Is it safe to eat seafood while pregnant? [Nutritionist Answer]

In addition to being nutritious, eating enough of the correct kinds of seafood is advised for both you and your unborn child. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 8 to 12 ounces of low-mercury seafood per week is safe to eat while pregnant. Pregnant women should consume more seafood since their bodies require a particular mix of nutrients from fish at this time.

Is it safe to eat seafood while pregnant?
Pregnant woman eating fish

Is it safe to eat seafood while pregnant?

Yes, seafood can be consumed during pregnancy but it should always be a low-mercury fish. Although different people will have different dietary restrictions, fish can (and should) generally be a healthy part of a pregnant person’s diet. This is because fish is a lean, healthful source of protein. Additionally, fish has a wealth of other essential elements including calcium, iodine, and vitamin D. Most significantly, a lot of fish contain a lot of docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid crucial for a baby’s healthy brain and eye development. Fish and seafood are the main sources of DHA and its omega-3 relative, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Hence to fulfill nutritious needs it is necessary to eat the right amount of fish during pregnancy.

Read more: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Which kinds of fish are suitable for pregnant women to eat?

The majority of seafood you’ll find in stores and restaurants are acceptable to consume when you’re pregnant at two to three servings (8 to 12 ounces) per week. These consist of:

  • Untamed salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Flounder
  • Halibut
  • Pacific perch
  • Lobster
  • Hake
  • Anchovies
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • canned tuna light
  • Crab
  • Crawfish

 One of the finest sources of DHA in nature is unquestionably salmon. However, choose wild salmon (which also includes more of those beneficial omega-3 fats) or organic farmed salmon to avoid the increased amounts of PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls) frequently seen in farmed salmon. Hence you should avoid farmed salmon during pregnancy.

Read more: Best foods to eat while pregnant

Fish To Avoid During Pregnancy

To destroy any germs or viruses that may be present in the fish and do you or your unborn child harm, pregnant women are recommended to only consume fish that has been cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees F. (For the same reasons, pregnant women should avoid eating raw or undercooked meat and poultry.) This includes avoiding fish that is uncooked or undercooked, including raw or rare tuna. Sushi is prohibited unless you pick alternatives that are made with cooked fish, such as unagi, which is made with grilled eel. Furthermore, while canned, smoked seafood is acceptable to consume (despite frequently having a high salt content), pregnant women shouldn’t consume uncanned, smoked fish. Uncanned smoked fish, such as lox or smoked trout, has the risk of containing listeria, a germ that can be harmful to you and your child. Even though listeria infection (listeriosis) is uncommon, it can have catastrophic side effects including mortality, stillbirth, or miscarriage.

Benefits of eating seafood while pregnant

Consuming fish provide significant advantages for both pregnant women and their growing offspring. Some of the benefits are mentioned below:

  • Improves Memory

Speaking of increased brain capacity, taking enough omega-3 fatty acids may also help you remember things better, which is especially useful if you’re struggling with the pregnant brain.

  • Promotes Fetal Growth

Fish is an excellent source of lean protein and necessary amino acids, which aid in the formation of all of your baby’s cells, from skin and muscle to hair and bones.

  • Helps Your Heart Health

A fish-rich diet can reduce your risk of heart illness by lowering blood coagulation and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, as well as lowering blood pressure if you have preexisting hypertension

  • Lowers The Chance Of Premature Birth

Preterm birth rates are lower in regions where fish consumption is high, and some studies have connected adequate omega-3 intake to a decreased risk of preterm delivery.

Hence Fish should be consumed in a controlled amount to achieve all of the above-mentioned health benefits.


Fish and seafood with minimal mercury content are perfect for pregnant women since they normally have few calories but are abundant in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Better still, the fats they contain are rich in extremely advantageous omega-3s, which are essential for normal embryonic growth. Most meat eaters would gain by substituting fish for some of their red meat. The main considerations for using fish in your diet are selecting low-mercury kinds and maintaining secure cooking and storage practices. The only thing left to do is to enjoy the fish and the assurance that your developing child is receiving the essential omega-3 fatty acids.

I lead a team of professional nutritionists and dietitians. We provide our consulting services in different areas of nutrition.

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