Most pregnant women are advised to avoid eating sushi. However, after childbirth, some are wondering if the rule still applies during the entire breastfeeding period.
Sushi is appropriate to eat while breastfeeding, however, it is best for breastfeeding women to avoid some fish that are high in mercury. Many other types of fish, both cooked and raw, offer health benefits for both the woman and baby.
Can a breastfeeding mom eat sushi?
As long as the women eat from a good restaurant that uses fish from reliable sources, sushi is safe to eat while breastfeeding. Pregnant women should completely avoid raw fish as bacteria and parasites pose a risk to the fetus.
READ ALSO: Causes of Itchy Nipples While Breastfeeding
Sushi may be safe to eat while breastfeeding because there is little to no risk of these pathogens passing to a baby through breast milk.
Breastfeeding women should avoid eating any fish that contains high levels of mercury, irrespective of whether that fish is raw or cooked. It is possible for some mercury to pass to a baby through breast milk which can affect the brain and nervous system of the baby.
Best and worst fish to eat
Reports from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), suggests some of the best fish choices for pregnant and breastfeeding women. They include: Clam, crab, cod, oyster, herring, haddock, mackerel, hake, perch, salmon, Pollock, sardine, tilapia, whiting, trout, sole, anchovy, scallop, canned tuna, and shrimp.
The FDA recommend eating 2–3 servings per week of these fish. An adult-sized serving of fish is 4 oz.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid eating types of fish that contain high levels of mercury. These include: swordfish, king mackerel, shark, marlin, tilefish, orange roughy, and tuna.
Alternative to fish sushi
Breastfeeding women who don’t want to eat raw fish can go for a tasty vegetarian sushi alternative. They can go for vegetable maki rolls containing cucumber, avocado, and pickled daikon and top them with wasabi and soy sauce to taste.
Image source: Breastfeedingguidelines.com