Consuming omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy benefits both the development of the baby, as well as the health of the mother. They have been found to be essential for both neurological and early visual development of the baby, and have been shown to prevent pre-term labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia for moms-to-be. A study, conducted by the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) looked to find if pregnant moms they were consuming enough omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3-LCPUFA) to meet current recommendations. Unfortunately, the findings revealed that most of these women were not.
For their study, APrON looked at 600 women who lived in Edmonton and Calgary. The team found that the majority of participants, despite a high level of education and income, were not meeting these recommendations for omega-3 LCPUFA during pregnancy and lactation. According to the study: “Only 27% of women during pregnancy and 25% at three months postpartum met the current consensus recommendation for DHA. Seafood, fish and seaweed products contributed to 79% of overall n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids intake from foods, with the majority from salmon. Results suggest that the majority of women in the cohort were not meeting the EU recommendation for DHA during pregnancy and lactation.”