Is It Safe To Consume Seafood During Pregnancy?

Written by Dhivya
Last Updated on

Wondering whether it is safe to eat fish when you are pregnant? You are not alone! There are many moms-to-be with the same doubt as you.
The moment you learn that you have conceived, you would begin to feel that you need a personal nutritionist by your side 24/7! After all, whatever passes through your mouth would have a role to play in the development of your baby; so you are right in thinking that you ought to know everything about diet and food habits at this special time in your life.

Eating Seafood During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Yes, seafood is not 100% safe during pregnancy. It’s true that all seafood is not safe to consume while you are pregnant, but avoiding fish completely in your diet is not a good idea too. Fishes are loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals and are potent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for you and your growing baby in your womb.

While some fish can be great for your heart health, some are rich in mercury. Some fishes have DHA, which makes it ideal for your baby in the womb while some have toxic PCBs in it. Hence it is important for you to know which fish to consume and which ones to avoid.

[ Read: Sushi During Pregnancy ]

Benefits Of Eating Fish During Pregnancy

The FDA or Food and Drug Administration agency has stated that a pregnant mother can eat up to 12 ounces of fish each week. This is because it offers numerous benefits such as:

  1. Fish is a good source of zinc, iron and protein that are essential for your baby’s growth.
  2. The Omega 3 fatty acids present in the seafood would help in the brain development of your baby.
  3. Fish has lean protein that is best for your baby which makes it a must have food during the third trimester.
  4. Fish with a bit of fat in them have lots of DHA that is ideal for consumption when you are 28 weeks pregnant, as it is highly helpful in the following ways:
  • Offers a better memory
  • Prevents post partum depression
  • Prevents mood swings
  • Lowers cardiac risk issues
  • Keeps blood pressure under normal levels
  • Lowers blood clotting issues

What Fish To Eat During Pregnancy?

Never avoid the consumption of the fish in your pregnancy diet as it is rich in health benefits for you and the baby. If you are trying to get pregnant or already pregnant, you can consume the following types of fish in the amount mentioned below:

1. Tuna fish:

You must control the amount of tuna fish while you are pregnant as it contains mercury in it. Make sure you have just two tuna steaks (140 g after cooking) in a week. Fresh is always preferred over the can variety.

[ Read: Tuna During Pregnancy ]

2. Oily fish:

Pregnant women must eat oily fish in moderate amounts as it might contain several pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. Eat only two portions of these fish per week, but eat them without fail. Include oily fish variants like herring, sardines, salmon, trout, pilchards and mackerel in your diet.

Other Fish Fit For Consumption During Pregnancy

The following fish types are good for pregnant women, but due to the fact they may have swum through tainted waters, you must eat only two portions or less of them in a week.

  • Rock salmon or dog fish
  • Sea bass
  • Halibut
  • Turbot
  • Sea bream

[ Read: Spicy Food During Pregnancy ]

What To Avoid While You Are Pregnant?

Some of you might be wondering whether it is safe to consume shellfish like oyster or even crab during your pregnancy. It is highly recommended you avoid raw shellfish at this time, as it would have contamination of virus, bacteria or other toxins, which is not safe for your baby.

However, eating cooked shellfish is advisable, as the contaminants would be killed when the shellfish is cooked thoroughly. However, you can avoid it altogether if you are not sure about consuming it. You must also avoid the following varieties of shellfish as it can trigger food poisoning risks. They are:

  • Crabs
  • Scallops
  • Oysters
  • Shrimps
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Cray fish
  • Winkles
  • Prawns

You should practice discretion and good sense while opting to eat seafood during pregnancy. Whichever fish you eat, make sure it is cleaned and cooked thoroughly to avoid digestive issues or other, more serious, complications to you or your baby. Have a safe pregnancy!

Do share your views with us on what do you feel is seafood safe during pregnancy or not.

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