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Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

What about fish? I know that fish is healthy and good for me and my baby, but I’m worried because I have also heard that certain kinds of fish may contain too much mercury? What kinds of fish are okay to eat during pregnancy and which should I avoid?

Re: What about fish? I know that fish is healthy and good for me and my baby, but I’m worried because I have also heard that certain kinds of fish may contain too much mercury? What kinds of fish are okay to eat during pregnancy and which should I avoid?

The Bump Expert

You are right! Fish and shellfish are good sources of high quality protein and other essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. But, some types of fish do contain more mercury than others -- 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!)

 

Denise Gershwin, CNM

re: Q: Is Seafood Safe?

I see shrimp on the list, but what about other shellfish, like lobster and clams?

Siobhan and Mark |

re: Q: Is Seafood Safe?

I wanted to know the same thing...Is crab ok? I haven't seen that anywhere. Its crab feed season coming up and I am going to be totally upset if I have to cut that out too!! =)

Lde |

re: Q: Is Seafood Safe?

I am concerned about this, too, and so I asked my marine biologist sister. She recommended I check out the OceansAlive website, which has a pdf guide to the safest choices. You can download it: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/1980_pocket_seafood_selector.pdfIn general, small seafood is lowest in mercury (so crab, lobster, and clams are not a problem), but the top predators (like tuna and shark) end up with a lot more mercury in their bodies, which is why we should limit intake of those bigger fish.Hope this helps!

CraftyRachel |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

ohh i did not know shrimp was not good durung pregnacy aslo have a question i am having loose bm's is htis ok? does anyon else have this it si the second day of it i am six weeks

CHAPPYWIFE |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

First, use spell check or people assume you have a low IQ and should be getting basic health education first before specific education on pregnancy issues.Then, read the CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) answer again. You definitely did not understand her response.Call your practitioner about your loose stools as I'm not sure you absorb information from this site and need more one-on-one education.

nomadicnurse |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

To "nomadicnurse".... women are just trying to get information from these bulletin boards. What does it matter if they spell things wrong? You obviously understood the question she was asking, mispelled words and all. Also, rather than criticize someone who may not have read thoroughly enough, how about helping out. Or stop writing on here altogether. I'd rather be reading women's helpful comments rather than hearing drama.To Chappywife~ I would let your practitioner know about your bowel movements. I'm in my 6th week as well and I keep going back and forth, from constipation to loose stools. It could be what you're eating or the vitamins your taking. But definately look into it.

lil_mo_2 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

It's amazing how judgemental and rude someone (nomadicnurse) can be! Wow, you must be the world's first perfect human...congrats! I think you might be on the wrong website.

luvobx18 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

How about sushi with cooked foods like shrimp tempura and california rolls? Can we eat this?

maddm78 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

I would like to know about sushi as well. I have been craving it I'm having a hard time giving it up.

kimjj1025 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

I would really like to know if crab is ok too? Nothing i have read has mentioned it.

MRSBEK |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

Theoretically, you could eat cooked food sushi like california rolls -- this isn't really "sushi." California rolls are made with imitation crab, usually pollock, which is on the good list. Real crab, however, it depends on what kind of crab. Check that PDF CraftRachel posted, it's got everything!

jaydeen |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

So is raw fish a big no no? I love sushi, but if I have to give it up 9 months for baby's sake I guess I'll have to. Does sushi fall into a different category than cooked fish or is it included in the only eating 8 oz/week?

rcollier_17 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

First, let me say that the whole mercury thing as you can see is not a HUGE worry, key concept- everything in moderation! Fish build levels of mercury from eating other fish, that's why shark and the large 'preditor' fish have higher levels and should be avoided. CRAB: safe to eat during pregnancy and actually a HIGH source of Folic Acid!! (that's what ur prenatals are for!) So all the crab lovers endulge!SUSHI: if it's cooked it's ok, if it's not cooked it's not ok because of possible parasitic infection. It has nothing to do with the mercury. U don't want to eat food that can have parasites that will harm the growing fetus. Still keep in mind the weekly recommended amounts of fish altogether.To the NomadICNurse: why is it that nurses seem to be such brats to other women, like they're so beneath them...?? I'm a nurse myself and would never talk to someone the way you did. You should be ashamed, afterall a nurse is someone who is supposed to support and teach other people, they are "caretakers" You OBVIOUSLY missed that concept in your schooling. So here's a tip keep your thoughts to yourself and quit acting like you're the only "qualified individual" on the Bump! Take your attitude and hormones somewhere else!

farrellashleigh |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

Totally anecdotal and probably silly...but when my mother was pregnant with me, she had a huge craving for fish and chips. Ate them ALL the time while she was pregnant. As for me, I have a very high IQ - maybe it was all the fish!And I agree that in countries like Japan, Norway, Sweden, etc. they certainly don't cut all fish out of their diet when pregnant.

