What is the recommended daily dose of DHA for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers?

28 February 2019

How much DHA should I take? What are the DHA recommendations for adults? Should I be taking DHA supplements? Do I need more DHA while pregnant?

These are common questions we get at Ddrops Company, and there are a variety of informed opinions on the topic.

Why DHA?

DHA has long been identified as a key component for good health and is specifically recognized for its importance in supporting healthy brain and visual development in infants and children.* During the first few years of life and in adolescences a child’s brain and cognitive function undergoes significant growth and development. Adequate DHA intake helps support healthy brain and eye development during these critical stages.*

What do the experts say?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetics Association, state that pregnant and lactating women may benefit from direct sources of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, such as DHA-rich microalgae.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that nursing women include an average daily intake of 200 to 300 mg of the w-3 long-chain PUFAs (DHA) to guarantee a sufficient concentration of preformed DHA in their breastmilk. Mothers on selective vegan diets may require a supplement of DHA as well as multivitamins.

Health Canada advises that pregnant women need more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets than other adults, as these support the growth of a baby’s brain and tissues.

The World Association of Perinatal Medicine recommends 200 mg of DHA per day for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Please remember your healthcare professional is the best person to speak to regarding your specific needs around DHA supplementation.

To learn more about why DHA is so important for other groups.

Not pregnant? View the DHA recommendations for adults.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

  1. [1] Koletzko B Lien E Agostoni C Böhles H Campoy C Cetin I Decsi T Dudenhausen JW Dupont C Forsyth S Hoesli I Holzgreve W Lapillonne A Putet G Secher NJ Symonds M Szajewska H Willatts P and Uauy R (2008). The roles of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy, lactation and infancy: review of current knowledge and consensus recommendations. J Perinat Med 36:5-14.
  2. [2] Johnston M Landers S Noble L Szucs K and Viehmann L for the Section on Breastfeeding (2012). Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics 129:e827-e841. [online] Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full.pdf+html
  3. [3] American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada (2003). Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. J Am Diet Assoc 103:748-65. [online] Available at: http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0002-8223/PIIS0002822303002943.pdf
  4. [4] Health. Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/pregnancy/omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-during-pregnancy.html
Tags: adult, brain, breast is best, breastfeeding, breastmilk, DHA, oily fish, omega-3, omega-3 fatty acids, pregnancy, pregnant, seafood


Alyssa Davenport

Alyssa is a marketing writer with a passion for wellness. She loves keeping up with the latest research and helping others through health and nutrition education. When she’s not breaking down complicated topics, you can find her with her doggy sidekick, Bella, or reading the latest marketing trends.

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