and its affects on the health of a developing fetus’ immune system and how that translates to a healthier newborn up to 6 months old.
According to the research study, at Emory University and in Mexico, which was featured in the article and released in Pediatrics, pregnant women who took 400mg a day of DHA , helped their newborns to fight off more cold symptoms than moms who took the  placebo and the effects seem to last for six months. After the initial 6 months post-birth, the DHA-protected infants began to experience roughly the same rate of symptoms (though they were for a shorter duration) as those babies whose mothers did not take DHA.
This, of course, is NOT news to those of us in the holistic community. We always encourage our moms-to-be to take DHA along with a good prenatal vitamin during pregnancy. We find that pairing these supplements, along with acupuncture can greatly benefit both baby and  mom, including in helping to prevent postpartum issues.

DHA: Flowering a healthy immune system and vibrant brain for your baby

Other Proven Benefits of DHA Supplementation:

  • More advanced attention spans into the child’s second year of life
  • Greater infant brain development
  • Higher IQs at four years of age than children of mothers not supplementing DHA
  • Decreased potential risk  for depression and particularly, postpartum depression in mothers
  • Longer average gestation periods, allowing for greater development of baby

Besides being great during pregnancy, Omega 3 oils containing DHA found in food sources like cold water fish, flaxseed, spirulina and walnuts can help protect your heart, lower blood pressure and reduce rates of clinical depression.