Pregnancy and Infants

Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy is important for the offspring
Maternal dietary supplementation with fish oil during pregnancy is safe for the foetus and infant, and may result in better hand-eye coordination.

In this study 98 women were supplemented either with 4 g of fish oil comprised of 2.2 g DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and 1.1 g EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), or 4 g of olive oil each day for 20 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. At the age of 2 ½ years the babies were tested for growth, assessment of language, behaviour, practical reasoning and hand-eye coordination. Even though no significant differences in growth or language assessment were observed between the groups the hand-eye coordination was higher amongst the children of fish-oil-supplementing mothers. The researchers were able to link high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the cord blood with good hand-eye coordination.

J A Dunstan et al (2006) Cognitive assessment at 2 ½ years following fish oil supplementation in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood and Fetal Neonatal Education, des 21.