Essential Pregnancy Nutrients – Essential Fatty Acids
Eating a varied and balanced diet during pregnancy is very important for both you and your baby. Pregnancy nutrition is a big topic but getting started is easy - use the table below to familiarise yourself with essential nutrients and vitamins to include in your pregnancy diet and learn about the benefits for you and your baby.
Essential Fatty Acids
Why do you and your baby need it?
Also known as ‘good fats’, DHA an omega-3 fatty acid and ARA an omega-6 fatty acid, are essential fatty acids that contribute to the development of your baby’s brain. Your body can’t make all of them, so you need to provide them through the food you eat.
Eat it so you can
Help your baby’s brain form (DHA and ARA)
Help your baby’s eye development (DHA and ARA)
How much is enough?
115mg/day during pregnancy
On your plate
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in:
Fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, tuna, salmon);
Canola and soy oils;
Canola based margarines.
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in:
Nuts and seeds;
Plant oils such as corn, soy, sunflower and safflower.
To ensure a good omega-6/omega-3 balance, eat fatty fish once or twice a week and make use of plant or nut oils to season your salads.
Choose small, fatty fish, such as sardines, mackerel and herring. They are less likely to contain higher concentrations of mercury, which can be harmful to your baby.
If you have any concerns your diet is not providing what you and your baby need consult the expertise of a dietitian.