Taking DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) in Pregnancy: Risks & Benefits

Taking DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) in Pregnancy

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid that is given to pregnant women. It is recommended during and after pregnancy because it is said to help women stay away from complications while it also enhances the development of the baby in the womb. DHA has amazing benefits if it is taken in the right amount, and it can be taken from various different sources. DHA can be obtained naturally through different food options, and it can also be taken through supplements. However, it is important to talk to your doctor about taking supplements before you start.

DHA Uses and Benefits in Pregnancy

A pregnant woman eating her meal.

1. Helps In The Development of The Brain

Research stated that women who take good amounts of DHA had children who were able to do better in a test of eye-hand coordination. A test that was conducted on four-year-old children also proved that children whose mothers took DHA supplements during pregnancy period had a better IQ than other children.

2. Healthy Birth Weight

It is said that there is a positive association between the DHA levels found in the mother and the weight of the baby and also the circumference of the baby’s head at birth.

3. Reduces Blood Pressure

Omega-3 fatty acids DHA that is in fish oil can help women with high blood pressure as it fights against hardening of arteries.

4. Reduction Of Preterm Labour

Women who have a history of preterm labour need to take DHA as it can help in changing this pattern to having a normal delivery and healthy pregnancy.

DHA Requirements during Pregnancy

DHA has gone through quite a number of researches which has proved that it is a requirement for pregnant women. Taking DHA has shown many positive pregnancy outcomes. It is said that parts of omega 3 acids actually go through the placenta to feed the baby, as this is a major requirement for the development of the baby. So DHA is something that is required for both the baby and the mother, and it only helps in providing the mother and the child with better nutrition. So, when to take DHA supplements during pregnancy? You can add DHA to your diet during mealtime right from the beginning of your pregnancy period. In fact, it is good for women even before and after pregnancy, as it has many other proven health benefits required for women.

Sources of DHA

9 Foods rich in DHA

DHA is definitely going to help you and your little baby. So here is where you can find good amounts of DHA for your body:

  • Fatty fish like Salmon, canned light tuna, herring are natural sourced of DHA.
  • Algae are a rich source of DHA and EPA. In fact, an alga which is in fish’s food chain is what gives fish the DHA component as well.
  • Health Drinks like Mother’s Horlicks is said to have DHA levels.

Risks of Consuming Too much DHA during Pregnancy

With all these benefits, we might want to add a good amount of DHA in our diet. However, that is risky as well. There are limitations as to how much DHA can be consumed when you are pregnant. It is recommended to have 8 to 12 ounces of fish that is low in mercury. There are issues that could occur when there are heavy metals present in fishes. Taking supplements of DHA is a safe option as it keeps you away from other unsafe components such as metals and it is also the best way to have pure DHA. Make sure to reach out to a dietician before you take supplements so that you know which ones and how much is good for you.

Do you Need DHA Supplements during Pregnancy?

DHA supplements for pregnant and nursing mothers have resulted in many amazing benefits for an infant and for the foetus as well.

In fact, even if you don’t take DHA through supplements or food, your body will take DHA from its own reservoir to provide for the foetus development. Hence, it is a definite requirement for pregnant women.

Some of the benefits that we identified are motor skills, attention span etc. If you are wondering DHA during pregnancy when to start?It is said that omega 3 fatty acid should be added to woman’s diet before and during the time of pregnancy, and also after pregnancy.

DHA supplements have always been highly recommended for women, especially for pregnant women. If you are considering taking these supplements, talk to your doctor about it and find out the best way to take it along with your other medications.

Also Read:

Pregnancy Supplements
Protein Powder in Pregnancy
Taking Vitamin E during Pregnancy

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