New studies have shown that fish is among the best foods that a pregnant and breastfeeding mom needs to take for the benefit of her baby and her own. However, some other studies raised questions about fish consumption, citing that some fish could actually have an adverse impact on the brain development of a baby. According to the latest research by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fish is good and eating large amounts of it is even better.
Good for brain development
There are numerous advantages in the consumption of fish, according to the FDA study. The federal agency recommended fish for permanent women and breastfeeding mothers. One of the many benefits of fish in the diet is that it promotes proper fetal brain development during pregnancy. The benefits continue in the baby even after birth so that they have a healthier life throughout.
Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for the proper development of the nervous system and the brain. Pregnant women who consume large amounts of fish also stand to benefit from lowered risks of preterm birth and low birth weight, among others. Stephen Ostroff M.D, FDA’s acting chief scientist, stated in statement that women who avoid taking fish during pregnancy deny their babies important nutrients.
EPA weighs in the fish debate
FDA is not the first federal agency to recommend fish diet for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has in the past recommend consumption of fish. The agency recommended maximum fish consumption, citing that the minimum amount should be two or three fish servings per week.
Those concerned about the nutritional risks of consuming fish in pregnancy have often cited that some fish contained mercury and other chemicals. They cite that such chemicals can pose serious risks to brain development in babies. However, FDA, the agency that approvals drugs for marketing in the U.S., says there is no risk in fish consumption.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding women may consider fish such as Wild-caught Pacific Sardines, Wild-caught Alaska Salmon and Farmed Arctic Char and others.