Nordic Naturals vs Oceans Mom vs Deva: Which Prenatal DHA Is Best?

Omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA in particular, have immense benefits for everyone, but they are particularly important for pregnant women for the baby’s development and also for the wellbeing of the mother. There are DHA supplements specifically targeted for prenatal use, but looking beyond the marketing, what should we look for in a prenatal DHA supplement? We answer that question, then go on to compare three leading brands: Nordic Naturals, Oceans Mom, and DEVA.

Prenatal DHA products head-to-head comparison

table: 1 column per product, 1 row per “feature”, include “price check” cta which opens amazon page in new tab

Nordic Naturals

Hits the brief:
  • ★★★★★
Dietary compatibility:
  • ★★★★☆
Ease of consumption:
  • ★★★★☆
Value for money:
  • ★★★★☆
Full review Buy now ≫

Oceans Mom

Hits the brief:
  • ★★★★☆
Dietary compatibility:
  • ★★★☆☆
Ease of consumption:
  • ★★★★★
Value for money:
  • ★★★☆☆
Full review Buy now ≫

Deva

Hits the brief:
  • ★★★☆☆
Dietary compatibility:
  • ★★★★★
Ease of consumption:
  • ★★★☆☆
Value for money:
  • ★★★☆☆
Full review Buy now ≫

Breaking it down

We’ve scored each product in 4 areas:

  • Does it hit the brief? A prenatal DHA supplement has a core mission, and if a prenatal DHA supplement does not achieve this mission, it’s no good.
  • Is it compatible with different dietary requirements? Different people have different preferences or requirements when it comes to their diet. For example, some people are gluten-intollerant, and some people choose to be vegan, or avoid consuming beef for cultural reasons. A product that caters to a wide range of dietary needs is better than a product that only caters to a narrower of dietary needs.
  • Is it easy to consume? What sets a prenatal DHA supplement apart from a generic DHA supplement is that slightly more DHA is recommended for prenatal use, but also that prenatal supplements need to be easier to consume than everyday supplements. This is because pregnancy can be a challenge, and a product that is easier to consume is more likely to not be simply left aside when morning sickness or reflux hits! ** Is it valye for money? All other things being equal, a more economical product is better.

We summarised our findings for each product above. Read on for why we scored each product as we did.

Does it hit the brief?

The main purpose of a prenatal DHA is to deliver the DHA recommended during pregnancy. What we’re looking for is at least 300mg of DHA, and some complementary EPA to improve absorbtion.

All three products are fine choices for prenatal DHA supplements, and it’s very important to remember that something is better than nothing. That said, they are not identical in terms of nailing the brief.

Prenatal Vitamins

DHA is just one of many recommended prenatal and preconception vitamins. Check out our prenatal/preconception vitamins guide for women and men for more information on the various vitamins you should consider.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Nordic Naturals nails the brief for a prenatal DHA supplement. We score it 55 for hitting the brief. With 480mg of DHA and 205mg of supporting EPA per pill, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA packs a good amount of DHA for your prenatal needs.

But Nordic Naturals has gone beyond simply making sure there’s a good amount of Omega-3 in their pills: they made their Omega-3 available in triglyceride form. Triglyceride form omega-3s are more biolavailable, meaning the DHA and EPA will be easier for your body to absorb, which means you get more benefit from it. Nordic Naturals would have had to incur additional effort and expense to do this, so it’s very commendable.

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA

With 350mg of DHA per pill, Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA more than meets the minimum requirement. They also included 15mg of EPA in each pill, which is good, but it’s not quite as much as Nordic Naturals. Furthermore, the Omega 3 in Oceans Mom is of the more typical ethyl ester molecular form, which is not as bioavailable as the triglyceride form.

While the molecular form and amount of EPA in Oceans Mom is not as good as in Nordic Naturals, bear in mind that what you really need is DHA, and in that context we really only care about the molecular form and amount of EPA as it relates to abdorbtion of DHA into the body. There’s a very easy step anyone can take to improve the absorbtion of DHA supplements: consume the pill with a meal containing some fat. That’s why all in all we’re happy to score Oceans Mom 45 for hitting the brief.

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA is different to Nordic Naturals and Oceans Mom in two ways: it is marketed as a generic DHA supplement rather than a specific prenatal DHA supplement, and it’s a vegan product.

DHA and Omega 3s are most typically sourced from certain types of fish, such as herring and salmon. This is a problem for vegans and vegetarians. Fortunately, it’s possible to extract DHA from algae as well, which is why we can have vegan prenatal DHA supplements such a DEVA.

Unfortunately, each pill of DEVA Omega-3 DHA only has 200mg of DHA. Therefore, for prenatal use, it’s necessary to take two tablets. As we said at the start, something is better than nothing, so vegans should definitely give this product a try, but especially when compared to the other products, in terms of hitting the brief we can only score it 35.

Is it compatible with different dietary requirements?

Hitting the brief is a good start, but what if due to intollerance or dietary preferences you simply cannot consume some product? That’s why we also score each product in terms of the breadts of dietary requirements that they accomodate.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Nordic Naturals is made from sustainably-sourced fish oil, which means this product is not vegan or vegetarian. Furthermore, it contains bovine gelatin, so people who prefer to avoid beef products may also need to avoid Nordic Naturals. On the plus side, their bovine gelatin is kosher. Furthermore the product is gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. We score it 45 for dietary compatibility.