MissFreo |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

wow...i can't believe someone can be so judgemental without even knowing a person. nomadicnurse i hope you're not a real nurse because your bedside manner is just awesome...iam premed and its people like you who disgust me and make me wonder why you even wanted to be in the healthcare business. iam sure its not for the general wellfare of people. anyways iam ttc and just browse through trying to get information, so maybe she didn't read the article. however, iam sure you are going to correct my grammar and use of all lowercase letters as well.

keitichan3 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

I think its great that people stood up for CHAPPYWIFE. I really hope that the genuine responses that came from one person being so downright mean and condiscending show others on this site 99% of the people here are willing to help and here to find answers. I am going to dinner tonight and really want my garlic buttered shrimp. I am 4 weeks along and dont eat shrimp often, I am still not sure if I will order it but I know I will get me steak :D I'm not really craving yet so I can't use that excuse. I hope everyone learned something from these posts

HARVEY2009 |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

is shrimp crap and lobster ok to eat

WEBACTION TRISTA |

re: Q: Is seafood safe?

Hi! I thought that canned tuna was fine.... i eat 2 cans per week with my salad, but this morning i heard on the radio that the mercury in a tuna salad or in a can of tuna may cause Austism. I had planned to eat my tuna today for lunch, and now I dont know what to do!

josefinarinke |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Thanks so much for that pocket seafood guide, CraftyRachel. I am a major fish eater (about 5-7 meals per week - I crave fish all the time, even when not pregnant) so this guide will definitely come in handy. I had no idea that there was so much diversity in salmon, depending on its origin! There's no way that I could possibly remember all of that info, so I will print the guide out and laminate it!

thevahvah |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

For anyone who has an iPhone or iPod Touch, there's a great $0.99 app called "Safe Seafood". It's very handy when I'm at a restaurant or the grocery store trying to decide what fish to get. For example, did you know that farmed salmon has a higher risk of containing contaminants (mercury, PCBs, etc.) than wild salmon? If you don't have an iPhone or iPod Touch, the NRDC has great information on their web site. There's even a PDF version of a wallet card "cheat sheet" you can print out and keep with you: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/walletcard.pdf

ddemeo |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

This comment is for nomadicnurse. Maybe you should learn to respect people before you make comments to people in a chat room. If you are so educated as you attempt to protray that you are, then you should have reallized how rude of a person you are. Many on us are first time mothers and are here just to get answers to questions and tell our stories, we do not need person like you putting everyone down.

contnx |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I have to confess, I've eaten sushi! Sashimi too! The real raw stuff! As many have pointed out, mercury in some types of fish can be unsafe, but I thought the main issue with sushi or sashimi was the risk of food-borne illness. Sushi is generally very carefully prepared and I only eat it at restaurants where this is clearly the case. I wouldn't pick some up at a gas station or anything. I really don't think I'm any more likely to get food poisoning from a sushi restaurant than any other restaurant, not to mention something as seemingly benign as a bag of spinach or a jar of peanut butter. Unlike alcohol or caffeine where the risks associated with consumption are constant and known, raw fish, or lunch meat for that matter, is only dangerous due to the remote possibility it could be contaminated. Honestly, I would eat a nice piece of yellow-tail sashimi before I'd eat the potato salad at the picnic. For those of you who don't particularly like sushi, avoiding it entirely is certainly away to avoid the risk, however remote. As for something to avoid, I've read that sprouts, like you'd get in a salad bar or on a sandwich, are actually one of the most likely sources of food-borne illness because of they way they are grown. Just something to think about and one gal's opinion.

titania9 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

To nomadicnurse, this is a website for mothers to get information and share information, this is not a spelling website, or a grammer correction class, maybe you are on the wrong website. That was very rude and your comment was not needed at all. Please do us and yourself a favor and do not comment if you dont have nothing nice to say!!!

