Fish and Pregnancy

Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. In particular, oil-rich fish (e.g., mackerel, salmon, kippers, herrings, trout, sardines, and fresh tuna)

contain the long-chain n-3 fatty acids eciosapentenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexenoic acid (DHA), which may confer many health benefits to the developing fetus. For example, DHA is required for nerve and retinal development, and eating oily fish has been found to have a slight beneficial effect on birth weight and length of gestation. However, fish consumption has been positively associated with intakes of certain contaminants, namely mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and concern has been expressed about the consequences of prenatal exposure to these toxic chemicals on the risk of brain and nervous system abnormalities.

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