Eating fish during pregnancy is a very debatable topic, as many researchers offer mixed reports. If you’re pregnant then you recognize the pressure to make the healthiest choices for you, as well as your baby to be. But what about eating seafood during pregnancy? Is it safe?
Seafood can be an excellent source of nutrients for your baby’s development, although some types of seafood- Shark, tilefish and swordfish in particular- may contain soaring mercury levels. This is usually not a problem with the average adult, but precautions should be taken if you are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future. Too much mercury in the bloodstream can possibly damage your baby’s developing nervous system as well as cause problems with brain development. So it is highly recommended to take safety measures when it comes to consuming seafood while pregnant.
So, you may be asking how much seafood is suggested. The FDA has reported that it is safe for a pregnant woman to eat up to 12 ounces of seafood a week, as long as she opts for seafood that is low in mercury, such as catfish, cod, salmon, and shrimp. Canned light tuna is also a good choice, but be sure to limit this to under 6 ounces a week.
Though extremely large amounts of mercury in the mother’s bloodstream can harm a developing baby, a pregnant woman eating average amounts of low mercury seafood has not been found to cause any problems for mother or child. Be sure to avoid fish high in mercury, and seafood can become a regular part of your pregnancy diet.