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Fish Builds Baby’s Brain

A recent study found that moms-to-be who ate fish at least two to three times a week during pregnancy had babies who reached these milestones more quickly:

  • 6 months: imitate sounds, hold up head, recognize family
  • 18 months: climb stairs, drink from a cup, draw

Fish Benefits: Omega-3 DHA

One of the most important things breastfeeding moms need to eat is healthy omega-3 DHA. Studies show that children who are breastfed tend to have better eyesight and higher IQ scores, and do better in school. These benefits may be due to the high level of omega-3 DHA in breast milk.

Banish the “Baby Blues”

Some women have symptoms of depression during and after pregnancy. A recent study found that eating fish less than two to three times a week during your pregnancy may increase your chance of getting depression. This is probably because your brain isn’t getting the omega-3 DHA it needs.

Fish During Pregnancy

Eating Fish While Pregnant is Recommended

The amount of fish during pregnancy to eat recommended by experts is 12 ounces = About 2–3 servings a week.

Eating Fish While Pregnant: Are You Eating Enough Seafood?

Pregnant women are nowhere close to eating as much seafood as they should. Why? Maybe you’ve heard the wrong information on the news. Maybe something in the paper has you confused. But when you turn to the experts, the advice is really simple and clear.

Eating Fish During Pregnancy

Official Guidelines and Experts Say:

  • Eat seafood at least two to three times each week
  • Eat a variety of fish
  • As much as half (six ounces) of fish each week can be albacore tuna
  • The only fish to avoid are shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tile fish

 

What’s it like to be a seafood lover who’s pregnant?

Well, if that’s you, perfect! Pregnancy is one of the best times to indulge your love of fish. Here’s why:

  • Seafood is tasty and craveable
  • Studies show eating fish during pregnancy gives moms and babies lots of health benefits
  • Seafood is easy to make and a natural “fast food”

Types of Seafood and Fish to Eat While Pregnant

 
Most popular types of seafood (3 ounces)Average mercury level below the FDA limitOmega-3 DHA fats (milligrams)*
Salmon Yes 1238
Canned White Tuna Yes 535
Pollock Yes 383
Crab Yes 196
Canned Light Tuna Yes 190
Scallops Yes 169
Cod Yes 131
Clams Yes 124
Shrimp Yes 122
Tilapia Yes 111
Catfish Yes 109

Best Foods to Eat While Pregnant

You are what you eat. And when you’re pregnant, you and your baby are what you eat. Choosing the right foods now can make a big difference in your baby’s growth and health. Aim to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. This means foods that are full of vitamins and minerals without being too high in calories. The nutrients below are especially important when you’re pregnant and all can be easily found in foods like fish.

Pregnancy Diet: Powerhouse Nutrients

 
 OMEGA-3 DHACALCIUMVITAMIN DIRON
WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT
  • Special kind of healthy fat that helps build your baby’s brain and eyes
  • May prevent pre-term (early) labor and depression during and after pregnancy
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Helps build your baby’s bones and teeth, heart, nerves and muscles
  • Keeps your bones and teeth strong
  • Helps your body absorb nutrients like calcium
  • May lower your chance of getting high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Helps carry oxygen in your bloodstream to your baby
  • Can keep your immune system healthy
  • Most moms-to-be begin their pregnancies without enough iron in their diets
HOW MUCH YOU NEED EACH DAY 200 milligrams 1,000 milligrams 200 (+) IU 27 milligrams
WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT
  • Fish like salmon, canned or pouch tuna, sardines, trout and anchovies
  • Fortified foods like DHA-eggs
  • Dairy like yogurt, cheese and milk
  • Seafood like canned sardines and salmon
  • Greens like spinach and kale
  • Fish like salmon, shrimp and canned or pouch tuna
  • Fortified foods like milk and orange juice
  • Meats like turkey, beef and chicken
  • Seafood like clams, halibut, crab, shrimp and cooked oysters
  • Beans like red and kidney

Can You Eat Sushi While Pregnant?

Many pregnant women may be concerned about eating sushi while pregnant. To reduce your chance of getting sick from food, you shouldn’t eat any raw meats during pregnancy.

Sushi is tasty, nutritious and fun; just make sure to stick with cooked types when you’re pregnant.

There are many types of cooked sushi—just look for the ‘cooked’ sticker when shopping in your grocery store or ask your server when dining out.

If you are counting down the days to when you can “go raw,” set a dinner date with your partner for a few weeks after the baby arrives.

A Seafood Lover's Guide to Eating During PregnancySeafood Tips Bookmark