Fish and pregnancy: what can you eat safely?.. good way to get healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids without getting too much saturated fat

​Benefits of eating fish for pregnant women during pregnancy

Adding fish to your diet is a good way to get healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids without getting too much saturated fat.
However, almost all fish contain trace amounts of mercury.

In January 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a recommendation A revised review of fish consumption by women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, as well as for nursing mothers and parents of young children.

Official recommendations:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) urges pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and those who are breastfeeding to follow the revised FDA and EPA recommendation:
  • Eat 2 to 3 servings per week (8 to 12 ounces total) of different fish.
  • Eat only 1 serving per week (no more than 6 ounces) of some fish such as albacore tuna and fish with concentrations of mercury similar to albacore tuna.
  • Avoid fish with the highest concentrations of mercury.
  • Heed warnings about foods fished by family and friends, and when there are no warnings, limit yourself to eating one serving of those fish per week and eat no other fish that week.

Women who follow these recommendations could benefit from consuming seafood without experiencing increased mercury-related risk for themselves or their babies.

About mercury:

Mercury is a metal that exists naturally in the environment and whose quantity increases due to industrial pollution. Most people are not affected by these tiny amounts of mercury.

If a woman is exposed to high levels of mercury before or during pregnancy, both her health and the health of her baby are threatened.

Babies exposed to mercury in the womb may experience:

  • Serious damage to the nervous system.
  • Brain damage.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Hearing loss.