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Is it Okay to Eat Fish While I’m Pregnant?

Confused about whether you’re allowed to eat fish during pregnancy? You’re not alone.

Nutrition becomes even more important when you’re pregnant because everything you eat impacts the baby’s development. The dilemma with seafood is that, even though it contains nutrients essential for developing the fetal brain, it also contains mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, which can be harmful to the fetus when eaten in excess.

How Much Fish is Okay During Pregnancy?

Eating fish during pregnancy is not only safe, but beneficial, if you stay within the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines, which recommend eight to 12 ounces of fish per week. Eating two or three servings of fish each week can aid in the development of the eyes and the brain. Recent studies also showed that women who ate twelve ounces of fish have children with higher IQ scores, communication skills, and fine motor coordination.

Are Some Types of Fish Healthier Than Others?

Even though consuming fish is perfectly healthy during pregnancy, there are some types of fish that you should avoid:

Eat

The following fish are high in omega-3s, and low in mercury and PCBs.

  • Wild-Caught Salmon
  • Farmed Oysters
  • Farmed Mussels
  • Rainbow Trout

Avoid

The following fish contain high levels of methyl-mercury, a potent neurotoxin dispersed into the air by coal-fired power plants.

  • Shark
  • Chilean Sea Bass
  • Orange Roughy
  • Swordfish

Schedule an appointment with Dekalb Women’s Specialists to learn more about nutrition during pregnancy and eating fish while pregnant.Nutrition During Pregnancy

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-fish/art-20044185?pg=1

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/patients-families/health-matters/april-2016/fish-tales-whats-the-story-on-eating-fish-during.aspx