Omega 3 ‘Omacor’ Supplements
Date issued: December 2022
Review date: December 2024
Ref: C-516/CE/Obs and Gynae/Omega 3 ‘Omacor’ Supplements
PDF: Omega 3 ‘Omacor’ Supplements final December 2022.pdf [pdf] 211KB
You have been identified as someone at higher risk of having a preterm baby. Omega 3 supplements are one of the interventions which may offer a reduction in your risk of delivering your baby preterm.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in foods such as eggs, fish and nuts.
Benefits for people who might be at risk of delivering Preterm
Research indicates that that Omega 3 supplements can help you have longer length pregnancy. Whilst Omega 3 supplements cannot prevent all preterm births, it can reduce the risk of having a premature baby by around 11%. The supplements can also help your baby to grow to a healthy weight.
More information about the research into Omega 3 and preterm birth the found here: New research finds omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of premature birth | Cochrane
What to take
Take at least 500mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) plus EPA (eicosapentaenoic) per day from around 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Taking more than 1000mg of DHA plus EPA a day will not give any extra benefit.
We recommend taking the prescribed ‘Omacor’ Omega 3, alongside a pregnancy multi vitamin that does not contain any omega 3.
It is difficult to obtain all your Omega 3 requirements from diet alone.
Omega 3 supplements can increase the risk of needing induction for prolonged pregnancy (past 42 weeks). This is less of a problem for you and your baby than a very preterm birth.
Gastrointestinal issues are common side effects. Any other side effects please seek medical advice form a health care professional.
Is Omega 3 licensed for pregnancy?
There are currently no licensed Omega 3 supplements for use in pregnancy. Trials undertaken in non-pregnant adults have shown to be safe. The pharmaceutical companies have not tested on pregnant people.
How do I get the prescription?
Initially you can obtain the prescription from the Consultant seen in Preterm Clinic and then you can obtain it from your GP.
Thank you for reading this information leaflet and we welcome any feedback.