Fish & Pregnancy: What is Safe to Eat?
Including fish in your diet is a good way to get protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids without ingesting too many saturated fats. However, nearly all fish contain some traces of mercury.
Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment and that is increased by 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 while she is pregnant, her health and the baby’s health are threatened.
Health Risks of Mercury Exposure:
Babies exposed to mercury in the womb can suffer:
- Avoid eating shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish
- Limit consumption of fish low in mercury to 12 oz/week. Albacore (white) tuna should be limited to no more than 6 oz/week.
- For fish that are caught from local waters, no more than 6 oz/week should be consumed and no other fish should be eaten that week. To check fish advisories for your state, click here.
- Avoid all raw or seared fish when pregnant.
- Last Updated
- Adapted from Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.