The Mother’s Milk DHA test measures the level of DHA in your breast milk.

DHA is an important omega-3 fatty acid for your growing baby.
Testing your Mother’s Milk DHA level is easy, safe, and convenient.
Changing your Mother’s Milk DHA level is as simple as changing your diet.  

MMDHA Kit

Only: $54.95

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The Mother’s Milk DHA test available in bundle kits. Learn More.

Why the Mother’s Milk DHA Test?

Omega-3 DHA is an important component of a baby’s developing brain and it is present in breast milk. DHA levels in breast milk, like blood, go up and down mainly based on how much we eat. Since Americans tend to have low DHA levels, it is reasonable to assume that their breast milk levels are low as well. We recommend Mother’s Milk DHA levels of at least 0.32% to meet the needs of the infant’s growing brain. Testing for breast milk DHA levels is as easy as dabbing a drop of breast milk on a piece of filter paper.

Why the Mother’s Milk DHA Test?

Omega-3 DHA is an important component of a baby’s developing brain and it is present in breast milk. DHA levels in breast milk, like blood, go up and down mainly based on how much we eat. Since Americans tend to have low DHA levels, it is reasonable to assume that their breast milk levels are low as well. We recommend Mother’s Milk DHA levels of at least 0.32% to meet the needs of the infant’s growing brain. Testing for breast milk DHA levels is as easy as dabbing a drop of breast milk on a piece of filter paper.

How it Works

Collect your sample at home.

step 1

Order Online

Click here to order your Mother’s Milk DHA Test from EverlyWell.

step 2

Dab and Dry

Simply dab a drop of breast milk from the breast or a bottle onto the provided milk collection card. Let the milk spot dry, then send to OmegaQuant with the test request form.

step 3

Receive Results

Within 1-2 weeks, you will receive an email with your Mother’s Milk DHA Test results, along with tips on how to understand your results and next steps.

Research shows higher breast milk DHA levels are beneficial.

Mothers Milk

Breastfeeding Women Supplemented with DHA Postpartum: Results in Infants at 4 months of age

Baylor College of Medicine Children whose mothers took DHA while breastfeeding performed better on psychomotor tests at 4 months of age compared to children of mothers who did not

Pregnant and Lactating Women Supplemented with DHA-rich Cod Liver Oil

University of Oslo Increased intake of DHA during pregnancy and lactation resulted in better mental processing scores in their offspring at 4 years of age

Children fed formula with or without DHA from 1.5 to 6 years of age

KU Medical Center Children fed DHA had better scores on rule-learning and inhibition tasks at 3 – 5 years of age compared to those who did not get DHA-enriched formula

Breastfeeding Women Supplemented with DHA Postpartum: Results in Children at 5 years of age

Baylor College of Medicine Children whose mothers took DHA while breastfeeding performed better on sustained attention tasks at 5 years of age compared to children of mothers who did not

Be smart when increasing your Mother’s Milk DHA.

Fish during pregnancy has become a confusing topic. Eating fish during pregnancy and lactation is recommended as a great source of omega-3 DHA, protein, and selenium, but certain kinds of fish can also contain mercury and other industrial pollutants. Below we provide some guidance and resources for making the best possible decision for you and your baby.

Recommendations

Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms are encouraged to eat 2 servings of low-mercury fish per week or to take a prenatal supplement of DHA of at least 200 mg/day by the American Academy of Pediatrics. See the Fish tab to find out the safest fish to eat.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2 servings of fish per week for the general public (see Table below), averaging out to 250 mg/day EPA+DHA.  Other countries, such as Canada and Australia, recommend 400-500 mg/day EPA+DHA.  The FDA has also ruled that intakes of up to 3,000 mg/day of EPA+DHA combined from foods is “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)” and may be consumed without concern of adverse effects by all adults.

