Most moms worry whether it is safe to eat seafood during pregnancy. Fish, if cooked properly, is absolutely safe to eat. Also, several fishes have health benefits for you and your baby. So, it is a good idea to include it in your diet. However, there are some things that you need to always keep in mind when cooking seafood, including fish. Seafood is really good for your baby provided you cook it well. Apart from this, pregnant women should avoid eating more than two servings of fish or seafood in a week.
There are several studies that showed eating seafood during pregnancy results in higher intelligence quotient in kids compared to those whose mother’s didn’t eat fish. Coming to proper seafood, it is better to avoid shellfish and oyster during pregnancy. It is better to avoid some seafood since they either pose a risk of contamination or they are high in mercury. Even raw, fresh seafood is quite risky as it contains parasites such as tapeworm. These grow larger and might rob your body off the nutrients for your baby. Raw seafood also contains listeria bacteria that causes Listeriosis and can be harmful to the baby.
Almost all doctors recommend you to stay away from sashimi and sushi during the pregnancy period. Oysters and shellfish contain a lot of bacteria and virus that causes poisoning so you need to avoid consuming it while you are pregnant. Pregnant women have higher chances of food poisoning since the immune system gets suppressed during pregnancy. When cooking seafood at home, you must maintain a temperature of 74 degrees C.
Use the knife to slit the fish from the sides. Leave the fish for about three to four minutes to finish the cooking. When cooking lobsters and prawns wait till they turn red. Scallops turn opaque or milky white. Coming to oysters, mussels and clams, wait till the shells begin to open that indicates it has been cooked properly. However, you can eat salmon, squid, octopus, etc three times a week compared to catfish and other types that you can have one serving a week.
Shark, King Mackerel, Swordfish, Tilefish, etc should be avoided entirely throughout pregnancy period. Even though food poisoning from raw fish won’t harm your baby, it would make you weak and unwell. Cooking a fish thoroughly helps to kill the bacteria and virus. You can also enjoy smoked fish such as smoked salmon or tuna as it kills all the bacteria and virus.