46188 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I see a lot of questions about sushi. Anything raw is a risk in and of itself so it's a no no while pregnant. However, sushi rolls containing cooked shell fish are totally safe. My mother in-law is Japanese so we always indulge in sashimi when we go to visit. Women in Japan don't even eat the raw stuff. I'm pregnant now and trust me...it sux that I can't eat some of my fav. sashimi!

TheParrellas |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I was confused about raw sushi as well, on whether or not it's safe during pregnancy - so I asked my doctor. He said it's totally fine, and it's healthy, and just to stay away from the high mercury fish. And everything in moderation. I really think that if you go to a good sushi restaurant, they have much higher quality food preparation standards than most "cooked food" restaurants. I've never, EVER gotten sick from a sushi restaurant - and I can't say the same for other restaurants.

septemberbride07 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I'm a nurse too. I have spell check but also type fast and hit submit too quickly. Relax everyone and let her crankiness go. The pocket guide mentioned above is good. My doc said to limit lobster because of mercury especially the "roe" the innards - red and green in the lobster have high mercury amounts. Still the best info I read so far on here was MODERATION. I know pregnancy makes you crave food in insane quantities (I went through a fruit phase don't advise 10 kiwis in one sitting..lol) good luck ladies!

goldilocksnbears |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Sushi w/ immitation crap (cod isn't it?), or even real crab?

nmkent707 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

i live in New Orleans and it's crawfish season -- anyone know about those critters??? i NEED some!!!!!

kaseyson |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I totally understood everything ChappyWife was saying and its indeed rude to "attack" someone like that on such a friendly site. wow. by sticking up for her lil_mo_2 actually answered my question because i was wondering the same thing about the bowels. as for the fish, i am THE biggest seafood lover and i was so unsure about what i couldnt eat that i tossed out everything just to be safe. thank you for all the responses because i feel so much better knowing that i can have my california rolls and even my shrimp. whew!

askewmyers |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

ok i'm on my first pregnancy and at 6 weeks. I am a nurse so I asked the dietician/nutritionist. she said that the tuna/large fish/sharks should be avoided since they receive mercury from all the fish they eat and they also have fat reserves which is where the mercury additionally stores through out the fish's body. I LOVE sashimi and asked her about it and she said its a no, she said we aren't worried about normal food poisoning as much as normal parasites we encounter when we eat raw fish. she said normal OUR body can fight it off but BABY can't. she also said if you did get food poisoning while pregnant its very risky and can have detrimental results. she said most shrimp/lobster/crab is actually cooked before we get it, or its a fake lobster/crab meat made from cooked fish. so she said stick to sushi rolls with cooked contents and items low in mercury. SHE ALSO LOVED THE PDF someone linked to! and i LOVE the iphone app! she broke it down for me to easier understand, 1) if it eats other fish -- NO 2) if its a fatty fish ----- NO 3) if its raw ------ AT YOUR OWN RISK as long as it isn't previously said NO by 1 or 2 i just LOVE fish, it was my DAILY staple until now... hope this helps, but that pdf was the best

nursenhowell |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

The risk with sushi isn't to do with mercury. All uncooked foods (including the soft, raw cheeses you may have given up) may be contaminated with Listeria. It's best to avoid because Listeria can cause severe food poisoning symptoms and you can't afford to be sick with anything right now if you can help it. So that means no raw meats, no raw or unpasteurized dairy, and be more careful when preparing food to avoid cross-contamination.

trailrider |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

What to expect when you're expecting has a list of seafood and it says that king crab and dungeness is ok 1-2 times a week. The main thing is no raw seafood, the last thing you want is food poisoning! And to nomadicnurse, get bent!

NoisyCricket |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

this website has a complete list, they also have a wallet card you can print: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp

lenoragl |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

for a complete list check out the national resources defense council website: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp they also have a printable wallet card

lenoragl |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Is boiled shrimp good for my baby.

mita30 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

EVERYONE gives different opinions on this subject. As a matter of fact, even doctors do, as well. Salmon and certain fish like "shallow water fish" may contain mercury. Honestly, with all the variating news out there, not sure! The safest i've seen is the McDonald's filet o'fish, hahah! But obviously raw stuff is a no-no. The jury is out there with shellfish, etc etc. I've seen preg ladies eat shellfish like no tomorrow and comes out with absolutely no problems. I've also seen preg ladies who eats shellfish and babies are diagnosed with allergies BUT it's not proven that the allergies are attributed to their original shellfish consumption. So the safest thing is prob avoid it altogether. Cuz if something does happen, ppl will find things/ways to blame... so better to be safe!

newbieberri |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Just watch the seafood you eat to be safe. My dance teacher form high school of eleven years, ate canned tuna all the time while pregnant ,and her beautiful girl does have autism because of the high levels of mercury.

