Q: Is it safe to eat sushi now that I'm pregnant?
A: It's a good idea to save those spicy tuna rolls for after your baby's born. Here's why: Although eating raw or undercooked fish is unlikely to directly harm your baby, it does increase your risk of getting food poisoning. And being sick to your stomach (and unable to keep anything down for a day or two) can make you very dehydrated or even need to be hospitalized. And, although this is rare, some raw fish could be contaminated with certain parasites that can prevent your baby from absorbing key nutrients from your diet. Although the chances of actually getting a contaminated piece of fish in this country are pretty slim, why gamble with the health of your baby?
But you don't need to avoid your favorite sushi joint entirely -- just go for rolls that aren't made with raw fish, like California rolls (which are made with steamed crab or imitation crab, which is cooked), or those with cooked eel or shrimp. Also, be sure to order other types of fish entrees well-cooked (since many restaurants serve fish seared on the outside and raw in the center). When preparing fish at home, cut it down the middle to make sure it's cooked thoroughly before digging in.