Baby Health: The importance of DHA during pregnancy and breastfeeding

• A 2003 study published in the journal Pediatrics showed children whose mothers took a DHA supplement during pregnancy scored higher on intelligence tests at four years of age than children of mothers not taking DHA supplements.

• A 2004 study published in Child Development found that babies whose mothers had high blood levels of DHA at delivery had advanced attention spans into their second year of life. During the first six months of life these infants were two months ahead of babies whose mothers had lower DHA levels.

• Other research studies suggest breastfed babies have IQs of six to 10 points higher than formula-fed babies. Medical and nutritional experts attribute this difference to the DHA infants receive while nursing.

• In a trial of women receiving DHA supplementation during the third trimester, the average length of gestation increased six days (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2003).

• Research has found low levels of DHA in mother's milk and in the red blood cells of women with postpartum depression. (Journal of Affective Disorders, 2002). Some scientists believe increasing levels of maternal DHA may reduce the risk of postpartum depression.