Omega-3s may lead to healthier babies
One way pregnant women may be able to improve their chances of delivering a healthy baby is to take a daily omega-3 supplement, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study randomly assigned 154 healthy women to take 600 milligrams of DHA, an omega-3 supplement, every day, and gave 147 women a placebo. The women took the pills during the last half of their pregnancies, and after adjusting the results for maternal education, socioeconomic status, prior pregnancy, smoking and other risk factors, the results showed that the mothers who took the supplements had longer gestations, bigger babies and fewer early preterm births.
The babies of mothers who took the DHA were, on average, a half pound heavier. Also, 5 percent of the babies of mothers who took the placebo were born at 34 weeks or fewer, while only .6 percent of the babies from the mothers taking the supplement were born that early.
The researchers, from the University of Kansas, indicated that there were no adverse effects to taking the supplements, and that women should discuss taking DHA during pregnancy with their doctors before doing so.