Eating Salmon During Pregnancy: Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Eating Salmon Fish during Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Prerna More Patel (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

If there’s one thing pregnant women are constantly worried about, it is their diet. This is understandable, considering that what you eat is all the source of food that your baby will get. It is imperative that you keep a tab on everything you consume. Salmon is a hot favourite among the most, and for good reason. It is tasty, nutritious, andversatile. It is also widely available, and the number of dishes you can make with this fish is innumerable.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Salmon?

We’ve established the fact that salmon is tasty and healthy, but is it advisable for pregnant women to indulge in this delicacy? The answer is yes! Salmon has a great nutritious value that can be highly beneficial for both the expecting mother and child. A low-fat fish, salmon happens to be one of the most nutritious fish available. In addition to this, it helps to keep a lot of diseases at bay, thereby protecting you and your baby.

Benefits of Eating Salmon While Pregnant

As mentioned above, salmon has a lot of health benefits, here are a few –

1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their many benefits, great cardiovascular health, improved eyesight, and enhancing neurological development being the most common advantages. Consuming this nutrient means good health for both you and your unborn baby.

2. Rich in Proteins and Vitamins

Proteins are extremely important for muscle growth and repair, and vitamins are highly instrumental in maintaining optimal blood pressure levels, preventing heart disease, and increasing immunity. In addition to this, vitamins are great for the eyes, skin, and hair and work as an antioxidant, thereby fighting toxins.

3. Great for the Heart

Salmon is great for the heart as it keeps a tab on blood pressure and cholesterol and prevents blood from clotting, especially in the arteries.

4. Helps Prevent Premature Delivery

Fish that have a low-fat content and high omega-3 fatty acid content are great for the body, and salmon is the perfect example of this. Research  suggests that this fish, in particular, helps in preventing premature delivery.

5. High DHA Content

Salmon has a high content of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This will aid in the brain development of your fetus. In addition to this, it can help prevent postpartum depression for the expecting mother.

Side Effects of Consuming Excess Salmon in Pregnancy

Too much of anything is bad, and this is something you must keep in mind especially if you are in the family way. Here are a few side effects of consuming excess salmon in pregnancy –

1. Excess Mercury

Salmon is one of the types of fish that contain the least amount of mercury. However, consuming salmon in excess can increase the amount of mercury in your system, so make sure you eat this fish moderately.

Eating Salmon Fish in Pregnancy

2. Could Contain PCB

PCB or Polychlorinated biphenyls are harmful to the body as they are carcinogenic in nature, which means they can cause cancer. Excess consumption of salmon can put you in the risk for this. PCB is also a causal factor in hindering the development of your foetus.

How Can You Include Salmon Fish in Your Pregnancy Diet?

There are several ways to prepare and include salmon in your pregnancy diet, but the best way to do so is broiling, poaching or baking it. Make sure you avoid raw preparations like sushi, as this puts you at a risk for bacterial infection. Consume this as a fillet with your rice and vegetables. Salmon salads filled with vegetables are a tasty option as well.

While it is best to avoid smoked seafood that has been refrigerated during pregnancy, there has been no negative correlation between smoked salmon and pregnancy as there is no evidence on why you should avoid it.

Precautions to Take While Having Salmon When Pregnant

Here are a few precautions that you must keep in mind while consuming salmon when pregnant.

  • Firstly, make sure you buy or order the fish from a trusted source. Even if you are buying from a local vendor, ask around to see if his fish are good. Before eating at a restaurant, check to see if it has good reviews, is clean and hygienic.
  • Make sure your salmon is well-cooked. Raw salmon while pregnant is dangerous as raw, uncooked food is a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and virus You don’t want you or your fetus coming in contact with this.
  • Make sure you remove the skin of the fish. After this, make sure that the meat is cooked until it is dark.
  • Avoid cooking this fish with too much spice. Excessive consumption of spice is not good for you, especially if you are pregnant.

Taking care of yourself at this time should be high on the list of your priorities, as you are now not just responsible for yourself, but for your little unborn baby as well. Make sure you give yourself all the love and care that you truly deserve. Salmon is a great food, so go ahead and dig into this delicacy – but in moderation. Stay away from this food if you have an allergic reaction to it. Consult your doctor before consumption. If you’ve developed a reaction after consumption, make sure you go to the doctor immediately.

Also Read:

Is It Safe to Eat Prawns during Pregnancy?
Consuming Crab during Pregnancy
Eating Shrimp while Pregnant
Is Consuming Tuna Safe in Pregnancy?

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