Fish and seafood are an important source of essential Omega 3 fatty acids that pregnancy and fetus benefit during pregnancy. It is one of the foods that should not be missing from your menu when you are pregnant. But, unlike other foods, fish must meet some essential conditions when consumed during pregnancy, in order not to endanger the health of the fetus.
Fish in pregnancy, benefits and risks
Seafood and fish are essential sources of essential fatty acids, but also of proteins and iron - crucial in the growth and development of the fetus. In addition, Omega 3 fatty acids play an essential role in the development of the baby's belly brain.
But some types of fish and seafood - especially large ones such as shark, swordfish or mackerel - may contain very high levels of methylmercury (a type of mercury), extremely dangerous for pregnancy if ingested in large quantities . It can affect the development of the baby's brain and central nervous system.
What types of fish are safe during pregnancy?
Choose types of fish and seafood that have low mercury content:
What kind of fish is best to avoid during pregnancy?
In general, the very large ones are the most exposed to metimercur contamination. They live longer and are exposed to it in the long term:
How much fish should a pregnant woman eat and how?
Specialists advise pregnant women to consume around 340 grams of fish and seafood per week.
If you crave or want to taste a fish that is more exposed to methylmercury, then limit the amount of fish weekly to only 170 grams, to avoid complications.
It is good to follow some rules when it comes to consuming this quantity:
to choose fish types with a lower methylmercury content;
not to eat at all raw, in any form (such as sushi, shells for example) - there is a risk of contaminating yourself with bacteria and viruses;
cooks the fish very well, at a temperature of at least 63 degrees Celsius - the fish is ready when it is separated in phases and has an opaque color; cook the shrimps and lobster until they are milky-white; cook the shells, mussels and oysters until the shells open themselves - remove the ones that didn't open.