It’s that time of year where we will be seeing more baby bumps out and about. Quite often we are asked. How much can I eat? What can I eat? Is it safe? I hear it is harmful? When can I start eating fish after a having a baby? You want what is best for your baby. The answer is yes you can still eat your favorite salmon meal and the bonus it benefits your baby. Pregnancy nutrition can be confusing especially when it comes to seafood. Seafood which includes fish and shellfish can be a great source of protein, iron and zinc which are critical nutrients for your baby’s growth and development.
Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely essential for our growth and development. The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is especially important, because it accumulates in the developing brain and eyes. For this reason it is often recommended that expecting and nursing mother make sure to eat enough omega-3 fatty acid. However there is one warning with recommending fish to expectant mothers. Some fish and shellfish are high in mercury, for this reason pregnant women should only eat fish that are low in the food chain like salmon, sardines, trout, etc., and no more than 12 ounces per week (2-3x a week). Pregnant woman should also avoid raw and uncooked fish because it may contain microorganisms that can harm the fetus.
What is docosahexaenoic acid? DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin and retina. It can be synthesized from alph-linolenic acid or obtained directly from fish oil, breast milk or algae oil.