Thinking About Getting Pregnant?
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
Can I continue to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy?
A Pregnancy Menu For You and Your Baby
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
What About Seafood?
Don't Eat That!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
Wash Those Veggies!
Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
Breastfeeding: Developing a Future Gourmet
What to Do About The Flu
Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for Obese Women?
Does Iron Intake Matter?
One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
Folic acid in pregnancy and language development
A Mediterranean Diet, Pre-Pregnancy
There is No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D and Gestational Diabetes
Great News About Breastfeeding
Peanuts and Pregnancy
Fried Foods and Gestational Diabetes
Iodine supplements - should you take them?
Prevent Gestational Diabetes with a Mediterranean-style diet
FDA Updates Recommendations for Fish Consumption in Pregnancy
Faith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women eat fish up to two times per week. Fish is a great source of protein, it is a heart healthy fat for moms and may be important for baby's brain development. Fish can be great sources of vitamin D and iron.
But can eating fish decrease your risk of a pre-term birth?
A recent study linked moderate fish consumption (2-3 times per week) with a significant decrease in the risk of pre-term birth in a population of women who were at increased risk for preterm birth (Obstet Gynecol 2011:117:1071-1077).
Researchers interviewed women who had previous pre-term births and asked about their fish consumption from the time of conception up to 16 weeks gestation. They then randomized this group of women to receive omega-3 supplements or a placebo.
The women who had regularly eaten fish were significantly less likely to deliver before 37 weeks gestation than women who routinely ate less fish or did not eat fish at all. This was true even after researchers adjusted for factors linked with preterm birth such as smoking, age, education, body mass index, race and ethnicity.
The probability of preterm birth decreased with increased fish consumption up to 2-3 times per week and then increased slightly in women who ate fish more than 3 times per week. Many doctors caution pregnant patients against eating too much fish or certain types of fish that are known to have higher levels of mercury.
The Omega-3 supplements (started around mid-pregnancy) did not make a significant difference in pre-term delivery rates.
There are many possible reasons why fish may have made a difference while supplements did not. Fish may have nutrients in addition to omega-3s that contribute to healthy pregnancy. Women who took the time to eat fish may have also eaten more vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and less fast food.
While it is possible that omega-3 supplements given earlier in pregnancy might have demonstrated some impact, the researchers clearly stated that their data indicate that omega-3 supplementation can not take the place of eating fish in regard to decreasing pre-term births.
A healthy diet, starting before or at conception, is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. While we encourage pregnant readers to discuss supplements with their doctors, supplements will never be a substitute for a healthy diet.
Supplements certainly don't have taste of great seafood! It is shrimp season here in Mississippi and I wish you could join me in buying fresh shrimp straight off the boat! You can't beat it!
Nourish yourself – and your child!