When it comes to preterm birth, every day counts

Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, and rates are rising in many countries. Although premature births remain a problem in the developed world, it is especially burdensome in low and middle income countries, with World Health Organization (WHO) figures demonstrating that 1 in 10 babies are born preterm globally. Preterm birth is a leading cause of death among infants, and often comes with significant and enduring health issues for survivors – as well as emotional distress for mothers. It is well established that omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, have positive benefits on both maternal health and fetal development. Furthermore, strong evidence demonstrates that DHA supplementation substantially reduces the risk of preterm birth. However, supplementation during pregnancy remains low despite recommendations by leading experts.

EXPERT RECOMMENDATION

Key conclusions from the expert panel

The first global expert clinical practice guidelines for omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA, to reduce preterm birth were recently published. The expert panel included 24 experts in obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, and nutrition from all over the globe. The guideline was funded and supported by the Child Health Foundation, was published on behalf of six scientific-medical organizations, and was recently endorsed by the European Board & College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

  • All women of childbearing age should consume at least 250 mg of DHA+EPA per day (this intake can be met with DHA alone).
  • Pregnant women should consume at least 350-450 mg of DHA+EPA per day, with at least 100-200 mg coming from DHA specifically (as above, all of this intake can come from DHA alone).
  • Pregnant women with low DHA intake and/or blood status at the beginning of pregnancy should consume 600-1000 mg DHA+EPA (or DHA) daily.
  • Intakes of up to 1000 mg DHA+EPA (or DHA) per day do not raise safety concerns in pregnant women.

Explore our complete offering for all stages of pregnancy

Planning Pregnancy 

In preparation for a healthy conception & pregnancy start prenatal supplementation 2 months in advance
Experts recommend that all women of childbearing age, especially those trying to get pregnant, consume at least 250mg DHA+EPA (or DHA alone) per day.

Carrying

During pregnancy, women need additional DHA to prevent preterm birth and support baby's developing brain
The experts recommend that all pregnant women consume an additional intake of at least 100-200mg/day DHA, for a total daily intake of 350-450mg DHA+EPA. This total can be met with DHA alone.

High Risk Pregnancy 

Women with low DHA status or intake in early pregnancy have an increased risk of preterm and early preterm
The experts recommend that women with low DHA intakes consume at least 600-1000mg DHA (or DHA + EPA) per day to reduce their risk of preterm birth. Women with low DHA intake or status can be identified with a blood test or a food frequency questionnaire like the one below.

Building the foundations for a healthy pregnancy: The role of omega-3s

Giving soon-to-be moms peace of mind is our purpose. And following the latest scientific expert recommendations, we elevate the role of DHA for a healthy pregnancy with our plant-based omega-3s offering.

Take a deep dive into the full information in our brochure. 

Our partnership with EFCNI - Help set preterm infants on a path to a long, healthy life

The European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI) raises awareness around the challenges of preterm birth and increase the standards for preconception, maternal, and newborn care. We remain a proud partner of the EFCNI and support every year World Prematurity Day which brings together parents, healthcare professionals, experts in neonatology, and scientists who have the common goal of improving the long-term health of infants born prematurely. There are many complications associated with premature birth, however, advances in medical care and nutrition have improved the outcomes for preterm infants. Maternal and neonatal nutrition have been known to play critical roles during pregnancy and the post-partum period. 

Give soon-to-be moms peace of mind with plant-based omega-3s

DHA Food Frequency Questionnaire

The following is a questionnaire that will estimate your daily omega-3 DHA intake. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid mainly found in seafood, eggs and dietary supplements. Please answer the questions based upon your consumption of the following foods over the past 2 months. You will be shown a sliding scale bar to provide amounts. Answer each question as best you can and feel free to estimate if you are not sure, as a guess is better than leaving the answer blank. Please note that this questionnaire is for informational and educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals. The data will not be shared with others.

How many 3oz. (~85g) servings of the following fish have you eaten in the past 2 months? A 3oz. (~85g) serving is the size of a deck of cards.

Bluefish
Blue fin tuna
Cisco-smoked
Herring
Mackerel
Pollock
Sardines
Salmon
Whitefish

How many 3oz. (~85g) servings of the following fish have you eaten in the past 2 months? A 3oz. (~85g) serving is the size of a deck of cards.

Bass
Calamari
Catfish
Drumfish
Flounder
Grouper
Halibut
Mussels
Perch
Redfish
Rockfish
Shark
Snapper
Sole
Squid
Trout
Tuna-canned
Whiting

How many 3oz. (~85g) servings of the following fish have you eaten in the past 2 months? A 3oz. (~85g) serving is the size of a deck of cards.

Carp
Clams
Cod
Crab
Crayfish
Eel
Fish patties
Fish sticks
Haddock
Lobster
Mullet
Oysters
Pike
Pompano
Scallops
Shrimp
Sturgeon

How many 3oz. (~85g) servings of liver did you eat in the past 2 months? A 3oz. (~85g) serving is the size of a deck of cards.

How many egg yolks did you eat EACH WEEK (including egg yolks used in cooking) in the past 2 months?

How many 3 oz. (~85g) servings of chicken, turkey, or other poultry (not including livers) did you eat EACH WEEK in the past 2 months? A 3oz. (~85g) serving is the size of a deck of cards.

Are you taking a dietary supplement with DHA (algal or fish oil)?

Amount of DHA in each capsule/serving (in mg)?

mg

How many days per week do you remember to take your supplement?

days

TOTAL DAILY DHA INTAKE:

Thank you for taking the survey. Your daily DHA intake is below expert recommendations for pregnant women.1 DHA is found in seafood, eggs and dietary supplements (algal or fish oil). If you are pregnant, consider talking to your healthcare professional about a DHA supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamin. Experts recommend that pregnant women with low DHA intake or status consume 600-1000mg of omega-3 per day (as DHA or DHA + EPA).1

 

1. Cetin I, Carlson SE, Burden C, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid supply in pregnancy for risk reduction of preterm and early preterm birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. Published online December 7, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.101251

Thank you for taking the survey. Experts recommend pregnant women consume at least 350-450mg of omega-3 per day (as DHA alone or DHA+EPA with at least 100-200mg as DHA).1 If you are pregnant, consider talking to your healthcare professional about a DHA supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamin to optimize your DHA intake.

 

1. Cetin I, Carlson SE, Burden C, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid supply in pregnancy for risk reduction of preterm and early preterm birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. Published online December 7, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.101251

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