What's the Safest Source of Omega-3s During Pregnancy?

 Omega-3s are important for a baby's brain development. Before you run out and buy 10 pounds of fish, read about Nutrition Diva's take on the best source for getting omega-3s into your diet during pregnancy. 

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

What's the Safest Source of Omega-3s During Pregnancy?

by Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.

Q. Pregnancy is (hopefully!) imminent for me and I was hoping you could advise on the best way to get omega-3s in my diet. You’ve said that fish are the most potent source of omega-3, but I also hear warnings about eating too much fish during pregnancy because of concerns about mercury. How do I balance these two things?

A. DHA is the omega-3 that’s particularly important for a baby’s brain development—and you’re right: Fish are by far the most potent source. Research shows that the benefits of eating fish during pregnancy far outweigh any concerns about mercury. And, as it happens, most of the fish that are highest in DHA are also low in mercury. Salmon, anchovies, herring, and sardines all fit the bill. A couple servings a week should cover both you and baby. If that's more fish than you feel like eating, you can also take a DHA supplement. (Check in with your OB about dosage.)

Related Reading

DHA and Your Brain
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Should You Be Worried About Mercury and Fish

Raw salmon fillet from Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.