Fish facts For Pregnancy

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fish Facts for Nursing and Pregnant Moms and Women Who May Become Pregnant

Fish and shellfish can be an important part of a healthy diet. They are a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

But almost all fish and shellfish contain some mercury. Mercury is a metal that can harm the brain of your unborn baby—even before it is conceived.

Mercury mainly gets into our bodies by the fish we eat. Only high levels of this metal seem to be harmful to developing babies. So the risk of mercury in fish and shellfish depends on the amount and type you eat.

Women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant should steer clear of fish with high levels of mercury. But removing all fish from your diet will rob you of important omega-3 fatty acids. So how can you reap the benefits of eating fish without the dangers of mercury? Follow these tips.
Don't Eat

King mackerel
Raw or uncooked fish or shellfish (e.g. clams, oysters, scallops)
Refrigerated uncooked smoked fish (labeled Nova-style, lox, kippered or jerky)

Eat up to 1 serving (6 ounces) per week:

Tuna Steaks
Canned albacore or chunk white tuna

Eat up to 2 servings (12 ounces) per week:

Shrimp, crab, clams, oysters, scallops
Canned light tuna

Check before eating fish caught in local waters.

State health departments have guidelines on fi sh from local waters. Or get local fi sh advisories at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Website (
If you’re unsure about the safety of a fish from local waters, only eat 6 ounces per week and don’t eat any other fish that week.

Eat a variety of small, young non-fatty fish.

Ask your fish monger to recommend lean, small fi sh that are caught young.

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