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Ages & Stages

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.

About 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:

Recommendations:

  • 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.
  • Avoid all raw or seared fish when pregnant.

Additional Resources:

 

Last Updated
4/10/2014
Source
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.