What is the Prenatal DHA Test?
The Prenatal DHA Test is a blood test that measures the amount of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, in red blood cell membranes. Knowing a Prenatal DHA level is important because pregnant women with higher DHA blood levels are less likely to have early preterm birth. DHA also plays an important role in the baby’s brain, eye and immune system development. Once a pregnant woman knows her Prenatal DHA level, her diet can be personalised with her healthcare provider to safely change her Prenatal DHA level in as little as 2-3 months.
DHA During Pregnancy
- DHA is an essential nutrient for the proper development of the baby’s brain, eyes and immune system.
- The baby’s only source of DHA while in the womb is directly from mum.
- Early preterm birth is less likely in women with higher Prenatal DHA levels.
- Pregnant women with DHA levels less than 3% were 10x more likely to have early preterm birth compared to women with higher DHA levels.
- Women who took a DHA supplement during pregnancy were 42% less likely to have early preterm birth compared to those who did not.
Benefits of DHA for Baby and Mum
Higher DHA levels during pregnancy provide benefits throughout childhood and is important for mums health after birth.
- Kids whose moms took DHA during pregnancy had lower rates of asthma at 3 years old compared to those who did not. This effect was strongest in moms with DHA levels <4.5% before starting supplementation.
- Babies from moms who had higher DHA levels during pregnancy had better problem solving skills at 1 year.
- Women with DHA levels >5% during pregnancy had lower postpartum depression scores.
- Higher Prenatal DHA levels are strongly correlated with higher breastmilk DHA levels during the first 6 weeks of lactation.
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