Best DHA Supplements for Pregnancy

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Best DHA Supplements for Pregnancy

Dear Moms (and mommas-to-be),
You probably already know how essential fatty acids and omega 3s are for your bub’s brain development and overall health and well being.

Your body doesn’t produce a particular fatty acid called ‘docosahexaenoic acid’ (also known as ‘DHA’) so it must be consumed through diet or DHA supplements.

Your baby’s brain is developed most from the age 0–6. During this time, DHA is used to develop his/her eyes, brain, and immune system. 

Without enough DHA, studies have shown it can lead to poor infant and child visual and neural development. This is why it’s so important to get the best DHA supplement for pregnancy.

We’ve rounded up the highest quality prenatal DHA supplements for you. You can discover right here which prenatal omega 3 supplements are best and which ones to avoid. 

Rest easy, knowing you have the safest, top-notch product to give you and your baby the best start in life. 

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5 Best DHA Supplements for Pregnancy

Omega 3 Fish Oil, Arazo Nutrition – Best Overall

Arazo Nutrition delivers a whopping 2,250mg of fatty acids, including DHA, EPA, and other omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking for a product that delivers all your fatty acids in a single tablet then this may be a good option for you.

You can trust the quality due to its high FDA-approved manufacturing and independent third-party testing. 

I’ll be honest, it doesn’t have a nice berry flavor like some of the other supplements. While it doesn’t have a super sweet flavor, it’s all-natural, non-GMO, and contains no detectable nasty toxins.

If you like natural products and don’t mind a sublet lemon oil flavor, this might be a good choice for you. 

If you’re starting out and haven’t taken many other supplements, this might be a good option to start with as it covers all your fatty acids at once.

Especially if you’re already pregnant or lactating, it might just give you the extra boost you need.  

Overall, I’d say this could be a great choice if you’re looking for a natural product that delivers all your essential fatty acids in a single pill.

ProsCons
FDA and GMP Certified FacilityUse caution if you are sensitive to soy
Natural mild lemon oil tasteRequires 3 x tablets per serving
Third-party tested
Contains additional EPA fatty acids
Molecular distillation – no detectable heavy metals, PCBs or toxins
Non-GMO

XTENDLIFE Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil – Exclusive Formula – Best Quality Pill

 

Xtend-Life has a reputation for delivering products of exceptionally high quality.

They are one of New Zealand’s business success stories and now sell to over 40 different countries.

They are renowned for the quality of their ingredients, innovative formulas, and competitive pricing on prenatal omega 3 and nutritional supplements.

They offer state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and fish (tuna and whiting) oil that is sourced from pristine, uncontaminated waters off the coast of New Zealand.

If you are squeamish or find it difficult to swallow tablets these mini-gels might be easier to swallow.

Specifically designed to pack the most amount of Omega 3/DHA into a small pill, 2 mini-gels contain 350 mg.

There are alternatives that are manufactured in the US so if you want faster delivery and easier customer service, I would buy an American product over this one.

However, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s nice to support family-owned businesses. This product goes directly to you from the factory in New Zealand so at least it’s not sitting on a shelf somewhere for months on end. If you like your products ultra-fresh, then this might be a good choice.

Personally, I had no problems with delivery or customer service and the product was so easy for my kids and me to swallow. Plus no fish burps which is always great. And I like that they use natural preservatives: Vitamin E and rosemary extract.

All in all, this is an eco friendly pill from a reputable high-quality company. For a sustainably sourced fish, this might be a good option for you.

ProsCons
State-of-the-art manufacturing technologyMight leave an oily residue
Pristine hygiene facilitiesSome a fishy, burpy taste for some
High-Quality ProductNot made in US
No additives or added flavorings
Eco Friendly – Sustainably sourced fish
365-day money-back guarantee
Family-owned business
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Daily DHA – Highest Potency & Purity DHA Fish Oil in TG Form

Wellness Resources is an affordable option for the whole family. With 500mg of DHA it’s high-quality mercury-free fish oil made from a combination of sardine, anchovy, and mackerel.

As well as being high in DHA, it’s low in EPA creating a wonderful fatty acid balance that’s strong on nutrients without that nasty fish taste. The fish are sourced from cold, deep waters south of Chile. The DHA from the fish is the natural triglyceride form (TG). The TG form of fish oil is more bioavailable than ethyl esters (EE).

The triglyceride form is easier for your body to digest and absorb. The triglyceride form is a more stable form of fish oil that will not oxidize in the capsule. This means no “fishy taste” or burping of fish oil and better DHA uptake into cells.

