Sensationalized media accounts have misconstrued the facts on pregnancy and fish consumption, explains a new Fast Facts health bulletin from the National Coalition for Infant Health. Entitled “Fish Consumption for Pregnant Women,” the bulletin highlights guidance from the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Together, these authorities shape a unified message: two to three servings of cooked fish each week offer pregnant women and growing children proven health benefits.
Fish consumption can be a valuable source of iron and vitamin D, the Fast Facts bulletin explains, as well as omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA. These nutritional benefits also translate into a developmental boost for developing babies; fish consumption can boost babies’ IQ by 2.63 points and allow them to reach developmental milestones, such as sitting up, more quickly. Mothers can also benefit in the way of improved mental health, stronger bones and better circulation.