Pregnant and breastfeeding women ask the question if they should or should not eat fish. It is expected that these women will try to do everything they possibly can to make sure their babies get the healthiest outcomes. The topic of fish consumption among pregnant and breastfeeding women has been under much debate in the recent few years. Last year in 2014, a survey revealed that the majority of pregnant women do not eat a lot of fish and as a result, may not have an adequate omega 3 fatty acid intake. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has then issued updated advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women on fish consumption following the survey.
EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids are vital components of cell membranes and are essential for brain and retinal tissue development as well as normal neurotransmission and connectivity maintenance. Maternal ingestion of EPA and DHA in adequate amounts has been related to higher childhood IQ scores, fine motor coordination, social skills, as well as other benefits. The only caveat here is that taking omega 3 or fish oil pills does not seem to offer the same beneficial effects of eating actual fish. It’s also important to keep in mind of the types of fish that contain dangerously high levels of mercury to limit in consumption of. Those are mostly predatory fish including shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.
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