Fish is Healthy for Mother and Baby

salmon_ready.jpgFish are full of many nutritional benefits for pregnant women and young children.


Fish have protein, minerals, vitamin B12 and iodine. Fish are low in saturated fat and have omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the development of the central nervous system in babies: both before and after birth.


And remember: the World Health Organization (WHO) identified iodine deficiency as the world’s leading cause of preventable brain damage. Iodine deficiency has also been linked to miscarriage (read more here) Fish is one of the best sources of iodine.


But eating too much of certain fish when you are pregnant or breastfeeding may actually harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. That’s because some fish contain higher mercury levels than others.


The great news is that you can get all the health benefits of eating fish without the risk. Just follow the simple dietary advice below.


Most fish have low mercury levels. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant, you can safely include fish as an important part of your balanced diet.


For pregnant or breastfeeding women, and women planning to get pregnant:


  • 2 to 3 servings (150g) per week of any fish and seafood not listed below




  • 1 serving (150g) every two weeks: of Shark or Billfish (Broadbill, Swordfish and Marlin) and no other fish during that two-week period




  • 1 serving (150 g) per week of Orange Roughy (Deep Sea Perch) or Catfish, and no other fish that week


Source: Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

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