There was good news this week about preconception health. A report just out from the EPA found that more women of childbearing age have been avoiding eating the kinds of ocean predators that typically contain mercury (Hg). This is important because mercury can affect the baby’s brain being developed during pregnancy.
Mercury is found in the environment, like the air and water, and turns into methyl mercury in fish- especially the fish at the top of the food chain (because the Hg bioaccumulates). Methyl mercury is linked to many health problems especially for a developing fetus and nursing baby. Because of this… women who might become pregnant should avoid shark, swordfish, marlin, king mackerel, and tilefish (ocean predators). They should also limit albacore or “white” tuna to only 6 ounces per week. Fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, salmon, pollock & catfish.
Women of childbearing age are realizing that their decisions today can help them have a healthier baby tomorrow. We have some information about preconception health at our Women’s Health page or you can go to Womenshealth.gov. For more information about mercury while you are pregnant you can go to the March of Dimes or FDA websites.