62 answers

Sushi and Sashimi During Pregnancy?

So, I'm 18 weeks pregnant and I LOVE Sushi, Sashimi and the like... I was told by one friend of mine that in pregnancy we are not supposed to consume raw fish because of the bacteria or something to the effect. I have had sushi once since I've been pregnant this time, but I've been wary of it since I was told this.

However, no one else I have asked has confirmed that they've heard this... I'm waiting for a call back from my mid-wife.


What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all SO much for your shared experiences and advice... I've decided to give up sushi, and raw fish (as well as undercooked meats) for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I guess it's just something to look forward to after the baby is born :) Yay!

Thank you again!!!

Featured Answers

Hi K.. I was told the same thing about eating raw fish while pregnant. I did ask my MD and he confirmed it as well.

you need to ask what they eat in Japan while the Japanese ladies are pregnant. I think they will know the best. Especially the beautiful mothers that came here directly from Japan.

i have also heard this. You can still go and have food at a sushi place you just have to get the cooked stuff. I went since i have been prego and i got the calif. roll and some other things. i would not risk eating raw fish or raw anything really.

More Answers

It's really not a good idea to eat raw fish during pregnancy. The thing that's more of a worry than the toxicity...is parasites.

Pregnant women are very very vulnerable to parasites-so that is the reason I quit eating it while I was pregnant.

I know of someone who was affected by toxoplasmosis-that's the parasite that cats carry..while they were pregnant, and it wasn't a good scene.

So if you can avoid a food that is a known carrier of non-dormant parasites-just avoid it.

I, like you, really love sushi...but I just stuck to the vegetarian rolls when I was pregnant. You can do it!

2 moms found this helpful

: Some types of sushi, such as California rolls (which contain steamed crab) and cooked eel, are fine to eat while you're pregnant. But it's best to avoid eating the kinds that contain raw seafood, such as tuna.

Fresh, raw seafood is potentially risky because it can contain parasites such as tapeworm, which, if they grow large enough, could rob your body of nutrients needed for your growing baby. Freezing and cooking deep-sixes the parasites. For this reason, many Japanese restaurants that specialize in sushi use frozen rather than fresh fish.
But restaurants in the United States aren't required to freeze fish before serving it raw.

Unfortunately, one concern about seafood, raw or cooked, is PCB and chemical contamination. If you want to eat fish during your pregnancy, contact your local health department or office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a list of fish in your area that haven't been contaminated with toxins.

As a general rule, ocean fish such as tuna, sea bass, sole, flounder, and snapper are safer than river and lake varieties. When eating out at any restaurant, order your fish well cooked. Many upscale eateries lightly sear fresh fish on the outside, then serve it rare.

In both the United States and Japan, many more people get sick from eating fish served at home than from eating fish at sushi restaurants.

For seafood safety at home, the Food and Drug Administration has a few tips. According to the FDA's 1997 Food Code, you should cook most seafood to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Farenheit (63 degrees Celsius) for 15 seconds. If you don't have a thermometer, the guidelines listed below can help you to determine whether seafood is done.

• For fish: Slip the point of a sharp knife into the flesh and pull aside. The edges should be opaque and the center slightly translucent with flakes beginning to separate.

• Let the fish stand three to four minutes to finish cooking.

• Shrimp and lobster turn red when cooked; the flesh becomes pearly opaque. Scallops appear milky white or opaque and firm.

• For clams, mussels, and oysters, watch for the point at which their shells open, which indicates that they're done. Throw out those that remain closed after cooking.

• When microwaving seafood, rotate the dish several times to ensure even cooking. After letting the dish stand, check seafood in several spots with a thermometer to see if it's reached the proper temperature.

2 moms found this helpful

Everything that I read while I was pregnant was very against eating any raw fish, or certain cooked fish. I know part of the reason is the level of mercury that may be present. I would suggest talking to your doctor to get their advice. At my first appointment my doctor actually gave me a list of fish that was ok to eat and then a list that was not ok. Maybe your doctor has something like that available to you... Hope this helps.

I wihs you a healthy rest of you pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful

There was recently a news article regarding fish consumption during pregnancy.

So I wouldn't stay away from fish completely as a lot of people say.


