Start of Main Content
Health Information | 04/21/2021

Eating Fish During Pregnancy

By  Dr. Sawyer Emmer

One of the myths that I hear the most from my patients is that fish is not a good food to eat during pregnancy, which cannot be further from the truth.

Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is essential for brain development during pregnancy and early childhood. Fish also contains protein and many other vitamins and minerals such as vitamins D and B2 (riboflavin), calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium that are important for a young fetus.

We recommend that you do not eat raw fish such as sushi, sashimi, oysters, and ceviche. Raw fish can contain bacteria and parasites that can be dangerous to your developing baby. We also recommend you don’t eat too much “big” fish such as swordfish, tuna steaks, shark, and marlin that can contain high levels of mercury.

Some fish and shellfish that are safe to eat when properly cooked are salmon, anchovies, clams, cod, crab, haddock, lobster, sardines, scallops, shrimp, tilapia, freshwater trout, flounder, and canned light tuna.

Serving sizes of 8 – 12 ounces of low-mercury fish can be safely consumed once or twice per week. We encourage you to try eating more fish!

If you have any questions about what to eat or what not to eat during your pregnancy, contact your healthcare provider.

About The Author

Dr. Sawyer Emmer

Dr. Sawyer Emmer joined Atrius Health in 2020 and practices obstetrics and gynecology at our Burlington location. He attended medical school at Boston University School of Medicine and completed both his internship and residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Emmer’s clinical interests include performing laparoscopic surgery, chronic pain and endometriosis treatment, high-risk pregnancy, and contraception and family planning.

More from this author