1. Omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential nutrients for optimal fetal and infant neurodevelopment. A recent study has shown that deficiencies of these in pregnancy increase the baby’s risk of developmental delays in communication, fine motor, and social skills. The richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish. However, many fish rich in these fatty acids also contain dangerous pollutants such as mercury, a neurotoxin. There is much controversy over how much fish women can safely eat during pregnancy without exposing their babies to too much neurotoxin. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in pumpkin and flax seeds, but in much lower levels than in oily fish. High-quality omega-3 supplements may be a good alternative. Discuss these with you practitioner.

    Back to Ask Tori »

Ask Tori!

Ask Tori RN®, by registered nurse and resident author of The Joy of Pregnancy, is a helpful and reassuring resource for parents-to-be.