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Is Seafood Safe During Pregnancy?

Find out what kinds of fish are okay to eat during pregnancy—and which high-mercury options you should probably avoid.
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profile picture of Denise Gershwin, CNM
Midwife Specialist
Updated
March 9, 2020
cooked salmon fish dinner plate
Image: iStock

Fish and shellfish are good sources of high quality protein and other essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. But some types of fish contain more mercury than others and could pose a danger during your pregnancy. Eat these in limited amounts or avoid them entirely. Keep in mind the following basic rules, and check out the FDA or EPA for more extensive info.

  • Never eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.

  • Limit lower-mercury fish, such as canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, catfish and tilapia, to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week.

  • Albacore “white” tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, so limit your intake to one serving (six ounces) per week.

  • Fish sticks and fast-food sandwiches are usually made from low-mercury fish. (And that’s the only time we’ll recommend the drive-through!)

Check out our fish safety infographic:

Image: Lindsey Balbierz

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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