What seafood can you not eat while pregnant?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

During pregnancy, it is important to be cautious about the types of seafood you consume. While seafood can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, some varieties can pose risks to both you and your baby.

One type of seafood to avoid is raw fish, particularly sushi. Raw fish may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses that can cause foodborne illnesses. It is always recommended to consume cooked fish during pregnancy to eliminate any potential risks. So, if you’re a sushi lover, it’s best to opt for cooked rolls instead.

Similarly, dishes like ceviche, sashimi, and raw oysters should also be avoided as they involve consuming raw seafood. These dishes may contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning. It’s better to err on the side of caution and choose cooked alternatives instead.

Certain types of fish are known to have higher levels of mercury, which can be harmful to your baby’s developing nervous system. Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy due to their higher mercury content. Instead, you can opt for low-mercury fish like salmon, shrimp, pollock, catfish, and light tuna. These varieties are generally considered safe to consume in moderation.

To ensure the safety of the seafood you consume, it’s always a good idea to buy from reputable sources and properly cook it. You can also refer to local advisories or guidelines regarding seafood consumption during pregnancy, as they may provide specific recommendations based on your region.

Personally, during my pregnancy, I made sure to avoid all raw seafood and stuck to cooked options. I found it helpful to explore different recipes and cooking methods to enjoy a variety of seafood dishes while ensuring their safety. It’s important to prioritize your health and the well-being of your baby, so being cautious about your seafood choices is crucial.

It’s best to avoid raw fish, especially shellfish, during pregnancy. In addition, steer clear of high-mercury fish like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. By being mindful of your seafood choices and opting for cooked and low-mercury varieties, you can continue to enjoy seafood while keeping you and your baby safe.