A family-owned business, they make sure their products, including this one, are all molecularly-distilled to remove mercury, PCBs, heavy metals, and other toxins.

If you like products made in the US, this product might be best for you. It’s made In the US in GMP Certified Lab and each batch is tested for both purity and potency. Their labs also follow stringent quality guidelines and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

I have friends who have bought from these guys for years and never had any problems. I’m on my fourth bottle and have no complaints. Plus their customer service is incredible.

For those who are significantly lower in DHA, this could possibly be a worthwhile pill. It has a significantly higher dose of DHA, so if you’re expecting twins or have recently given birth, I would recommend this product. 

ProsCons
Made in USA GMP Certified LabNot very many reviews
Mercury FreeNo additional ingredients
100% wild-caught fish
High 500mg of DHA
Affordable price
Easy on the stomach

Freshfield Vegan Omega 3 DHA Supplement: Best Vegan Pill  

 

It’s about time somebody created a vegan pregnancy pill option. No fear of fishy taste here. This pill is made from.. microalgae. And it contains both DHA and DPA.

Ever heard of DPA? DPA optimizes and intensifies the overall effects of omega-3. The body can store twice the amount of DPA in blood as EPA and it can be up to 10x more efficient at boosting heart/joint/cognitive health and mood.


And you guessed it, this product contains DPA. Or as I like to call it – the “king” of anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids.

What’s more, these are sustainable natural pills. Freshfield is a Canadian company that cares about creating environmentally sustainable products. 

For those wanting the maximum amount of specifically DHA, then this might not be best. While it contains other fatty acids the individual amount of DHA is only 240 mg. There are other supplements that focus purely on DHA if that’s what you’re after.

If you like to save the world and protect the Earth, this might be your product. For every bottle you purchase, a bottle worth of plastic is pulled from the Earth’s waterways. 

For those with dietary restrictions, or looking to contribute to a cleaner, healthier Earth, go with this product. This pill might be a great alternative for a vegan looking for the best prenatal DHA supplement or a mom wanting a nice blend of fatty acids. 

ProsCons
Certified plastic neutral product240 mg of DHA – significantly less than other pills
FDA Approved facilityFarm-grown produce not wild-caught
Contains additional DPA and EPA
Mercury-free
Vegan microalgae

Easiest Pill to Swallow

As the official Omega-3 supplement of The American Pregnancy Association, this product is pure, safe and trusted by thousands of moms before and during pregnancy.

With 480 mg DHA per serving it more than satisfies the expert-recommended daily intake for DHA.

If you’re looking for additional vitamins, this product has an additional 400 I.U. of vitamin D3. This helps with the absorption of fatty acids.

Vitamin D is vital for making our muscles work efficiently and boosting energy levels, new research from Newcastle University has shown.

I was particularly sensitive and found it difficult to swallow during my pregnancy. These gels tablets were easy to swallow – might be a good alternative if you’re feeling queasy during your pregnancy.

Nordic offers a strawberry flavor, however, some of my friends mentioned that they prefer the unflavored version. Who’d have thought that fish & strawberry doesn’t go together… 

If you’re looking to avoid supplements coated in canola oil, go with these pills. They coat there’s with olive oil. They also offer a prenatal plant-based option for those with specific dietary requirements. 

ProsCons
Superior triglyceride formNot an entire prenatal
Available in Strawberry flavorMore expensive than other brands
Gelatin made from tilapia fish
Contains Vitamin D
Small, soft gel tablets – easy to swallow
Third-party purity tested
Gluten-free

In summary, this product might be best for those with a sensitive stomach or small throat. It’s very easy to swallow which makes for stress-free nutrients. And everybody benefits when mom is stress-free, right?

Around 60% of people in the UK are vitamin D deficient, with children under five, people with dark skin and the elderly being particularly vulnerable. While it has a well-established association with helping in bone formation and a deficiency can lead to rickets, its role in other health issues is just emerging.

Of the patients I see, around 60% are vitamin D deficient and will struggle to process enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, particularly during winter and spring. So a simple vitamin D tablet could help boost your energy levels – from within the cells.

Dr Akash Sinha
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What is DHA? 

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. DHAs are long-chain fatty acids.

It’s a fancy way of saying omega-3s. There are three different types of omega-3s: ALA, EPA, and DHA.