Shjohnson4688 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I am truly appalled at how rude all these women are to each other on this website. It's not only this bulletin but on all of them. Women please just calm down and answer the question with respect instead of degrading someone. Goodness, this is a website for high school age mentalities, I am for sure going to stay with BabyCenter.com

guinness42 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

If you are wondering can pregnant women eat shrimp then rest assured that the answer is yes. You just have to be concerned with the quantity.

tammymontgomery |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

OK so we know that fish are safe during pregnancy within limits of course but what about the preparation? I love to steam fish with spring onions and ginger. Would this be safe or do you have to fry or bake the fish?

travelangel1522 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

i ate a lot of seafood (shrimp) with my 1st child and 20 yrs later he's as healthy as a horse -- i guess with everything else don't over do it in one sitting.. i do have to say that it was always cooked and i didn't eat anything raw.......

Babymalouf |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I think you should ask your doctor.I heared it could cause some allergies.When I wanted to use products from Evolv Health I asked my doctor too.

ioana06 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

My husband is a swordfisherman & although I should avoid Swordfish, his entire company encourages me to eat lots of seafood for baby (I don't have to pay for it, obviously, so they are NOT self promoting). To be in danger of Mercury you'd have to eat seafood much more often then 3 times a week (they test there catch as do most fishermen). Also, eating seafood & shellfish (yes, crab is OK) during your pregnancy makes 'Baby" less likely to have any fish allergies of their own so ENJOY!!!

CEffgen |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm FDA seafood safety chart

girlyjo |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

My doc said sushi is safe to eat, but only if you eat it from a reputable restaurant (in other words, cut out the risk that you are served bad fish like what you would get from grocery store sushi). She told me to stick with the weekly limits and eat only high quality (or cooked roles) and I should be okay. Ask your Doc what she / he thinks too :)

BrieWest |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

i was always taught that sushi is with cooked fish and sashimi is with the raw. but i dont like either one haha. but ive eaten crab, shrimp, and cold lunch meat and i havent had any problems or gotten sick! i think a lot of these rules make it seem more serious than it really is. i think as long as you arent drinking and doing HARD drugs that everything will be fine!

atticuslukeharrison |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

i am a nutritionist and the thing with raw foods, not just sashimi or uncooked meat, but also soft cheeses like brie, is the possibility of listeria and other pathogens that can enter the placenta and harm the fetus. if you've never gotten sick from your favorite sushi place, that doesn't mean you've never had a dangerous pathogen in your body, it just means that your body was strong enough to fight it off. but this isn't so with the fragile life that is growing inside of us; even the smallest trace can get into the amniotic fluid and cause damage. better to be safe than sorry and bite the bullet for 9 months than to risk causing harm to your child!

bmbeck71611 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Chappywife- BM is okay as long as you are not bleeding. Just wait till you wish you could go to the restroom and you cant!

marymckenziemm6 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I'm super craving sushi, yummy. I haven't given in of course, but I still want it. I eat fish at least 1 time per week, and I've always eaten fish in my diet. I of course used to eat fish far more often and I've cut back to the recommendation my doctor made to be safe.

cmccandless1823 |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I haven't read every single response but wanted to give my 2 cents.Shrimp is one of the most toxic foods you can eat. Everyone should avoid shrimp, not only pregnant women. in regards to the rude comment from "nomadicnurse"... I think you should avoid forums if you are going to insult women looking for support. You are unsupportive, rude and negative. It's just a board, get off your high horse!

marissakmasterson |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

{{First, use spell check or people assume you have a low IQ and should be getting basic health education first before specific education on pregnancy issues.}} rude and unfriendly.

marciiforniia |

Q&A: Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

I had sushi a bunch of times, raw and cooked and it never hurt my baby. What do you think they eat in countries like Japan and China? They eat raw fish all the time. Their babies are born healthy. Don't go crazy on mercury but having it once in awhile will not harm your baby. I ate shrimp often as well and my baby is happy and healthy. You can just as easy get a parasite from ANYTHING you eat as you can from Sushi. There's too much worry and pressure put on pregnant woman. Anything in moderation is fine. Years ago women smoked while pregnant and babies were born healthy just the same. Do what is best for you.

betyboop1216 |