Pregnant Women Not Getting Enough Omega-3, Study Finds

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Updated
Feb 2017
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Photo: Getty

You might want to up your omega-3 intake — it could do wonders for baby’s brain development.

A new study found only 27 percent of pregnant women get enough omega-3 during pregnancy, a fatty acid found in fish, seafood and seaweed products. While you do want to steer clear of mercury-rich seafood like swordfish, shark king mackerel and debatably tuna, fish is still the best way to get this brain-boosting compound.

Omega-3 is critical for fetal, placental and fetal brain development. The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada recommend healthy adults — including pregnant and lactating women — get at least 500 mg per day. If you’re pregnant, one way to do this is to eat the FDA-recommended 8-12 ounces of low-mercury fish each week. Prenatal supplements are also a helpful way to hit this recommended 500 mg mark.

Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON), the group who conducted the study, is calling for more nutritional counseling and education about the benefits of supplements for pregnant and postnatal women.

 

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