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

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