Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids when You are Pregnant lowers the Risk of Premature Birth

Posted by nutritionist 11/01/2019 0 Comment(s) women's care,

Based on the World Health Organization, premature birth is the world’s leading cause of death for children below 5 years old.  

 

Preterm refers to babies born before reaching the 37 week mark. Many premature babies suffer from lifelong conditions such as learning difficulties, visual and hearing impairments. About 1 million child deaths every year are attributable to complications of preterm birth.

 

The good news is that the risk of premature births can be lowered by increasing the consumption of long-chain omega-3s (specifically DHA and EPA in fatty fish and fish oil supplements) during pregnancy!

 

Researchers from the New South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) analysed 70 randomised trials and discovered that the elevated daily intake of long-chain omega-3s was associated with:

 

  • 11% decrease in the risk of premature births (before 37 weeks)

 

  • 42% decrease in the risk of early premature births (before 34 weeks)

 

  • 10% decrease in the risk of giving birth to a small baby (below 2500g)

 

The study recommends women pregnant with one baby to:

 

Take between 500 to 1000mg of long-chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) daily, with a minimum of 500mg being DHA starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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