Measuring DHA Content in Breast Milk
A new test measures the level of the brain-building fat DHA in breast milk. An Omega Quant’s Mother’s Milk DHA test is easy to do and requires only one drop of breast milk. We use this in our pediatric practice as a way of encouraging breastfeeding moms to be sure they eat enough omega-3 fats (Dr. Bill’s prescription: 6 ounces of wild salmon twice a week).
Why is your breast milk DHA level important?
The optimal building of baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system depends on having sufficient building blocks from mom’s milk. One of those building blocks is DHA, a member of the omega-3 fats family. It is especially important during pregnancy and the first two years of life. In America, breast milk DHA levels are well below worldwide averages because we eat so little fish. Whether this low DHA level early in life is at least partly responsible for the increasing educational gap between us and many other countries (such as Japan where babies get much more DHA) cannot be known for certain. But you can know how much DHA is in your milk and therefore how much DHA your baby is getting. OmegaQuant’s Mother’s Milk DHA test gives you the information you need to make changes in your diet that will give your baby more DHA.
For more information, see our DHA and omega-3’s section, and visit OmegaQuant’s website.