Sushi? Maybe.. fish in general. I wouldn't.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,
I work for a sushi restaurant and I do believe you are encouraged to stop eating sushi because of the mercury content in fish. I believe a little sushi occasionally is not bad, but try to stay away from the salmon. It's mercury levels are higher then other fish. For more info you might want to look up proposition 65. It requires all restaurant to notify its consumers of the dangers seafood has. I hope this helps you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! K.:
I love sushi, too but know that raw fish is not good for you to eat when you're pregnant. Go on the internet and type "foods to avoid during pregnancy" and that will give you everything you should not eat. I didn't know either that it's not good to eat deli lunch meat because it is not completely cooked! I had also eaten cookie dough when I was making cookies then read to not eat raw eggs! So much to be careful of but it's the best for your baby.
Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

I am a huge sushi fan, and the sushi question was one of the first I asked my doctor when I found out I was pregnant (my hubby and I have to at least once a week). Because of the quality of sashimi now with flash freezing on the boat the moment after the fish is actually caught, there is miniscule to no chance than one will come into contact with any harmful bacteria. I mean, when was the last time you heard anything about someone getting sick from sushi consumption? You have to be more worried about e-coli from vegetables you buy in grocery store.
So my doctors answer was YES! Eat sushi, but stay away from the sorts of fish (cooked) that you arent supposed to eat while pregnant because of possible lead and mercury contamination (shark,blue fish, and fish that are self caught).
I ate sushi consistantly throughout my pregnancy, and never experienced anything unusual. They baby was perfect at birth, and eats with us now at sushi once a week (cooked only of course. Children have to be 3 years or older before they can safetly comsume raw fish themselves).
Enjoy your sushi!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

My spouse is a doctor and he mentioned that the specific issues are mercury for sure... but also Hep A, cholera, etc. etc. and anything else that can give you food poisoning -- apparently these do not hit the baby directly, but cause food poisoning and diarrhea, which will totally dehydrate you which is "very not good" for the baby.

Best bet is to stay away from sushi, it is just easier, one less thing to think about you know -- and for both my kids, the first meal after the delivery my husband brought in a huge sushi take-out feast into the hospital room, and i got to pick all my favorites first while he sat and watched me, with a big smile on his face. :-)

Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.-

Your friend is right in that sushi & sashimi are at higher risk of contamination with listeria (which can cause all sorts of problems including miscarriage or stillbirth). Don't worry about the sushi you've already had, but try to stay away in future. Basically, any foods that are at higher risk of contamination such as soft cheeses, deli meat and others that are not prepared safely by you.

Your midwife should have info for you...Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful

I have heard that sushi could be bad. but it really depends on who you talk to I mean think about it women in japan eat sushi all the time while there preg. also sushi chefs are trained to handle raw fish where as if you go to taco bell or Mcdonalds they will hire any 16yo that wants a job you are more likely to get food poisoning from fast food than sushi sorry just got over food poisoning from taco bell and I have never gotten it from sushi which I eat alot.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.. I was told the same thing about eating raw fish while pregnant. I did ask my MD and he confirmed it as well.

As a big fan of sushi, I also heard the cautions during pregnancy. What I decided for myself is that when in doubt, or when getting conflicting info, it was best to do without.
Not just the bacteria, but the possible mercury in some fish kept me from doing the raw thing while pregnant. I did however eat Cali Rolls, Snow Crab hand rolls, Lobster hand rolls, anything that was cooked. The first meal after I popped out baby? "Real" Sushi.
Good Luck,

The info I was given about seafood during pregnancy said NO SUSHI. which bummed me out alot.

as far as other fish, tuna once a week, but as much salmon as you want (salmon is very low in mercury compare to other fish)

When I was pregnant with my first I couldn't stay away. So I just got the stuff I could eat. Like the rolls that had cooked fish and shrimp. California rolls and such. I know, not the same, I too missed my salmon and spicy tuna but it's only temporary. Just one of those Motherly sacrifices! :)

There is a common misconception when it comes to sushi. Sushi means wrapped in rice it does not mean raw fish. You can get vegetarian sushi or ask that they cook the fish and make sure you get fish that is less likely to have mercury. But sashimi does mean raw fish and htat you should definately steer clear of.

