It is normal to worry about making food choices during pregnancy because you want what’s best for your baby. There are especially a lot of myths regarding having seafood in pregnancy which can leave you confused. So, let’s find out if it is safe to eat seafood in pregnancy or not.
FDA Seafood Recommendation for Pregnant Women
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is suggested that pregnant women can consume at least 8 ounces or 340 grams of low-mercury seafood each week. So, the answer to can you eat seafood in pregnancy is yes, you can.
In short, there is no problem with eating seafood 2 or 3 times in one week. The list of safe and dangerous seafood options for pregnancy has been listed below.
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Seafood You Can Eat While Pregnant
Some of the seafood options that are safe to eat for pregnant women are given below:
- Fish that is properly cooked
- Cooked seafood other than fish, such as mussels, lobster, crab, prawns, scallops, and clams
- Cold pre-cooked prawns
- Smoked fish, e.g., smoked salmon and trout
Seafood to Avoid While Pregnant
Some kinds of seafood that can be potentially harmful to the baby and should be avoided in pregnancy should include the following:
- raw shellfish
Risks of Eating Seafood
If you eat fish that has high mercury content or a large serving of oily fish, it might lead to the following issues:
1. Mercury Poisoning
According to the Better Health Channel, during the third and fourth months of pregnancy, the baby is most vulnerable to the effects of mercury. If the mother eats too much mercury-containing fish, it can lead to brain and neurological system problems in the child. For example, the baby’s memory, vocabulary, and attention span may all suffer. Therefore, you should limit tuna because it has more mercury in it than other fish.
Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
- memory problems
If you have any of these symptoms please consult a doctor as soon as possible. Book an online appointment with the Best General Physicians in Lahore now!
2. Harmful Pollutants
Since oily fish are contaminated with dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls, their consumption should be limited. These can be dangerous to your unborn baby if consumed in excess.
3. Bacteria and Toxins
Raw shellfish should be avoided because they may contain hazardous bacteria, viruses, or poisons. These can make you sick and cause food poisoning.
Safety Precautions to Eat Seafood in Pregnancy
You can take the following precautions to ensure the safety of your baby during pregnancy:
Do Not Eat Raw Seafood.
Fish and seafood should not be eaten raw or undercooked. Sushi, sashimi, ceviche, raw oysters, scallops, or clams are all examples of raw or undercooked meals to avoid. You should also avoid raw or refrigerated fish.
Avoid Buying Polluted Fish
If you live in someplace where water pollution is an issue, avoid buying fish from the local markets there. Fish from polluted water can have harmful chemicals that can cause poisoning. However, if you’re unsure about the safety of the fish you’ve already eaten, don’t eat any more that week.
You can also read more about the 6 Top Reasons Why to Eat Fish in Winters?
Always Cook Seafood Properly
Since it is unsafe to eat raw or uncooked seafood, you must always make sure that your fish is cooked throughout. You will see that the fish will become opaque when it is properly cooked.
The Final Thoughts
While there is nothing wrong with eating seafood in pregnancy, you must not eat it more than two or three times in one week. Some kinds of fish have mercury, harmful pollutants, and bacteria that can be dangerous for the baby. Therefore, they should be avoided. And if you have any of the symptoms of mercury poisoning, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the Best Gynecologists in Lahore Online through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. What seafoods are bad for pregnancy?
Any seafood that has high mercury content should be avoided in pregnancy. For example, Shark, Swordfish, Bigeye tuna (found in sushi).
2. Can pregnant eat prawns?
Yes, pregnant women can eat prawns, but they should be cooked properly.
3. What are the foods to avoid when pregnant?
Foods to avoid when pregnant are raw meat, mercury-rich fish, uncooked eggs, organ meat, and caffeine.