It’s always important to give your body the nutrients it needs—but it’s especially important when you’re pregnant.
One nutrient that’s key for pregnant women (and their growing babies) is DHA. But what, exactly, is DHA? What are some of the health benefits it provides to mother and baby? And why should you look for DHA in a prenatal multivitamin?
What is DHA?
First things first—before we jump into the health benefits of DHA (and why it’s important during pregnancy), let’s first cover what DHA actually is. DHA is the abbreviation for docosahexaenoic acid, one of the three major Omega-3 fatty acids. (The other 2? Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.) Omega-3s are an essential part of cell membranes and are involved with a variety of processes in the body, including supporting brain, heart and eye health.*
All the Omega-3 fatty acids are present in the body, but DHA is particularly prominent in the brain and eyes (which is why they play such a crucial role in supporting brain and vision health). Ongoing research also points to additional health benefits of DHA for pregnant women—including supporting the growing fetus.* (1)