Objective: To evaluate pregnant women's knowledge regarding the importance of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) consumption during pregnancy and assess their views on current information availability.
Design: A 27-item demographic and food safety/behaviour questionnaire was administered to pregnant women during their antenatal clinic visits. chi2 tests were performed using SPSS.
Setting: Antenatal clinics at two regional hospitals in New South Wales, Australia.
Subjects: One hundred and ninety (n 190) pregnant women.
Results: Three quarters of the women had not received information regarding LC n-3 PUFA. Approximately half of the women were aware of issues relating to LC n-3 PUFA; however, their knowledge was limited, with most obtaining their knowledge from books and magazines. Women generally had low (30 %, 29 %) to moderate (28 %, 24 %) levels of concern about LC n-3 PUFA and mercury, respectively.
Conclusions: Pregnant women lack knowledge of LC n-3 PUFA and health-care services do not provide pregnant women with adequate information on the importance of eating foods high in LC n-3 PUFA during pregnancy.