DHA gets a lot of buzz in the baby community. That’s because research has shown that it helps to support your growing baby’s eye and brain development – both in the womb and after birth. But you may be wondering, well, what exactly is it? We’ve got you. We’re breaking down the simple science behind DHA and pregnancy, the importance for both mom and baby, as well as good ways to get it.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) an omega-3 fatty acid, is important for health and development. It supports a healthy heart, brain function, joint mobility, eye health, healthy skin and hair, as well as a healthy immune response.
DHA and Pregnancy
Omega-3 DHA is the most important fatty acid for pregnancy because it’s a critical building block to your baby’s brain, retina and nervous system. But it’s not all about baby; it’s also a major ally for expecting moms, too. DHA can help support healthy labor and delivery outcomes, while studies have shown that it also helps to support mood and well-being during postpartum.
DHA and Breastfeeding
Your baby continues to develop at a rapid pace after birth, so it’s equally important that you incorporate DHA into your diet while you’re breastfeeding. Research has shown that DHA can support your baby’s healthy immune system development as well as their attention and focus. It also promotes positive vibes in moms, too.
DHA in Your Diet
Now that you understand DHA and pregnancy and how crucial it is to incorporate DHA into your diet whether you’re eating for two or breastfeeding your newborn, below are some top sources to consider:
- Low-mercury, cold-water fish: salmon, tuna, sardines
- Some eggs and milk are fortified with DHA
- Fish oil
An Easier Way to Get DHA
The amount of omega-3 DHA recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding normally requires two to three servings of low-mercury fish per week.
That can be a pretty tall order for just one nutrient. The good news is that there are prenatal vitamins with expert-recommended omega-3 DHA in easy-to-take capsules.