DHA during Pregnancy
Nutrition before, during and after pregnancy plays an important role in fetal and infant development, as well as in maternal well-being. During pregnancy, DHA supports optimal infant brain, eye and nervous system development and is particularly important in the third trimester when significant brain growth occurs. Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy and while nursing significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the fetus and infant and may help support developmental outcomes, such as eye-hand coordination, motor skills and attention span.
DHA also provides important maternal benefits for the mother. It is suggested DHA supplementation during pregnancy may help lengthen gestation and support the mental state of the mother.
DHA while Nursing
It is important that breastfeeding women consume a healthy diet that includes DHA to support both their health and the health of their developing infant. Recognizing the importance of maternal DHA intake, a workshop sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (NIH/ISSFAL) recommended an intake of 300mg/day of DHA for pregnant and nursing women.
There are several algal DHA prenatal supplements available to pregnant and nursing women to help them achieve recommended levels of DHA intake.