Pregnancy and Eating Seafood

Pregnancy is a time of excitement and anxiety in an expectant mother’s life. Boy or girl? Jane or John? Breast milk or bottle feeding? Crib sleeping or co-sleeping? Is my love for seafood safe for my unborn baby? All these and many more concerns are valid joys and worries for any mother, but thankfully, we know the last fear has a positive answer. Seafood is not only safe for an unborn child, it can help in its development.

While it is true, not all seafood is safe to consume during pregnancy, there is a greater variety of options that will not only benefit you, but your child as well. Seafood is loaded with protein, iron, zinc and brain developing omega-3 fatty acids. Some great healthy options include herring, whitefish, salmon, trout, sardines and anchovies. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that pregnant or nursing women eat 8 to12 ounces of these varieties of fish per week. Additional safe choices include shrimp, pollock, tilapia, cod, catfish and canned light tuna. If you prefer albacore tuna, you should limit your weekly serving to 6 ounces.

Though there is an abundance of safe and healthy options, fish containing high levels of mercury should be avoided. Pollutants such as mercury, dioxins, PCBs and pesticides have been linked to developmental delays in children. Mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, tilefish and tuna steaks should not be consumed by pregnant, nursing women or children.

This publication is an extensive list of fish that are low in mercury and other contaminants, and high in health benefits. For women who are pregnant, might become pregnant, nursing mothers, young children, or people who are concerned about toxins in fish.

This downloadable chart, as well as additional information for picking out healthy options for eating fish, can be found at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/Fish/HealthyFishGuide.

From salmon to tilapia and trout to herring, Morey’s can cure any expectant mother’s seafood craving. The simplicity of Morey’s prepackaged, marinated fish entrees make it easy to have a delicious meal in minutes. Pair the single serve fish fillet with a healthy vegetable and some rice or potatoes and you’ve got a well-rounded meal that will satisfy mom and give baby a prenatal developmental boost that will make everyone happy!

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