ALA Alpha-linolenic acid: Found in plant foods, seeds and oils. Most common omega-3 fatty acid in your diet. Needs to be converted into EPA or DHA before the body can use it effectively. EPA Eicosapentaenoic acid: Marine-sourced omega-3s. Found in herring, salmon, eel, shrimp, and sturgeon. Interesting to note: Grass-fed animal products, such as dairy and meats, also contain some EPA.

DHA docosahexaenoic acid: Marine-sourced omega-3s

Your body doesn’t produce omega-3s so it’s vital that you consume enough through your diet.

DHA is important because it’s essential for the growth and functional development of the brain of your baby. Deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning.

During the last 50 years, many infants have been fed formula diets lacking DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids.

It is associated with foetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, unipolar depression, aggressive hostility, and adrenoleukodystrophy.[*]

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How many prenatal omega 3 supplements do I need? 

You need enough prenatal omega 3 supplements to deliver 200mh of DHA daily. 

Pregnant and lactating women should aim to achieve an average daily intake of at least 200 mg DHA.

World Association of Perinatal Medicine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that supplements containing DHA are safe if doses don’t exceed 3,000 mg per day. 

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Why you need DHAs when you’re pregnant

DHAs are essential when you’re pregnant because they are vital for creating your baby’s healthy immune system.

DHAs are also important because they help develop your baby’s eyes, nervous system, brain, and attention and focus later in life.

And they help you (their mama) to feel good. We all want that, right?

Basically, if you want a smart, healthy kid, you need to be taking DHAs.

The old thinking was that you could get enough from oils like flaxseed and a tablespoon of cod liver oil and a healthy diet. That might not be the case anymore.

New studies from to the American Pregnancy Association have shown that most American women are actually drastically deficient in DHAs.

In fact, US women have the lowest intake of omega-3s of any developed country in the world.

American Pregnancy Association
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How to choose the best prenatal DHA supplement for your pregnancy  

The best prenatal DHA supplement for your pregnancy is the one that provides the essential nutrients without a fishy flavor and no nasty burping.

Consider what’s already in your cupboard. If you have a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin, have a quick look at the ingredients. Make sure you have the recommended amount of DHA. If not, it’s probably worth looking into getting a specific prenatal DHA supplement.

Should you take DHA while pregnant?

Yes, it is completely safe to consume DHAs when you’re pregnant. This is because of the advanced manufacturing processes available today.

A high-quality supplement will give you all the health benefits without the risk of toxicity from environmental toxins like mercury. 

When should you take DHA?

You should consider taking DHA before you’re pregnant because once you’re pregnant the fetus will deplete your supplies. 

Start taking DHAs six months prior to conception to build up these important and essential fats. Also consider that multiple pregnancies, especially those that are close together, can deplete your store of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA in particular.

American Pregnancy Association
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Can you get omega-3 fatty acids naturally?

You can get omega-3 fatty acids naturally from the following foods:

High amounts: Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines

Lower amounts: Bass, tilapia, cod, and shellfish

Some foods, such as certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages are fortified with DHA and other omega-3s.

Flaxseed (linseed), soybean, and canola oils, chia seeds and walnuts all contain ALA.


Plant-based sources of omega-3s from algal oil usually provide around 100–300 mg DHA; some contain EPA as well. 

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How to choose a good-quality DHA Supplement 

You can tell a good-quality DHA supplement by the type of manufacturing and the source of the product. Look for cold, deep-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.

Many organizations have set quality standards for fish oil, including the Norwegian Medicinal Standard, the European Pharmacopoeia Standard, GOED, and the voluntary U.S. standard established by the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s 2006 monograph.

These standards guarantee high-quality fish oil by setting maximum allowances for toxins, heavy metals, and oxidation. 

Be sure to buy from a manufacturer that can document that their products meet or surpass these standards.In addition, check to see if any of the company’s products are backed by independent clinical research studies. This provides evidence of product efficacy. A simple phone call to the company or a quick review of their website should take care of all of your questions.

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My thoughts on the best DHA supplement for pregnancy

To give your bub a winning start in life, it’s essential you get the best DHA supplement for pregnancy.

By not taking this supplement, you are opening yourself up to the risk of a baby with possible DHA deficiencies.

DHA deficiencies are associated with foetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, unipolar depression, aggressive hostility, and adrenoleukodystrophy.

Overall, the prenatal dha supplement I would recommend is Azros Omega 3 Fish Oil. It’s affordable, triple strength, and has all the fatty acids you need for a healthy mom and healthy baby.

Check out Azros Omega 4 Fish Oil today.

Your baby will thank you.

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