Seabass and Pregnancy

Patient

Q: I consumed seabass about a week ago. I'm 30 weeks pregnant. I recently came across some literature that discussed the high levels of mercury in seabass and I am very concerned for the baby.

Symptoms:  None
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for contacting askthedoctor.com for an opinion.
Mercury is an element that can collect in oceans, lakes, and streams. In these bodies of water, mercury turns into methylmercury, a neurotoxin found in most fish in at least small amounts. In high quantities, methylmercury can be toxic to the nervous system. Due to their high mercury levels, there are four types of fish that should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding. These include tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel.
Many Canadians do not eat adequate amounts of fish. However, the FDA recommends eating 8 to 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week. That amounts to about 2 to 3 servings of fish per week, which can be eaten in place of other types of protein. Make sure to choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned light), cod, and catfish.
However if you have just consumed it once and may be not more than 3-4 ounces then there is no actual need to worry as it would not cause any effect on your pregnancy. In fact if you like fish, then you can choose to eat fishes with low mercury content or fresh water fish which are safer and nutritious.
I hope i have answered your query in detail,
wishing you good health,
regards

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