Eating Fish During Pregnancy Just Got Even More Complicated

pregnantIf you've ever felt like you are getting mixed signals when it comes to whether or not you're allowed to eat fish during your pregnancy, you're out of luck -- because things just got even more complicated.

A new study has uncovered a link between exposure to mercury during pregnancy and ADHD symptoms in kids -- and as we all know, certain types of fish and mercury tend to go hand in hand. But what's really strange is that while the research determined that mercury exposure can lead to ADHD -- it also concluded that consuming more fish can actually result in a lower incidence of ADHD.

(What the heck?) Are we supposed to eat fish while pregnant or not? Or are we basically setting our kids up for hyperactivity -- regardless of how much fish we eat? (What's a mom-to-be to do?)


The general consensus seems to be that eating fish is good for both you and your baby, just as long as you choose the right fish -- that which is low in mercury. 

And unfortunately, this means you're going to have to resist the urge to indulge any cravings you may have for tuna melts or tuna salad sandwiches. (Or does tuna turn you off? Maybe it was just me who couldn't get enough of tuna plopped on top of an English muffin and smothered with Swiss cheese, all fresh and warm out of the toaster oven. YUM.)

Yes, sadly tuna is high in mercury, along with swordfish (mmm!) and shark (blech).

And as for the good fish -- salmon, trout, cod, shrimp, and haddock are all on the list. Supposedly eating at least two six-ounce servings of these types of fish each week lowers a pregnant woman's risk of having a child with ADHD symptoms.

Ok -- got it. If you want to lower the chance of having a hyperactive kid, don't eat too much fish. But if you want to lower the chance of having a hyperactive kid, make sure you're eating enough fish. Of course, make sure the fish you're eating is the right kind of fish, or you may wind up bringing the ADHD risk back into the mix again.

(Can't a pregnant gal catch a break?)

Have you been eating fish during your pregnancy?


Image via christitaylor/Flickr

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