feature articleOmega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Perinatal SettingsBlanchard, Dawn S. PhD, RN Author Information Dawn S. Blanchard is a Staff Nurse at The Birthplace Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center, Susquehanna Health System, Williamsport, PA. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] The author has no financial interest or affiliation with any organization or company related to the material in this article. MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 31(4):p 250-256, July 2006. Buy AbstractIn Brief The purpose of this article is (a) to explain the role of omega-3 fatty acids in human health, specifically in fetal/neonatal development, (b) to summarize the recent research behind the innovations in infant formula manufacturing and advertisement of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for pregnant and lactating mothers, and (c) to relate the research findings to clinical practice. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in perinatal settings is discussed here from three vantage points: (a) supplementation of the third-trimester pregnant woman to enhance fetal development, (b) supplementation of the lactating mother to enhance development of the breastfeeding infant, and (c) supplementation of infant formulas to enhance development of the bottle-feeding infant. Supplementation can occur by increasing one's intake of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids or by ingesting fatty acid nutritional supplements. The challenge of supplementation for vegan and vegetarian women is also addressed. We hear a lot about supplementing foods and formula with omega 3 fatty acids. What does it do? Should it be done? Is it safe?. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.