What’s the real deal on seafood consumption during pregnancy?

Seafood is an important source of protein, iron and zinc – all important nutrients for baby’s growth and development.

It is also an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat naturally found in many different kinds of fish. We believe they are important in fetal brain and eye development, both before and after birth. To benefit the most from omega-3 fatty acids, we recommend you pay attention to your consumption prior to and during pregnancy, as well as while breastfeeding. You can also get your recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids from the nutritional supplement DHA. The recommended dose for DHA is 200 milligrams daily. Now be sure and pay attention to the label on your prenatal vitamins as all prenatal vitamins do not contain DHA.

We recommend 2-3 servings of seafood per week, which is the equivalent of about 8-12 ounces. Now, if you need assistance understanding what a serving size is, use the palm of your hand. The palm of an adult hand is the equivalent to about 4 ounces.

Your best seafood choices during pregnancy include fish like shrimp, tilapia, salmon, and catfish. There are other fish that contain a moderate amount of mercury, and for that reason, we recommend that you limit your consumption to 1 serving a week, no more than 6 ounces. Too much mercury consumption during pregnancy has been associated with vision and hearing problems as well as major organ damage.

Fish in the moderate category include your tunas. These are yellowfin, white, and albacore tuna, and it includes canned, fresh, or frozen tuna. Sea bass, snapper, grouper, and mahi mahi also fall in the moderate category. Avoid fish with the highest mercury concentration such as big-eye tuna, shark, marlin, and roughy. If you are eating fish caught by friends and family, check for advisories in your area regarding safe consumption. If there are no advisories available, limit your consumption of that fish to 1 serving per week and do not eat any other fish that week. Be sure and remember, pregnant women should avoid eating all raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat.

That’s it for today, guys. As always, I appreciate you, take good care, and stay healthy friends.

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