Fish & Pregnancy

ood is the most essential thing of all living organisms. The intakes we consumed become not only an accumulation of our body, but also decided who we are, how we look like, our health, and the potentials of our future generations 

Therefore, it is the most important thing to consider about the consequences of the intakes as well as the amount of the intakes during your pregnancy period or if you are thinking of having a plan to take a baby. Well, and balanced diets are the key factors for the pregnant woman as the intakes are the main sources of nourishment for her baby.  

Fish and shellfish are also an important part of a healthy diet as fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids. Although a well-balanced diet of fish and shellfish is good for the child’s proper growth and development, the enrichment of mercury level in those fish and shellfish should be considered as a risk for the developing nervous system of the child.   

As you may know, mercury is a toxic element and the high level of mercury exposure such as consuming or inhaling can affect and damage your nervous system (the brain), digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. Therefore, the consumption of an excessive amount of mercury during your pregnancy can cause some serious problems for your baby.  

Thus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising the women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.  

On the other handit is better to consult with the medical professionals or nutritionists and take their recommendation for fish and shellfish-related diets in order to avoid the risk of mercury, and for the benefit of important nutrientfor the fetus’s growth and healthy development.  

[1] Subcommittee on Animal Origin Foods Food Sanitation Committee Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council MHLW, Japan. (2005)  Advice for Pregnant Women on Fish Consumption and Mercury, Retrieved from
[2] Jaclyn M Coletta, MD, Stacey J Bell, DSc, RD, and Ashley S Roman, MD, MPH 2010 Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy, J. Fall; 3 4 pp 163–171 Retrieved from,and%20in%20preventing%20perinatal%20depression.

Related Articles

Research articles on fish and pregnancy are listed below.

Blood mercury levels and fish consumption in pregnancy: Risks and benefits for birth outcomes in a prospective observational birth cohort

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Maternal Fish Intake during Pregnancy, Blood Mercury Levels, and Child Cognition at Age 3 Years in a US Cohort

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Fish consumption in pregnancy, cord blood mercury level and cognitive and psychomotor development of infants followed over the first three years of life: Krakow epidemiologic study

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Fish consumption during pregnancy, prenatal mercury exposure, and anthropometric measures at birth in a prospective mother-infant cohort study in Spain

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Mercury contamination in fish from gold mining areas in Indonesia and human health risk assessment

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The First Exposure Assessment of Mercury Levels in Hair among Pregnant Women and Its Effects on Birth Weight and Length in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

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