Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why you SHOULD eat seafood during pregnancy

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

In my life before I became a full-time mom (and part-time blogger!), I worked as a toxicologist. And as a toxicologist i know that the world is full of lots of things that can be detrimental to our health, but sometimes avoiding those things completely is not the answer. Then I got pregnant and got to see that principle in action. When you're pregnant you get lots of advice, from other pregnant people and older women (and a few men, but I ignored them). Lots of advice :) One of the things that I heard way too often was "avoid seafood". I heard a lot that eating seafood would lead to my baby being brain-damaged or having other health problems. The sad thing is, these people could not have been more wrong- pregnant moms should not avoid seafood, they should just eat the right types of seafood and do so in moderation.

While it is true that some types of seafood do contain high levels of mercury and should be avoided by pregnant women, other types of seafood are really great for the pregnant woman and her baby. Over at healthy tuna, there is an entire section devoted to scientific studies showing the benefits of eating seafood during pregnancy and discussing the possible negative effects of avoiding it completely. One new study in the July 2009 issue of Epidemiology reported that pregnant women who ate no seafood were nearly 50% more likely to have symptoms of depression than women who ate seafood three times per week (12 or more ounces per week). Another study showed that, in a group of women who ate fish during pregnancy, the women with the highest fish intake (as compared with the group with the lowest fish intake) had children who were 25% more likely to have higher developmental scores at 6 months and almost 30% more likely to have higher scores at 18 months.

After the first trimester of my pregnancies (when there was no way I was allowing anything smelling remotely like a fish- or anything else! near my home), I made it a point to eat seafood, generally salmon or some other low-mercury fish, at least twice per week, and I also took a salmon oil supplement. I'm not sure if this contributed to my lack of depression during pregnancy, but I did eat fish and didn't end up with depression! If you're pregnant, discuss this with your doctor and see what he or she has to say and be sure you know which types of seafood you should and should not be eating. Eating seafood during pregnancy is an easy way to do something healthy for yourself and for your baby! 

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