Anticipating the Dangers of Seafood for Pregnant Women

Anticipating the Dangers of Seafood for Pregnant Women

Seafood is good for pregnant women because this food contains many nutrients that are important for the health and development of the baby. However, it should be noted that there are certain types of seafood that pregnant women should limit or even completely avoid.

The virtue of seafood for pregnant women lies in the nutritional content of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are abundant in it. These nutrients are important for helping the baby's brain development and can improve cognitive abilities. In addition, seafood can also be a good source of protein, iron, and zinc for pregnant women.

However, monitoring the amount of seafood consumption for pregnant women is also important because excessive seafood consumption can cause side effects that can interfere with the growth and development of the baby.

Dangers of Eating Seafood for Pregnant Women

Not only those who are pregnant, women who are planning to become pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also need to be careful in consuming seafood. The following are some things that pregnant women need to be aware of regarding seafood:

Mercury content

Seafood can indeed be a good source of nutrition for pregnant women. However, some seafood, especially fish and shellfish, can contain high levels of mercury. Fish that contain a lot of mercury are usually large ones, such as bigeye tuna, marlin, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

Although mercury is not really a problem for most adults, pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid it. High levels of mercury in the blood due to seafood consumption can interfere with the development of the baby's brain and nervous system.

Instead, consume seafood that is safe for pregnant women. Pregnant women can also minimize the risk of mercury by choosing types of small fish that are low in mercury and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, tilapia, and mackerel. In addition, there are also types of seafood that are considered safe for pregnant women, namely packaged shrimp and tuna that are cooked.

How to cook it

If eaten raw, most seafood is at risk of causing tapeworm infection. These parasites can cause digestive disorders and inhibit the absorption of nutrients needed by pregnant women and babies in their womb.

Eating raw seafood can also cause food poisoning because pregnant women are usually more susceptible to food poisoning during pregnancy. Raw seafood poisoning does not actually harm the baby, but it can make pregnant women unhealthy and have no appetite.

Therefore, seafood dishes for pregnant women must be thoroughly cooked to kill bacteria and viruses in them, so that they are safer for consumption.

Tips for Safe Eating Seafood for Pregnant Women

So that pregnant women can take advantage of the abundant nutritional benefits of seafood, while avoiding the risks, pay attention to the following rules:
  • Limit seafood consumption to only 2-3 servings (220-340 grams) a week.
  • Choose seafood that is low in mercury.
  • Choose small fish.
  • Avoid eating undercooked seafood, including oysters, sushi, and sashimi.
  • Cook seafood properly, at 63 degrees Celsius.
  • Avoid eating fish from waters that are already prone to industrial pollution.
Seafood in general is a food that is rich in nutrients and good for health. Unfortunately for pregnant women, seafood can cause side effects. However, by knowing the things that need to be anticipated, pregnant women can still benefit from this food.

As long as pregnant women avoid seafood that is high in mercury or contaminated with pollutants and cook it well, seafood can still be part of a healthy diet during pregnancy.

If necessary, pregnant women can ask the doctor for advice on what seafood is safe for pregnant women to consume.