Eating fish while pregnant: yes? no?

By 12. november 2014Blog, Health, Risk Management

Confused about whether or not pregnant and breastfeeding women should be eating fish or not?

You are not the only one, according to a publication in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a recent survey found that 21% of pregnant women had not eaten any fish in the preceding month and that 75% had eaten so little that they probably did not get enough omega 3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), which are essential for normal brain development.

The problem is that mercury and fat soluble pollutants can build up in some fish. This has led to many breast feeding mothers or mothers-to-be to shy away from eating fish. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been mindful of this and have revised their recommendations. Basically, they recommend that you eat fish that have the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids but which also have the lowest level of mercury and/or pollutants. Sounds sensible to me…

The author of the publication recommends, based on the list of omega 3 fatty acids and mercury levels in fish published by the FDA to eat “salmon, pollack, and squid, which contain between 600-900 mg of DHA and EPA, and 2-11 mg of mercury per 4 ounce serving” (that’s just over of 113g for us metric users out there).

Click here to go to the abstract of the publication.