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Pregnant Women Should Eat Fish Twice a Week to Help Baby’s Development

In a new study, researchers from the University of Bristol, UK, suggest that women should eat at least two portions of fish a week and no longer be advised to avoid certain species. Current warnings to limit the intake of fish high in mercury cause confusion and make future moms to refuse from eating fish.

For the current study, the scientists analyzed data on 4,131 pregnant women in the UK whose offspring were followed throughout childhood. They measured mercury levels in maternal blood and umbilical cord tissue. The analysis showed no adverse link between higher maternal mercury levels and cognitive development in babies whose mothers ate fish. Experts believe the nutrients in the food protect against the metal.

Study co-author Dr. Caroline Taylor says: “We found that the mother’s mercury level during pregnancy is likely to have no adverse effect on the development of the child, provided that the mother eats fish. If she did not eat fish, then there was some evidence her mercury level could have a harmful effect on the child.”

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