Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Consumer Reports published a special report today saying that women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid eating all forms of tuna due a high potential for mercury exposure.
These remarks come after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a combined statement in June suggesting that pregnant women eat between 8 and 12 ounces (that’s 2 to 3 servings) of fish per week.
This was the first time either organization had ever recommended a minimum amount of fish that should be consumed, LA Weekly reported, though they have made maximum consumption directives in the past. Their guidelines cited important nutritional benefits that can come from eating fish such as improving growth and development before birth and during infancy.
While the FDA and EPA recommendations do say that pregnant women should monitor the types of fish they’re eating to limit mercury exposure, Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, told The Washington Post simply, “We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna.” Mercury exposure before birth can result in neurological disorders and impair development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, among other potential risks, the EPA states.
Not surprisingly, the National Fisheries Institute took issue with CR’s conclusions. In a statement, it said: “Though we urged CR to do a thorough, balanced and science-based job, that obviously did not happen. Minimal research would have presented reporters literally hundreds of independent seafood studies from the FDA to the World Health Organization that clearly demonstrate the net benefit gained from eating seafood, like tuna.”
Confused now? If you’re pregnant, ask your healthcare provider about what’s best for you and your baby. And read about these five simple ways to eat healthier during your pregnancy.
Photo of tuna courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Parents News Now, Pregnancy
Thursday, July 10th, 2014
A new University of Colorado School of Public Health study found that pregnant women who exercise regularly in their third trimester have babies who are born with less fat. Researchers say that this could be a good thing, since babies who have extra fat at birth could continue to be heavier when they are older kids and beyond.
Experts already state that healthy pregnant women should be exercising moderately for their well-being as well as their baby’s. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that healthy moms-to-be engage in moderate activity, such as brisk walking, for 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercise can reduce the amount of blood sugar that gets to the fetus, which in turn reduces the chance of having a larger-than-normal baby, according to Dr. Joseph Fernandez, an ob-gyn with Scott & White Healthcare in Round Rock, Texas. This study adds to the evidence that exercise is beneficial for both Mom and Baby, he said.
However, the study is not entirely conclusive. More from HealthDay:
The researchers did find that the most-active mothers had an increased risk of having a “small-for-gestational-age” newborn — which means smaller than the norm for babies born during a given week of pregnancy.
But Dabelea attributed that to the lower level of body fat, rather than impaired growth and development in the womb.
Another ob/gyn who reviewed the study said the higher likelihood of small-for-gestational-age newborns is “a little concerning.” But there’s no way of knowing whether there could be negative effects in the long run.
It is well-established that leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial before and during pregnancy. ”It’s important to start optimizing your health before you become pregnant,” Dr. Jill Rabin, co-chief of ambulatory care and women’s health programs at North Shore-LIJ Health System, said. “Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, take prenatal vitamins, quit smoking.”
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? Find out with our weight gain calculator.
Image via Shutterstock.
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