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA

Oceans Mom is very similar to Nordic Naturals: it is also made from sustainably-sourced fish oil (which means it’s not vegan or vegetarian), it’s gluten-free, and it’s dairy-free. It also contains bovine gelatin, but unfortunately it’s not confirmed to be kosher. That’s why we have to score it 35, a notch below Nordic Naturals.

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA

As the only vegan DHA supplement in our roundup, DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA is suitable for almost anyone, especially since it’s also gluten-free and dairy-free. The only cautionary point is that it contains carrageenan, which some people with digestive tract conditions may have issues with, but other than that it should be good for anyone, which is why we score it 55 for dietary compatibility.

Is it easy to consume?

One of the key differences between a generic DHA supplement and a prenatal DHA supplement is that because of the challenges associated with pregnancy, prenatal supplements should generally be easier to consume. This is particularly relevant with Omega 3 supplements which are generally sourced from ingredients that have smell/taste profiles that are not enjoyed by everyone - watch out for the dreaded “fishy burps” problem!

This can be a very subjective issue, since taste is a matter of, well, taste. But we shall try to draw some general conclusions about how likely someone is to find a particular product easy to consume.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Nordic Naturals has tried to make their product easier to consume for as many people possible by providing it in two options: unflavoured, and strawberry flavour. This suits many people, though there are still some people who complain that they don’t like the taste. Therefore, we score this product 45.

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA

Oceans Mom has gone beyond just adding a strawberry flavour to their pills. They’ve made their pills small, with a smooth coating so it swallows easily. There’s still a few people who don’t like it, but if you’re squeamish about fish oil pills, Oceans Mom is a pretty good bet. Therefore, we score it 55.

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA

This is the only product in our roundup that is not marketed specifically for prenatal use. Therefore, it’s perhaps no surprise that DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA scored a lowly 35. Although this product is not derived from fish oil, it is derived from algae, which some people have trouble with. Furthermore there’s no flavouring to mask the taste. The biggest issue, though, is that two pills are required every day to meet the requiremed amount of DHA for prenatal use.

Is it value for money?

Having a baby is expensive enough without needing expensive supplements on top of it all! All three of the products in this roundup are economical and value for money, but all other factors being equal, deciding based on price is a very reasonable thing to do.

The problem, though, is that prices can vary all the time with discounts applying occasionally. So we can try to highlight a few value parameters and make a rough score, but please check the latest availability and prices when making your own purchasing decision.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Nordic Naturals is available in different quantities, ranging from 90 pills to 180 pills, and they do pass on the volume savings to you. Our only complaint, however, is that the minimum package size is quite large. Why is this a problem?

Recall that we said above that a key difference between generic DHA supplements and prenatal DHA supplements is that prenatal supplements need to allow for the possibility that pregnant women may struggle to consume fish-oil or algae-based products. That means, practically, it can sometimes take a bit of trial and error to find a palatable product. That’s why it would be ideal to be able to initially buy a smaller amount, to make sure that you can take it successfully, before committing to a larger order.

But that issue aside, Nordic Naturals provides really good value, so we score it 45.

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA

Oceans Mom only provides their pills in bottles of 30, which is great when you want to try it for the first time. Unfortunately, this does mean that on a per-pill basis they will typically be less value for money when compared to Nordic Naturals, therefore we score it a 35.

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA is only available in a bottle of 90, but recall that for prenatal requirements one would have to take two pills a day, therefore practically it only contains 45 days worth of dosages per bottle. In terms of value for money, it is quite close to Oceans Mom, so we score it a 45.

Where does each product stand out?

Now that we’ve dug into the details of how each product ranks for our key criteria, where does each product stand out?

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA nails the brief. If you’re looking for the product most effective at delivering the DHA that you need for prenatal use, then this is the one for you. It’s also the standout in terms of value for money.

Get Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA now ≫

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA scored the best for ease ot consumption. If you’re struggling with morning sickness or reflux, which are unfortunately common issues during pregnancy, then this may be the safe bet.

Get Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA now ≫

DEVA Vegan DHA scored the best for dietary compatibility. Simply put, if yo want to maintain a vegan, vegetarian, or beef-free lifestyle through your pregnancy, you may simply not have any other choice.

Get DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA now ≫

Pros and Cons summary

Tabulate pros and cons for each with a product image on the left hand column

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

  • What we liked
  • ✓ Good amount of DHA and supporting EPA
  • ✓ Triglyceride molecular form makes it easier to absortb
  • ✓ They clarify that their bovine gelatin is kosher
  • What could be better
  • ✘ A smaller minimum order size would be good to try out the product - 90 pills is a lot

Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA

  • What we liked
  • ✓ Good amount of DHA
  • ✓ Good ease of consumption.
  • ✓ Small volume makes it a low-risk purchase.
  • What could be better
  • ✘ More EPA content would have made this a much stronger DHA supplement
  • ✘ Option for a more economical higher-volume order would help loyal customers

DEVA Vegan Omega-3 DHA

  • What we liked
  • ✓ Compatible with a wide variety of dietary requirements
  • What could be better
  • ✘ Need two pills per day to meet prenatal DHA requirements

Final verdict: which is the winner?

With 480mg of DHA (more than the minimum recommended of 300mg), 205mg of supporting EPA, and 145mg of other omega-3s in a triglycerice molecular form, Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA packs the best amount of nutritional content into each pill, which they tried to make easier to consume with the optional strawberry flavouring. Furthermore, the slightly larger volume size allows them to pass on extra value for money. This is a good product that will be worth getting for most people.

Get Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA now ≫

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