Fish is packed with nutrients essential to you and your baby. Fish contains fatty acids that are crucial to the development of your baby's brain. But some fish may contain environmental toxins, so choose carefully.
Mercury and other toxins – fish to avoid during pregnancy
Some fish types contain high levels of environmental toxins such as PCB, dioxins and mercury, which can harm your growing baby's nervous system.
For this reason, avoid eating too much predatory fish from the Baltic Sea and large lakes. Also be careful with wild salmon and salmon trout, herring, Baltic herring and char. Unfarmed Swedish fish are seldom sold in shops. However, if you live near the sea, remember not to eat this type of fish more than 2-3 times a year in total.
Other fish to be eaten in moderation during pregnancy are halibut, swordfish, pike, perch, pike-perch and butterfish.
Oysters are a delicacy but can contain high levels of unhealthy cadmium.
Fish recommended during pregnancy
Pregnancy women should eat both fatty fish and white fish, preferably two to three times a week. It can be fresh or frozen, or you can eat tinned fish, fish balls or fish fingers.
• All farmed fish can be eaten 2-3 times a week.
• Prawns, crayfish, mussels, clams and other shellfish are healthy for you and your baby. But you love crab, only eat the white meat.
• Tinned tuna is fine to eat during pregnancy, but avoid buying whole tuna pieces.
• Fish in the salmon family are ideal, but avoid unfarmed fish from the Baltic Sea and Swedish lakes.
• Here are some fish types recommended by the Swedish National Food Agency: Herring and cod (except from the Baltic Sea), sardines, hake, Alaska pollock, haddock, European hake, stockfish, mackerel and European plaice.
• To avoid certain illnesses that can be dangerous during pregnancy , only eat cured or smoked fish if it is very freshly made and freshly packed. The same applies to sushi.
If you don't eat fish, you can take a fish oil supplement or eat omega-3 fatty acids in other forms. Read more here about vegetarian food during pregnancy.
Read our ten tips on eating healthily during pregnancy here.
You can find more recommendations on the Swedish National Food Agency's website.