Eating Fish when Pregnant

Is it safe to eat fish while I’m pregnant?

Absolutely. Fish is a nutritious food - it’s a particularly good source of protein and contains many other nutrients that are good for you. Plus it’s low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats (essential Omega-3s).

How much fish should I eat?

Well-developed guidelines recommend we eat fish two to three times a week. Variety is the spice of life so remember to mix it up with different fish species and well-cooked seafood!

Iodine

Iodine is essential for metabolism and is particularly important for the growing baby during pregnancy as well as for young children.

While we only need small amounts, it’s hard to get enough through our diet. New Zealand grown fruits, vegetables and grains are generally low in iodine. However, cooked fish and seafood are good sources of iodine.

The Ministry of Health recommends all pregnant and breastfeeding women take 150 micrograms of iodine daily on top of eating iodine rich foods.

Mercury

For pregnant women, there are a few types of fish that should be eaten less frequently such as Swordfish and lake trout due to the level of mercury they may contain. Read more about mercury here. However, most species of fish common in New Zealand can generally be eaten safely two-to-three times per week. 

For a full list of recommendations see the Government’s food smart website