Should You Eat Fish
You know that fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, but you may not realize just how important these nutrients are for a developing baby. "Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically those from fish, have been shown to promote healthy fetal development, particularly in terms of the brain and nervous system," says Dr. McAllister. "Studies show that eating fish during pregnancy appears to boost fetal brain development and reduce the risk of premature delivery."
There could be some serious implications to avoiding fish during pregnancy. "Research has shown that moms who avoid eating fish during pregnancy may have babies with poor verbal skills and other communication problems, as well as trouble with fine motor skills, asthma, behavioral problems and other early developmental issues," says Dr. McAllister.
Fish can also help you during pregnancy because omega-3s reduce joint pain, reduce the risk of depression and help improve memory and cognitive skills. "This is all great news, since pregnant women tend to experience aching joints, mood swings and pregnancy-related brain-drain," says Dr. McAllister. "Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to help normalize blood pressure, alleviate dry skin and problematic skin conditions, lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of developing blood clots."
Some women have an aversion to fish, or the smell of raw fish, during pregnancy. If you're one of the them -- or just a busy woman on the go -- opt for high-quality fish sticks and fish fillets. "Make sure you find a brand that is made of 100% whole fish, such as Mrs. Paul's and Van de Kamp's, rather than minced fish," suggests Dr. McAllister.