Fish consumption during the final stages of pregnancy seems to increase the size of the infant, according to a new study. Researchers say a diet rich in fish may boost the fetal growth rate during pregnancy. They found the more fish a woman ate, the less likely she was to deliver a low birth weight baby.
Researchers say that low birth weight normally occurs in one in 10 pregnancies. In women who ate no fish, that rate increased to one in eight, or 13 percent. Nearly 12,000 women were asked to report their levels of fish consumption at 32 weeks of pregnancy. The women's average intake amounted to only about a third of a small can of tuna per day.
The Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to avoid larger fish like shark and swordfish because of their high levels of mercury. The FDA says women can safely eat up to 12 ounces of fish a week and still enjoy the healthy benefits of it. Some of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon and catfish.