A guide to omega-3 DHA intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Parker-Littler, Catharine; Klein, Kathy
December 2009
British Journal of Midwifery;Dec2009, Vol. 17 Issue 12, p807
Academic Journal
It is well established that good nutrition plays an essential physiological role in a woman's and baby's health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Midwives have a strategic opportunity to influence and support healthy eating habits and dietary intake but need accurate and evidence-based information including any new knowledge to inform their clinical practice. In recent years systematic reviews of scientific literature and consensus recommendations from international and national experts have emphasized the important benefits of Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on fetal development and maternal health. This article includes a review of recent literature relating to adequate DHA intake for preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. The literature is reviewed with the purpose of providing midwives with a scientific basis from which they will be confident to share their knowledge. Also included is a guide designed to help midwives establish a cohesive practice regarding the communication of Omega- 3 DHA information and intake recommendations, including common food sources.


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