Calling All Moms-To-Be: Seafood is Good for Your Baby

If you’re the type of mom-to-be who plays Beethoven to your future baby, then you’ll also want to eat more seafood to bump up his or her I.Q. points.

Thanks to a nationwide effort to promote safe seafood consumption, almost everyone in the United States has become extra-conscious about mercury levels in fish and shellfish. Yet since the FDA released an advisory in 2004, many women have been so frightened of harming their babies that they’ve severely reduced their seafood intake, often below levels suggested by the EPA and FDA.

In a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine in 2009, I. Frithsen and W. Goodnight found that for some pregnant women, their awareness of seafood advisories often led them to eat unnecessarily low levels of seafood, thereby missing out on important nutrients that only seafood can provide to them and their babies.

In 2010 the leading nutritional guide of the U.S., the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, highlighted the need for Americans to increase their intake of healthy, low-mercury seafood, and asked health professionals to improve their efforts to encourage pregnant women to eat seafood. Even Dr. Andrew Weil is inviting pregnant women back to the seafood buffet. While the U.S. government recommends that pregnant women consume no more than 12 ounces of seafood a week, a British study found that mothers who ate more than 12 ounces of seafood a week had children who scored higher I.Q.’s and were more developmentally advanced than children of mothers who ate no seafood or who ate less than 12 ounces a week.

Pregnant women gain unique nutritional benefits from fish and seafood that they can’t get in significant quantities

from other sources such as beef, pork, poultry and vegetables. Some of the key seafood nutrients include selenium, iron, iodine, calcium and vitamins A, B and D. Most importantly, some species of fish have high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide you and your baby with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). So what’s so especially good about Omega-3’s and seafood for moms-to-be?

To recap, Omega-3 fatty acids help your baby’s brain and eyes to develop, even after birth.  And since seafood is such a lean and nutrient-rich protein source for moms-to-be, there is no reason to not increase your seafood intake.

Eating for two has never been so delicious.

Posted Oct 15th by Maria