Consumption of fish oil omega-3s during the third trimester of pregnancy may prolong gestation and increase the birth weights of newborns, according to a new double-blind randomized controlled trial.
The findings of this study are in line with previous research showing that pregnant women who have low plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids during their first and second trimesters are at significantly higher risk of having an early preterm birth.
Worryingly, therefore, evidence suggests that large numbers of pregnant women don’t get enough of these important fatty acids in their daily diets. In a recent study carried out in New Zealand, for example, researchers found that only 30 percent of pregnant women obtain a sufficient amount.
But ensuring that a mother gives birth to a healthy baby is not only about getting enough omega-3. To the contrary, ensuring a proper intake of all the various essential micronutrients is vital for the developing fetus. This is because an inadequate supply of micronutrients can affect the organ systems, birth weight, and even survival of the baby. Moreover, the way a baby’s organs develop during pregnancy can also determine how their growth continues after it is born.