Hi K., During the last few years I was turned on to Sushi and my husband and I have just fallen in love with it all. My last pregnancy(baby now 1) I asked my Dr about consuming sushi and she said as long as it is not raw it should be ok. I used to go for lunch to have sushi maybe 2x a month while pregnant and I felt fine everytime. Just be carefull and make sure you ask if it is fully cooked first.

J.~26 yr old wife and mother of 3

My doctor said it was a no-no, too. But in my last month, I couldn't take it anymore and caved in. I had to have it!! My daughter is fine. I did make my husband go pick it up as take-out, though, to avoid any disapproving looks! :)

When I was pregnant with my son our OB/GYN and also our Lamaze instructor both advised me to stay away from sushi and sashimi until after I had my baby. Raw fish is more "dangerous" because you are not cooking it. So if there is any bacteria on the fish, you could potentially get sick and pass the sickness on to your baby. I am a pre-nursing student and we have learned similar things in our classes. I love sushi and sashimi too and I thought the recommendations to stay away from it while pregnant were pretty reasonable. So I didn't have any sushi/sashimi while I was pregnant. But seriously, there are tons of women in Japan that eat sushi and sashimi on a regular basis. Their babies seem fine. I think it's just a matter of personal choice. If you trust that the source of your sushi is "safe" then you should be able to eat it. However, if you would just be worrying about getting sick from it, then perhaps you should just stay away from it until after your baby is born.

Yep, a no-no. bacteria.

Go for california roll. Its all cooked!
(just make sure--no masago.)
Other cooked rolls and veg rolls are also ok.

I was told the same with my doctor. Something about it being raw is bad for the baby.

I know that there is a type of sushi that has smoked fish in it, that should be ok for you to consume, but I would stay away from raw fish. The reason that you are told to stay away from it is because of the mercury levels and bacteria.
Hope that helps.

i was also told to stay away from all fish especially tuna because of all the toxins in it can be very dangerous to you and the baby

I am also a sushi lover, but mercury levels and bacteria in uncooked fish are a bad deal. I had my husband find me sushi while I was taken to the recovery room after giving birth to my first son! Best boxed sushi i'd ever had :).

Everything I heard/read when I was pregnant was NO SUSHI! I'd steer clear of it until you have your baby.

I had also heard this. I kept away from any fish while I was pregnant, due to mercury scares, and the raw fish for the bacteria scares. I'm not sure if it's actually true, but I didn't want to take the chance.

The big problem with fish is actually the minute levels of mercury. As with all raw meats, bacteria can be a problem, but is often less so with fish than other meats. To be safe you should limit yourself to only a few servings of sushi a week, and hold off on the sashimi until after your pregnancy. Tuna is especially well known for having mercury, so that would be one to stay away from.
That said, Japanese women have eaten sushi for centuries, and have been fine, so you're probably OK with an occasional sushi treat.

Not only raw fish, but rare meats, I heard...it's a bacteria thing more than a mercury thing, I believe. However, the mercury content in tuna and other fish is something to be aware of.

I had sushi twice during the last month of my pregnancy. Risky move, I know, but I got the sushi bug and couldn't contain myself.

I also ate medium rare meats during my pregnancy...pork and beef alike. I new it wasn't recommended, and luckily, my baby girl is healthy as can be. Intuitively, I guess I just kind of knew that having that sushi so late in my pregnancy and eating the 'rare' meats was ok for me.

I don't suggest you take my words as to how/what you should/shouldn't be doing, though. I'm just giving you my experience.

Congratulations, by the way!

i heard salmon was the safest fish to eat. because it's a fresh water fish. you want to worry for salt water fish like tuna, bass etc. I enjoyed salmon through my pregnancy because my doctor gave it a 'ok'
but it is still in moderation, like less than 6oz of fish a week

Yes, I have heard and read the same. No, raw fish during pregnancy. And you shouldn't even a lot of cooked fish due to mercury (some fish have higher levels of it than others). Do a search online, I'm sure you'll find plenty info on it.

I ate sushi until i was 16 weeks i hurd the same thing .. actually i hurd something about Mercury in the fish.. raw or not! so i got scared and stopped but i used to crave it so bad.. but nothing went wrong with my baby for eating sushi and i ate alot of sushi.. those 16 weeks.. i didn't know..


