Information for Families

Information for Families

SA Pathology and SAHMRI are partnering to offer omega-3 testing for women with singleton pregnancies as part of the South Australian Maternal Serum Antenatal Screening (SAMSAS) program.

This will identify women who are low in omega-3 and may benefit from omega-3 supplementation to reduce their risk of early birth.

Omega-3 fats are nutrients commonly found in fish and algae. Enough omega-3 in your body during pregnancy can help you have a full-term pregnancy. Babies born too soon (premature), particularly those born before 34 weeks of pregnancy, may have lengthy stays in hospital and may experience long-term health problems and delays in development.

Why omega-3 screening?

Women expecting one baby who have low omega-3 levels in their blood are at higher risk of having their baby born prematurely. They are most likely to benefit from omega-3 supplements. Women who have sufficient omega-3 levels are already at lower risk of having a premature baby and do not need to take additional omega-3 supplements. Screening or measuring omega-3 levels before 20 weeks of pregnancy will identify women who require omega-3 supplements. This project is evaluating how well an omega-3 screening program will work to reduce premature birth for women expecting one baby. There is not yet a screening test for women expecting twins or triplets.

Blood collection

After discussing with you, your health professional will order your omega-3 screening test on the SA Maternal Serum Antenatal Screening (SAMSAS) request form. Your omega-3 level will be measured using the blood already collected for the SAMSAS program. The test is provided free to families.

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