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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: Tuna During Pregnancy

 blu_jeenz - Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:43 pm

I am in my 3rd trimester and for the last week, I have been craving tuna really bad. I went through 2 cans in a 3-4 day period, and told myself I would limit myself to that, but now that it is gone, I am still having the cravings. I have been looking it up online, but seem to get conflicting reports. Every website says something different. I have not had any tuna this pregnancy, up until a week ago. So, my question is, at this point in my pregnancy (just over 27 weeks), what effect would eating tuna have on my baby? Obviously, I don't want to do anything that will harm him, so, if it would have adverse effects on his development, obviously, I would stay away from it. But if it is ok to eat, in limited amounts, as I have seen on some websites, what is that limit? How much is ok?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:53 pm

User avatar Hello,
Since we don't actually know how much mercury may be in the tuna but we know there are trace amounts, the FDA has suggested limiting yourself to 12 ounces of light, canned tuna per week. Albacore is a larger fish that may have more mercury so they recommend not exceeding 6 ounces of that type.

Because of the tremendous food value in fish, we don't advise you to give it up completely, but perhaps limit yourself to three meals per week. Mercury has a cumulative effect, so not making this the mainstay of your diet is a good, safe way to go.

An even healthier option would be to choose wild salmon (farm-raised varieties can contain high levels of PCBs), shrimp, tilapia, clams, trout, farmed catfish, fish sticks, flounder, and haddock. At any rate, you should not overdo it.

The safest course would be to limit your intake of all fish because we live in a polluted world. Once your baby arrives, you would not need to worry as much because this does not appear to be a problem in lactation since levels in the milk are lower than the bloodstream.

Good luck with the delivery of your baby.

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