The good news? Women can--and should--continue to enjoy tuna sandwiches during pregnancy. Decades of research show the benefits of omega-3s on developing brains when pregnant and breastfeeding women regularly consume a variety of seafood.
The bad news? Many women are confused about how much seafood is safe to eat when they’re expecting or breastfeeding, or even how much seafood is safe to feed their toddlers and infants starting solids.
The fact is that omega-3 fatty acids—along with other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, protein and iron—found in seafood are vital during pregnancy, breastfeeding and early childhood, and because of this, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines
for Americans recommends that expectant and breastfeeding moms and young children consume at least two weekly servings of seafood.
Unfortunately, pregnant women in the U.S. consume less than one-quarter (only about 1.9 ounces) of the recommended amount of seafood each week.
Here are five things to keep in mind when considering seafood during these critical development periods.