Is it Safe to Eat Fish During Pregnancy?

Along with pregnancy comes an exhausting list of do’s and don’ts. Included in the guidelines for prenatal care are rules for your diet. While it may be frustrating or bothersome to avoid certain foods during pregnancy, keep in mind that it is for the protection of your baby’s health and development.

Nutrition is a vital component of your pregnancy, as there are key minerals and vitamins that directly affect your baby’s growth and development inside your womb. However, there is a dilemma when it comes to fish. Fish is known for its brain-boosting nutrients (omega-3s), but certain types of seafood can cause more harm than good. This is due to the mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls content in fish, which can be unsafe to a fetus if consumed in excess.

You don’t have to avoid fish altogether during pregnancy. However, you need to stay within the FDA’s recommended guidelines and avoid certain types of fish that are higher in mercury. It is okay and even suggested that women eat about 2 to 3 servings of fish each week. This helps your baby’s eyesight and brain!

When it comes to choosing the safest types of fish during pregnancy, you can rest at ease with wild-caught salmon, rainbow trout and even farmed oysters.  However, try to stay away from the high-mercury choices like swordfish, sea bass and orange roughy. Some women are too nervous to eat fish during pregnancy and prefer to take an omega-3 supplement instead.

If you are in doubt about what is safe for you to eat during your pregnancy, always ask your physician. At North Pointe Ob/Gyn Associates, we are committed to the highest level of prenatal care. Our staff is here to help you make smart lifestyle choices during your pregnancy so that your baby has the best opportunity for healthy growth and development.

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