Introducing the Prenatal DHA Test
DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, fish oil, and prenatal supplements that is an important nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. The Prenatal DHA Test, which is a measure of DHA in blood, lets mom know if she is getting enough of this key nutrient for both her and her baby.
Prenatal DHA Levels are related to:
Full Term Pregnancy
Baby’s Growth and Development
Do you know your number?
Why the Prenatal DHA Test?
Omega-3 DHA is an important nutrient during pregnancy because it can help you carry your baby to term and is an essential building block for your baby’s brain and eyes. Knowing your Prenatal DHA level can give you the information you need to make sure you are get enough Omega-3 DHA for both you and your baby.
Early preterm birth happens before 34 weeks gestation.
DHA can significantly reduce the risk of early preterm birth by 42%.
In the United States, an uncomplicated birth costs $4300, while a premature birth costs on average up to $50K or more.
Research shows that women who have low blood DHA levels are at 10-fold increased risk of early preterm birth.
A scientific article showed that pregnant women should strive for a DHA level of 5% or above to reduce their preterm birth risk.
How it Works
Peace of mind is just simple finger prick away.
Choose the test service you would like. The sample collection kit is the same for all services and typically arrives in 3 to 5 days.
Follow the simple kit instructions to collect your sample from the comfort of home. Once you have your sample collected, mail it back to our lab with the pre-paid envelope.
In 1-2 weeks you will receive an email letting you know your personalized results are ready.
Don’t take our word for it!
Research shows higher prenatal DHA blood levels are beneficial for mom and baby.
Mothers with the lowest levels of EPA+DHA in their blood during the first two trimesters of pregnancy were 10 times more likely to have early preterm birth compared to mothers with higher EPA+DHA blood levels.
Women with DHA blood levels below 5% in early pregnancy who took 600 mg DHA per day during the last half of pregnancy lowered their risk of early preterm birth compared to those women who did not receive any supplemental DHA.
A review of 70 studies concluded that women given DHA supplements during pregnancy had an 11% reduction in preterm risk and a 42% reduction in early preterm birth risk.
Your results. Supported by science.
Actionable: Fatty acid levels start changing as soon as you change your diet and lifestyle and stabilize in 3-4 months.
Personalized: Personalized dietary recommendations based off your test results.
Certified: All samples are processed in a central CLIA-certified laboratory.
Validated: The same validated and standardized sample processing methodology used in over 200 research studies.
Compare: Percentile ranks show you how you compare to your peers.
Be smart when increasing your Prenatal DHA level
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.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms are encouraged to eat 2 servings of low-mercury fish per week and/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.
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.
Fish are 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.
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 Prenatal DHA level.
DHA Supplement Recommendations
For other tests, we have calculators to help personalize your intake of omega-3s based on your omega-3 status. At this point, we do not have enough data in pregnant women taking pure DHA to make a calculator but we can make some recommendations based on research. These recommendations will be for supplemental DHA only, but the dietary recommendation for 2 servings of low-mercury, DHA-rich fish per week still apply.
Prenatal DHA >5% – Continue to take a daily supplement with at least 200 mg of DHA per day.
Prenatal DHA 3-5% – Increase DHA supplemental intake to at least 600 – 800 mg of DHA per day.
Prenatal DHA <3% – Increase DHA supplemental intake to at least 800 – 1000 mg of DHA per day.