How Much Salmon Can You Eat While Pregnant?

by Cat Bowen

When it comes to eating and pregnancy, it's like the list of what you can eat gets shorter with each article published. But there are certain foods, like salmon, that straddle the line. You're told to eat it, but not too much. If you're wondering how much salmon can you have while pregnant, you're not alone. You want those nutrients, but how much is too much? How much is not enough?

According to a report in The Daily Mail, eating just two portions of omega-3 rich fatty fish per week can cut the risk of your child developing attention-defecit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by as much as 50 percent. That's a huge benefit. As a person with ADHD, I understand the struggles of the disorder, and would rather eat a bucket of kelp and only mostly-dead sardines than have my children deal with it.

According to the article, salmon happens to be one of the best choices when you're looking for health benefits and a low-risk fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch also listed salmon as one of the fish with the most available choices that are low in mercury and do the least damage to the environment. But how much is a portion, and how much salmon can you have while pregnant? Is it a steady thing, or does it fluctuate trimester to trimester?

The Mayo Clinic noted that women should eat up to 12 ounces of fish per week to get the maximum benefits of the fish while still limiting their exposure to toxic levels of mercury. Split up, that's three 4 ounce servings of the delicious goodness each week. The Mayo Clinic does advise pregnant mothers to make sure that the fish they eat is fully cooked, which can seem like a real bummer if you like sushi, but raw fish has a tendency to contain a parasite, noted BBC, that can be difficult to treat in pregnant women, so it's best to err on the side of safety.

Three servings a week sounds pretty rad for a fish lover, and the fact that it also may be very beneficial to baby is even better. So dig in, ladies, and enjoy every bite.