If you're a fish lover, there’s no need to miss out on your favourite dishes during your pregnancy. Fish provides protein, and oily fish in particular are a source of DHA – a type of Omega 3 LCPs (long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid) known to contribute to brain development. However, there are some types of fish that you should avoid and some that you should only eat every now and then.
Fish to avoid when pregnant
Shark, swordfish, ray and marlin are slow-growing fish which makes them more likely to have a higher mercury content. Mercury can affect your baby’s developing brain, so you’re advised to avoid these fish completely in pregnancy. Oysters and mussels should also be avoided as these may contain biotoxins which are not destroyed on cooking.
Fish to limit when pregnant
Tuna may contain higher levels of mercury than small fish, so try to limit your intake to:
• One fresh tuna steak (≤150g) per week, or
• Two 240g cans per week.
Safe fish during pregnancy
You can eat as much white fish (like cod, haddock, monkfish and plaice) and cooked shellfish as you like when you’re pregnant.
If you’re still not sure which fish is safe to eat during pregnancy, see our Q&A below. We’ve answered the most common fish-related pregnancy questions, so you can enjoy your favourite fish dish safe in the knowledge that’s it’s perfectly safe for you and your baby.
|Can you eat tuna when pregnant?
Tuna contains more mercury than other types of fish, so you need to limit your intake. This is because mercury could affect your baby’s developing nervous system if you eat high levels whilst you’re pregnant.
|Can you eat smoked salmon when pregnant?
Smoked salmon is not suitable during pregnancy due to the risk of listeriosis.
|Can you eat anchovies when pregnant?
|Can you eat sea bass when pregnant?
|Can you eat mackerel when pregnant?
- Add a healthy serving of anchovies to your pizza or salad.
- Enjoy white fish such as cod and oily fish such as mackerel.
- Stick to no more than one tuna steak or two cans of tuna per week
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.