Newly-published research from the University of Kansas shows prenatal supplements of the omega-3 fatty acid called DHA reduce the risk of severely-premature birth and low birth weight.
Babies who are born before 34 weeks of gestation are typically very tiny, and are at elevated risk of death or disability. A five-year study by University of Kansas researchers Susan Carlson and John Colombo says those outcomes are much less likely when mothers-to-be take DHA supplements.
March of Dimes Medical Director Edward McCabe says the study is highly credible.
“I think the first message for women is that taking DHA is safe. Because a lot of women are taking this during their pregnancy," he says.
"I think we need to tell women, if you’re taking DHA up to levels of 600 milligrams per day, which was the level used in the study, it’s safe for you, and it’s safe for your baby.”
The study of 350 women found that those who took DHA were eight times less likely to deliver before their 34th week of pregnancy.