Its not a bacteria thing you have to worry about. It is mercury. Fish can have levels of mercury in it that you dont want to transfer to your little bundle of joy. I too love sushi and was pretty bummed when I was pregnant, because that was my main craving. To me it was about the experience.. the wasabi, the soy sauce, the overall feeling I get from eating it.. so here was my solution. Only eat the sushi made from immitation crab... There is a supermarket in North County (Escondido and Fallbrook) called Major Market. They have a sushi chef working there everyday and she will custom make a sushi tray for you. They put immitation crab in their california and philadelphia rolls. Avocado rolls are also yummy.
Hope this helps you a bit.

My doctor said to definately stay away from tuna because of the mercury. I stuck to eating california rolls and cooked sushi rolls when I was pregnant and also while breastfeeding.
It's four 1/2 years later and my son and I enjoy going out for sushi.


I feel your pain. I absolutely love sushi. My husband's family owns a fish plant for a living, where they process the fish, so we eat it regularly. However, It is unfortunatly true that doctors recomend not eating any raw or undercooked foods while pregnant. They even suggest cooking your lunchmeat to prevent certain bacterias. This also goes for beef, they recomend that pregnant women only eat well-done meats. This was the most difficult thing for me durring my pregnancy. Also, the sushi recomendation goes even after you have the baby if you are plainning on breastfeeding.

You need to do whatever you feel is right; however, why take the chance with a baby growing inside you.

My OBGYN and Pediatrician both advised to steer clear. If you are planning on breastfeeding, you still shouldn't eat raw fish. I heard that unlike caffeine, what's bad for your baby in raw fish lingers a lot longer. You can't just skip one or two feedings and be in the clear.

My doctor said that it is the mercury in the fish that can harm the baby. but there are other types of sushi that dont have fish or that have some cooked fish or shrimp in them. But yes. your friend is right about the no raw fish thing. It can cause alot of health problems mentally and physically.

I was told by my doctor to stay away from anything raw especially during the first and second trimester. This is because that is when the fetus is developing and they need to be able to grow in a healthly environment. It is always good to talk to your doctor to see what they may tell you.

I am glad I saw your post. Please read, at the end I put a link for a web site Fishinghurts.com. Take care of yourself.

Health Concerns
Deadly Poisons From the Deep
Fish flesh today is badly contaminated with toxic chemicals that are known to cause cancer and brain degeneration and is also the most likely of all foods to make you sick from bacterial contamination.

Think Fish Is a Health Food? Think Again.
Fish live in water that is so polluted, you would never dream of drinking it. But you’re ingesting this toxic brew—bacteria, contaminants, heavy metals and all—every time you eat fish.

Researchers at the University of Illinois found that fish-eaters with high levels of PCBs in their blood have difficulty recalling information they have learned just 30 minutes earlier.6

Fish’s bodies absorb toxic chemicals in the water around them, and the chemicals become more concentrated as they move up the food chain. Big fish eat little fish, with the bigger fish (such as tuna and salmon) absorbing chemicals from all the other fish they eat. Fish flesh stores contaminants, such as PCBs, which cause liver damage, nervous system disorders, and fetal damage; dioxins, also linked to cancer; radioactive substances like strontium 90; and other dangerous contaminants like cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium, and arsenic, which can cause health problems ranging from kidney damage and impaired mental development to cancer.1,2 3,4 These toxins are stored in the body fat of humans who eat fish and remain in their bodies for decades.5

Seafood is the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States.8 Seafood poisoning can result in extreme discomfort, kidney damage, nervous system damage, and even death.9

Seafood is also the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States. Many of our waterways are polluted with human and animal feces, and this waste carries dangerous bacteria like E. coli. So when we eat fish, we are exposing ourselves to the unnecessary risk of contracting a nasty bacterial illness that can lead to mild to extreme discomfort, nervous system damage, and even death.7

According to a report by the General Accounting Office, the seafood industry is dangerously underregulated. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t even bother to test most fish flesh for many well-known chemical and bacterial health hazards.10

Health Concerns
It's the Mercury

Consumption of fish and other sea animals is the sole source of human exposure to methyl mercury.

