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Fish And Seafood During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

seafood during pregnancy

Eating fish during pregnancy is safe for both mother and baby, provided that it is cooked properly. Actually, you get many health benefits through properly cooked fish, so it is quite advisable to include them in your diet. While buying the fish, make sure that it doesn’t smell bad or discoloured.

There were some controversies about eating fish during pregnancy due to the mercury levels. But now FDA suggests that breastfeeding and pregnant women must consume more fish. This is because fish contains protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. To foster a healthy fetus inside the womb, these nutrients are quite essential too.

Table of Contents

How Much Fish To Consume During Pregnancy?

Fish To Avoid During Pregnancy

Choosing The Fish To Eat During Pregnancy

Tips When You Cook Seafood At Home

How Much Fish To Consume During Pregnancy?

eating fish while pregnant

Many pregnant women do not eat the required amounts of fish during pregnancy. Anyhow, the recommended amount is 8-12 ounces of fish which has low mercury levels. If you consider eating in a week, it comes around 2-3 servings. Fishes with low mercury include tilapia, salmon, cod, tuna, and catfish. Make sure you won’t consume white tuna more than 6 ounces in a week.

Fish To Avoid During Pregnancy

The oceans, lakes, and streams contain an element called mercury and in these water bodies, it converts into methylmercury which will be present in fish. If the element is present in higher quantities, it is quite toxic to the nervous system. The fishes that contain high quantities of mercury are swordfish, Gulf of Mexico, King mackerel, Tilefish, Marlin, Orange roughy and Shark. If you want to eat fish which is caught from a local stream or lake, check the advisories of those streams. If you couldn’t get the information, limit the intake up to 6 ounces per week.

Choosing The Fish To Eat During Pregnancy

cooking fish

If you are eating oily fish during pregnancy, limit the intake to two portions a week as it contains environmental pollutants. You can choose to eat oily fishes like trout, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, eel, kippers, fresh tuna, anchovies, herring and salmon during pregnancy.

Different kinds of fish and shellfish may have comparable levels of dioxins and PCBs to oily fish. These are sea bream, halibut, turbot, crab, dogfish, and sea bass. Limit your parts of these fish to two servings every week.

You must also as far as possible limit the amount you eat tuna during pregnancy to four medium-sized jars or two steaks for every week. Fish contains mercury, which won't hurt you, yet an excessive amount can hurt your child's developing sensory system.

Shark, marlin, and swordfish contain significantly more elevated amounts of mercury, so you shouldn't eat these fish at all while you are pregnant.

The list of safe fish during pregnancy goes like this:

‣ Haddock

‣ Cod

‣ Plaice

‣ Skate

‣ Coley

‣ Flounder

‣ Hake

‣ Gurnard

fish safe when pregnant

Any kind of uncooked seafood while pregnant is not safe since it can contain parasites, for example, tapeworms. Tapeworms can make you sick and sap your body of the supplements that you and your child require.

If you wish to eat mussels, oysters and other shellfish, you'll have to ensure that they're very much cooked if you need to continue eating them during pregnancy. Crude shellfish might be sullied with destructive microscopic organisms and infections that can cause food poisoning. You're more vulnerable to food poisoning during pregnancy.

Food poisoning from raw fish won't hurt your child, however, it can make you feel exceptionally unwell. In any case, if you completely cook shellfish, this will kill any microscopic organisms and infections and make it safe to eat.

In case you're eating out, request your fish to be very much cooked. This is particularly vital in Japanese eateries, as they frequently daintily sear fish outwardly, then serve it uncommon.

clean and marinate the fish

Sushi sold in grocery stores is typically fine to eat. Despite the fact that it regularly contains raw fish, it will have been frozen previously which kills the tapeworm parasites. In case you're purchasing sushi that has been made freshly in an eatery or shop, check with staff that they utilize raw fish that has been frozen.

Crude fish that has been completely smoked, for example, salmon and mackerel, must be checked as safe for you to eat. Smoking the fish murders any parasites or listeria microorganisms. However, if salmon hasn't been appropriately smoked, or frozen before you eat it, there may at present be some listeria microscopic organisms.

If you need to eat any smoked salmon during pregnancy, make sure it is provided by a trusted source, for example, a supermarket, and dependably ask how it's been handled in case you're uncertain. Fish that have been salted or pickled is safe to eat.

Some women will be allergic to shellfishes, especially prawns and crab. They get wheezing and skin irritation while they consume. So it is completely advisable to stay away from prawns and crab during pregnancy if you are one among such women. Craving for prawns will be higher during pregnancy for some women. Whatever the cravings, just check with your doctor before consuming any food during pregnancy.

[Read: Is It Safe To Eat Seafood During Pregnancy?]

Tips When You Cook Seafood At Home

cook fish during pregnancy

‣ Cooking fillets or whole fish must be checked correctly by pulling it aside with a sharp knife and the flesh must be clearly opaque with flakes separated.

‣ When you take the fish out of the oven, let it remain for another 4-5 minutes to complete cooking.

‣ Lobster and prawns turn red when cooked. Scallops will remain as opaque or milky-white or firm.

‣ For mussels, clams, and oysters, cook till their shells are open.

‣ Use a thermometer to check the temperature of at least 65 degrees C before eating fish during pregnancy.

In a nutshell, eating fish during pregnancy is quite a good way to get the required nutrients to you and your baby. Seafood during pregnancy is a good choice as it is rich in omega-3 DHA which is important for your baby’s eye and brain development. But be cautious before you consume as it contains some harmful parasites. Nothing to worry, you just need to be careful and ensure the fish is properly cooked. If you are allergic to any kind of fish, don’t think about consuming it during pregnancy.

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