BookmarkBookmarkTick

Fish and Breastfeeding?

Can I eat fish while breastfeeding?
ByLeigh Anne O'Connor
Lactation Specialist
Updated
March 2, 2017
Hero Image

Yes, breastfeeding moms can eat fish, but you do need to be cautious about what kind it is and how much of it you have.

Fish has all kinds of benefits for breastfeeding moms and babies. It’s high in protein and contains omega-3 fats, which are important for optimal  development of a baby’s nervous system. The problem is that many of our fish live in polluted waterways and accumulate chemicals (particularly mercury, which can affect baby’s brain!). So choose fish that are low in mercury, and avoid fish that have high mercury levels.

The USDA and FDA recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding moms stay away from shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish — those are the ones known to have high mercury levels. Instead, choose low-mercury fish, such as salmon, pollock, catfish, shrimp and canned light tuna. If you eat locally-caught fish, check local advisories for recommendations regarding fish consumption from that body of water. If no local recommendations are available, restrict your intake of locally-caught fish to six ounces in a week, and don’t eat fish from other sources in that same week.

Also, look out for the different types of tuna. Albacore tuna typically contains more mercury than canned light tuna, so if you eat albacore, don’t have more than six ounces of it in a week.

More from The Bump:

Related Video
Track athlete Allyson Felix running a race.

Nursing Olympians May Not Be Able to Bring Their Baby to the Games

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
05/21/2021
Mom sitting and breastfeeding her baby.

New Study Shows How “Good Bacteria” in Breast Milk Changes Over Time

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/25/2021
Frida's new nursing pillow in use, mom breastfeeding her baby.

This New Product Line Is a Game-Changer for Nursing Moms’ Sore Breasts

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/24/2021
two hands passing a paper heart between them

This Mom Donated 600 Ounces to Breast Milk After Her Newborn’s Death

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
09/14/2020
healthy salad with zucchini

How to Eat a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

profile picture of Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Contributing Writer
illustration of mom breastfeeding her baby in upright position

8 Breastfeeding Positions to Make Nursing Easier

profile picture of Holly Pevzner
Holly Pevzner
Contributing Writer
Article removed.