—New England Journal of Medicine (2003)12

Around the world, fish are accumulating toxic mercury in their flesh as a result of industrial pollution. Fish absorb and ingest the mercury and store it in their tissues. If you eat fish, your body will absorb mercury from the fish’s flesh, and the accumulation of this toxin can lead to serious health problems. It is worth noting that fish consumption is the sole source of human exposure to this known poison.11

Eating even small amounts of fish flesh can have a big impact on the levels of mercury in our blood. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that women who ate fish just twice a week had blood mercury concentrations seven times higher than women who hadn’t eaten fish in the previous month.13 Studies have also shown that a 140-pound woman will be 30 percent over the EPA cutoff for safe mercury levels if she eats just one 6-ounce can of white tuna each week.14

Mercury is known to cause severe health problems for humans, including brain damage, memory loss, personality change, tremors, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus. 17

Mercury Is a Poison

"We found that if people eat fish, the mercury goes up. They stop eating fish, the mercury goes down. It's that simple ... It's a documented poison. Wherever it's seen, it's been a problem."

—Dr. Jane M. Hightower21

Mercury is known to cause severe health problems for humans, including brain damage, memory loss, personality change, tremors, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus.15 Mercury poisoning from eating fish can also cause fatigue and memory loss, which some doctors call “fish fog.”16

A study conducted by San Francisco physician Jane Hightower found that dozens of her patients had high levels of mercury in their bodies and many showed symptoms of mercury poisoning, including hair loss, fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating and headaches. She found that her patients’ symptoms improved when they stopped eating fish.18 “[Mercury is] a documented poison. Wherever it’s seen, it’s been a problem,” says Hightower.19
Researchers have also shown that the mercury in marine animals can cause heart problems in humans who eat their flesh. A recent report released by the Research Institute of Public Health in Finland showed that men who have elevated levels of mercury in their blood from eating fish are roughly 1.5 times more likely to suffer from heart problems, including heart disease and heart attacks.20

Read about toxic flesh »http://fishinghurts.com/healthConcerns-Mercury.asp

My Dr. told me absolutly no sushi. It contains bacteria that is harmless to us but can harm a baby inutero. Not to mention the possibility of getting a parasite. I love sushi so it was hard while I was pregnant, but many women I know were told the same thing. I even had a 2chix T-shirt when I was pregnant that said no smoking no drinking no sushi. :)

I heard the same thing when I was pregnant and confirmed it with my nurse practitioner. I was very sad about this since it seems you want something more when you know you can't have it =). I did "trick" myself a couple times and had some fully cooked rolls and that seemed to work. You may also want to confirm eating sushi if you choose to breast feed.

I have heard the samething....stay away from raw fish even lunch meat. Which was a bummer for me, cause I am a sushi lover too!

Hang in there, and ask your Hubby to bring you sushi after the birth:0)

I have Kaiser for my insurance and when I was pregnant they gave me a pamphlet on fish (especially here in Hawaii, we eat a lot of raw fish, seafood in general). I love raw fish too, and it was easy to follow as they advise you on the types of fish that you can eat(but only 1-2 a week, every other week, etc) and ones that you should completely avoid. It all has to do with the mercury. In the "what to expect when you're expecting" book it has a small reference as well. If I can find the pamphlet on the fish I can email it to you if you want. Just message me your email address.

The reason they say not to eat to much raw fish is because of all the mercury I ate raw shrimp when I was pregnant but not to much once in awhile I think would be okay, I beleive they say it can cause nerilogical damage when then baby is in the womb I went to a website and found this info I hope it is of some help
Fish that may contain mercury
When mercury builds up to toxic levels in the human body, it can cause permanent neurological damage. If you are pregnant, mercury is dangerous to your developing fetus and later to your breast-feeding baby. A fetus exposed to mercury during pregnancy is especially likely to suffer mild to severe nervous system damage. Similarly, young children who eat a lot of fish containing mercury can suffer permanent brain damage.

