Is oily fish safe to eat during pregnancy?

Trout, salmon, mackerel and sardines - our expert guidance on how to eat these safely when you're pregnant

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In a nutshell

Yes, it’s safe (and good) to eat oily fish – but only in moderation

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The expert view

Oily fish is great for baby’s development, according to expert pregnancy nutritionist Dr Rana Conway, but portions should be limited because it contains pollutants such as dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

“Oily fish are rich in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for your baby’s brain and eye development,” she explains. “You can’t get these fatty acids from any other foods so eating oily fish once or twice a week is recommended.”

Oily fish that should be limited to two portions a week include:

However, you should also limit how much you eat of some other fish that are not regarded as oily. Don’t eat more than two portions a week of:

Mums writing on our forum say:

“Since falling pregnant I can’t stomach the smell or taste of fish. I tried to carry on eating it to start with but it made me feel so nauseous I gave up. Both Pregnacare & Sanatagon do pre-natal vits with Omega 3 and they’re designed for pregnancy so safe to take throughout. I’ve found you can also buy quite a lot of foods which have Omega 3&6 added – olive oil, flora, eggs and some breads.” Yum_Yum

Read more:

How much tuna is safe to eat in pregnancy?

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Can I eat shellfish during pregnancy?

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