Pregnant Women Should Eat More Fish
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recently released a Practice Advisory encouraging pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume more fish. Concern over the mercury content of some fish has led many women to avoid seafood during pregnancy, and both ACOG and the FDA are working to change this. Consumption of more fish is beneficial because it is a good source of protein, many vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA) which have been shown to be extremely beneficial for fetal brain development. There are a variety of fish and seafood low in mercury such as tilapia, shrimp, salmon, cod, scallops, and catfish. The recommendation is to eat at least 8, and up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish each week. The FDA has a very helpful table on the mercury and Omega-3 content of all seafood here. ACOG reminds women to continue to avoid fish containing high mercury concentrations, such as tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. White (albacore) tuna should be limited to 6 ounces per week. If you have questions regarding this or any other dietary concern, please feel free to contact us at New Jersey Perinatal Associates; we would be happy to review our recommendations with you.