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and also as a result of industrial pollution. It is in our water, air, soil, and food. Fish are the most common source of mercury in the human diet. You can best protect your child from mercury exposure by avoiding high-mercury fish before and during pregnancy and when breast-feeding and choosing foods for your young child.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued the following advisory for pregnant women, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers, and young children:1

Avoid eating fish most likely to have high levels of methyl mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Large, long-lived, predatory ocean fish have the highest mercury levels.
Do eat up to 12 oz a week of fish or shellfish that are known for their health benefits and low mercury risk. Your top five most available choices include shrimp, canned light tuna, wild salmon, pollack, and catfish. Fish sticks commonly prepared for children are typically made from low-mercury fish.1 Since mercury can be found in small amounts in any fish, generally avoid eating more than 12 oz per week.
Exercise caution when eating albacore (white) tuna, which has more mercury than canned light tuna. Limit this type of tuna to 6 oz per week.
Before eating locally caught fish, check with your state or local health department for information about water and fish contamination. Also check the Environmental Protection Agency Web site for mercury advisory updates at http://www.epa.gov/ost/fish.
Mercury will slowly leave the body over time in the urine, feces, and breast milk. If you are concerned about your own or your child's mercury level, talk to your health professional or local health department about testing.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2004). What you need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish: 2004 EPA and FDA advice for women who might become pregnant, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers, young children. Available online: http://www.epa.gov/ost/fishadvice/advice.html.

Author Kathe Gallagher, MSW
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Michele Cronen
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Associate Editor L. Shaw
Primary Medical Reviewer Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 09, 2005

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.

© 1995-2006, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701. All Rights Reserved.

My doctor had told me that sushi was fine, he said the only thing you need to be concerned with eating too much was tuna fish, he said that's the only thing that has toxic amounts of mercury. He said no more than one thing of tuna fish a week, but that sushi was fine!! So I ate it!! I love it too, my kids are fine, don't seem to have any allergies or anything?!

Just one more to confuse you!! Sorry!

During my first trimester, I craved california rolls. So that would be a good alternative to eating sushi with raw fish.

My doctor told me from the beginning "NO SUSHI"! I'm like you and it was soooo hard not to eat it. They also say not to consume too much cooked fish either including tuna fish. I know it has something to do with the mercury levels of the fish.

i have also heard this. You can still go and have food at a sushi place you just have to get the cooked stuff. I went since i have been prego and i got the calif. roll and some other things. i would not risk eating raw fish or raw anything really.

unfortunately I have heard the same thing about sushi!!! It has with the mercury levels in fish & possible mercury poisoning, I think!!! My doctor told me that sushi was a definate no for my pregnancy!!! Actually he said I was only allowed to have cooked fish once a week!!! I know it sucks but thats what I have been told!!! I love sushi too!!! I think you can have California Rolls because the crab in them is cooked!!! But I always recomend checking with your dr first!!!

Hey there K.. Yes there is definitely no sushi eating while pregnant. (Except for those containing only cooked eel or crab -- ask the sushi chef!) Besides bacteria, which is enough of a concern, there are certain parasites which can be in the raw fish.

One correction however, avoiding sushi has little to do with mercury. Mercury is not only in raw fish, but in any fish you might eat. Unlike organic contamination, chemical contamination does not go away by cooking. Therefore, I agree with the mom who said you are better off limiting your fish consumption because they contain so much contamination -- which does include mercury, PCBs, and more scary stuff. The bigger the fish (or the higher it eats in the food chain) the more contamination it contains. So yes, avoid tuna if you can.

Most especially STAY AWAY FROM FARMED FISH! Check your labels when you buy fish, or ask your server, and make sure you eat only fresh caught fish. The fact is that salmon that comes from the ocean has far fewer chemicals and other pollutants in it, than salmon that comes from a fish farm (where they raise it in man made ponds).

Although this issue is still debated by the FDA (who hates to put fish farmers out of business), there are many experts who say you should only eat farmed fish once a month tops. And pregnant women never. I will note that part of the problem is the grower's practices, with some being wholly unregulated foreign farmers. (Think of a really nasty dirty fish tank... and then toxic food being dumped in...)