Supplements

Fish oil supplements are a safe and potent source of DHA.  The source and form of the omega-3s in the supplements affect how well you absorb the omega-3s, as well as whether or not you take them with food.  There are also vegan/vegetarian supplements in which omega-3 DHA is produced by algae.  It is also important to look at the label for the amount of DHA (rather than general “omega-3s”) that the supplement contains.  For example, many supplements are 1,000 mg of fish oil but only contain 120 mg of DHA.

Mother's Milk DHA Calculator

You may see an increase in your Mother’s Milk DHA level in as little as 2 weeks of maintaining a higher DHA intake. 

Use the DHA estimate from the Mother’s Milk DHA Calculator to make a plan to increase your DHA intake. For example, if the calculator recommends you take 251 mg DHA per day and you already take 200 mg DHA in your pre- or post-natal supplement, you’ll need to take at total of ~450 mg DHA per day to reach your Mother’s Milk DHA goal. Also, it is not necessary to match the calculated dose exactly so you could take 600 mg DHA per day if your supplement has 200 mg DHA per capsule. You can use the Omega-3 Supplement Calculator to determine the number of capsules you would need to take to achieve your target Mother’s Milk DHA level. Intake of 800 – 1,000 mg DHA per day in pregnant and lactating women has been shown to be safe for both mom and baby. While DHA is the main focus for changing breast milk levels, intake of EPA is safe as well.

While DHA intake is the primary driver of your Mother’s Milk DHA level, your genes and length of time you have been breastfeeding also affect your milk DHA level. Consuming the recommended or estimated amount of DHA may not result in meeting your target Mother’s Milk DHA level, and re-testing your breast milk is the only way to know if you have met your goal.

The calculator is based on results from a 3-month randomized, placebo-controlled DHA supplementation study in 52 healthy lactating women (Makrides M et al. EJCN 1996).

Fish

Fish is the best dietary source for DHA.  The amount of DHA you eat directly influences the level of DHA in breast milk and blood.  “Fatty,” “oily,” and “cold-water” are terms used to describe fish with higher levels of EPA+DHA.  A list of these kinds of fish is included in the report.  Most fish are safe for you to eat; however, the FDA and EPA have put out a list that breaks down the best and worst options for pregnant and lactating women based on mercury levels. There is a useful fish “calculator” that takes into account both DHA and mercury found here. In your results report, we provide a list of fish that shows the best fish options based on high DHA and low mercury content.

Plant Omega-3s

Walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds contain the plant-based omega-3 ALA.  To a small extent, this omega-3 can be converted into EPA (and to an even smaller extent, DHA).  It is much more effective to consume pre-formed DHA to raise breast milk DHA levels.  Plant-based omega-3 sources are still healthy food choices, but they will not raise your Mother’s Milk DHA or your Omega-3 Index.

Omega-3 Supplement Calculator

The Omega-3 Supplement Calculator builds on the results from the Mother’s Milk DHA Calculator to help you achieve your Mother’s Milk DHA goal.  Finding the right omega-3 supplement for you can be very confusing. The most important thing in any omega-3 supplement is the amount of EPA and DHA per serving, but especially DHA during pregnancy and lactation. It’s important that these values are listed on the Supplement Facts panel on the back of the bottle, instead of the general term “omega-3s.” There are other things to consider when buying a supplement, like price, source, vegetarian, fatty acid form, etc., but dose outweighs all of these when it comes to changing your Mother’s Milk DHA level.

If your supplement does not have a specific value DHA, do not buy the supplement! You cannot make an informed decision without the right information. Also, you can’t use the calculator without that information.

You can use the Omega-3 Supplement Calculator to compare different omega-3 supplements before buying. You can access the Supplement Facts panel for most omega-3 supplements online so you can compare how many capsules you’ll have to take with different supplements.

Fish Intake Calculator is in the works… Stay tuned!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This test is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any disease. This site does not offer medical advice, and nothing contained herein is intended to establish a doctor/patient relationship. OmegaQuant, LLC is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and is qualified to perform high complexity clinical testing. The performance characteristics of this test were determined by OmegaQuant, LLC. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.