Here is a great link with the straight scoop about mercury and pregnant women:


A very moderate and balanced article about fish farming can be found here:


Meanwhile, your best bet may be making your own sushi rice at home (or buy it ready made in the deli section of a japanese market) and rolling it in the pre-toasted seaweed wrapper with some cooked crab, cucumer, and avacado. Since I do wonder how bacteria free the sushi prep counters are in the restaurant. All you need is some pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce. Mmmmmmmm!


It's true, your not supposed to eat any raw fish while your pregnant. Consult your DR.

try alternatives like california rolls or the other things go into a sushi restraunt and see what they have you can even make your own "sushi" at home with cooked smoked salmon your not eating much fish is fine as long as it is cooked when you make your "sushi"

It is definately a NO NO! I have read it in my parenting magazines and have been told by my gyny. I was also told to keep it to a minimum while breastfeeding. Sorry but it sounds like you'll have to put that on the back burner until after you new addition is finally here!!!

I was told this same thing except it was about tuna not all fish...I think it has to do with the mercury in the tuna. You will be ok though if you ate shushi...I am 39 weeks right now and when I was in my 5th month me and my husband went on a cruise and they had all you can eat shushi and sashimi...I ate enough to feed my whole family lol. Since I felt fine after I ate that I still continued to eat it through out my pregnancy and my baby is healthy and so am I. We just had all you can eat sashimi the other night at this wonderful Japanese place lol. There are just some things I cant give up during pregnancy and that was one of them....good luck in your pregnancy =)

I have heard the same. Sushi and raw fish is bad for you when your pregnant. I see that your due in August... Im 5 months pregnant due on August 8th. when is your due date.

You are not suppost to eat raw fish or any shell fish while pregnant.

Raw foods, especially protein, are a definite no no during pregnancy. They can have all kinds of bacteria that could damage the fetus. It's just not worth the risk. Eat only well cooked meats and should probably avoid too much fish anyway due to the mercury content of some fish due to pollution of our oceans and rivers etc.

Oh K., I sympathize!
I actually was just at a Japanese restaraunt last night and kept myself to the crunchy tempura rolls :(
I kept away from all raw fish during my first pregnancy and now during my second. The likelihood of the fish having any sort of contamination is pretty low, I think, otherwise the restaurant wouldn't be serving it to anybody! I think most of these places only serve high quality fish and keep it COLD.
So most likely you'd be ok...but, what if? I received my BS in microbiology and there are quite a few nasty bugs that you aren't going to want to contract during pregnancy. Kind of the same with staying away from unpasteurized soft cheeses...not too great of a chance of contracting something, but...I try to err on the side of caution.
I'd say stick to the cooked rolls or california rolls for now, and celebrate with a big sushi dinner after baby comes!!

Sushi and sashimi aren't necessarily bad for baby during pregnancy. The problem is if you get a "bad dose" and get food poisoning. It is really uncomfortable for you (at both ends) and you risk becoming dehydrated. The fish itself is good for you, but if you get sick from it it is really bad for you. Plus, the farther along you get, the harder it is to be sick during pregnancy (for you).

it's a good thing you asked! Actually, the problem is the mercury and heavy metals in certain fish that accumulate in the body and pass to the baby and can cause brain damage and such. Particularly tuna and shell fish. There are others fish you should not eat even cooked. Salmon is a good alternative. Raw or cooked. I LOVE tuna spicy hand rolls and sashimi, I just ordered salmon instead or scallops. NO shellfish! Ask your DOCTOR!!!!!

Although in Japan, women there tend to eat tuna sashimi more when pregnant, this is really not advisable. Raw or uncooked food is not healthy for the baby and also, tuna is high in mercury, which is a no no.. here are some more tips on what you should eat.. http://whattoeatduringpregnancy.blogspot.com/2009/05/what...

Yes, I have always heard no raw fish during pregnancy. I have heard one argument against that, saying that mothers in Japan eat it and if you go to a restaurant that serves only fresh fish you are safe...but who knows if it's really fresh and do you want to take the chance of getting a parasitic infection? Best of luck to you.

you need to ask what they eat in Japan while the Japanese ladies are pregnant. I think they will know the best. Especially the beautiful mothers that came here directly from Japan.

Raw fish is a no-no, but cooked whitefish is OK. I would also avoid cooked darker fishes such as tuna, salmon, swordfish, etc. These are more likely to contain mercury.

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