Can you eat salmon while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you eat salmon while pregnant?” We will also discuss the different benefits of eating salmon during pregnancy as well as the risks that come with it.

Can you eat salmon while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat salmon while pregnant. In comparison to other fishes, salmon has fairly lesser mercury content with lots of protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins like zinc, iron, and vitamin D. 

During pregnancy, eating two to three meals of fully cooked salmon per week is considered safe and also adds a variety of nutrients to your diet. Salmon being a good source of DHA or omega-3 fatty acids also has numerous advantages for both the development of the fetus and the pregnancy.

There may be some risk factors associated with salmon during pregnancy, but the beneficial aspects of salmon far outweigh the risk of eating salmon so it’s good as long as you eat well-cooked salmon. Smoked and raw salmon is not properly cooked and should not be consumed during pregnancy since it can cause listeria infection.

What are the benefits of eating salmon during pregnancy?

Salmon offers several advantages for a developing fetus during pregnancy because it contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. Unless DHA is supplemented in the diet, there is a natural drop in DHA throughout pregnancy. So salmon can be an excellent source of DHA during pregnancy. 

Fatty fish kinds are ideal pregnancy foods since they contain DHA, however, some other fish varieties are not healthy to consume while pregnant due to high mercury concentration. Since salmon has a reduced mercury concentration, they are the best choice of fatty fish to consume while pregnant.

Let us discuss some more benefits of eating salmon during pregnancy:

Might Lower Postpartum Depression Risk

Postpartum depression (PPD) can be characterized by the emotions of sadness and despair that interfere with daily functioning within the first year of giving birth.

This is said to affect about 12% of new parents. It is not exactly clear how omega-3 or salmon might help to deal with the depressive mood after birth, but since they are in higher demand during pregnancy, it makes sense a pregnant and breastfeeding mother might need more of it in their diet.

Promotes Neurodevelopment of the baby

DHA is essential for the brain development and growth of a baby. It has been revealed that pregnant women who ingested 8 to 12 ounces of fish each week had children with much higher IQ scores than those who did not.

Even consuming 4 to 6 ounces of fish each week is said to bring an IQ boost. According to one study, infants whose mothers consumed adequate DHA during pregnancy had improved cognitive skills just at the age of 1.5. Lack of DHA has also been linked with different learning issues. Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, contain the most omega-3s.

May Reduce Risk of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension

Eating fish while pregnant may help minimize the risk of hypertension. However, research has only found a correlation. It’s important to understand that they consider overall food intake rather than a single food “inducing” a health-related consequence.

Preeclampsia, a serious and potentially fatal illness during pregnancy, can be caused by hypertension, so adding some fully cooked salmon to your whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils can be beneficial for you.

What are the risks involved with eating salmon during pregnancy?

The different risks involved with eating salmon during pregnancy are as follows:


The biggest concern while eating any fish during pregnancy is the mercury concentration. This chemical element is absorbed from the water and accumulates in the fat storage of most fish. It is, even more, riskier since even little doses can harm a baby’s developing brain. Fortunately, the levels in salmon are quite modest so it is safe as long as you limit your intake.


Different pollutants in the water are frequently taken in by oily fish. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the primary concern when it comes to a pregnant woman or a baby. This is not something you want in your baby’s body, so it is advised to limit salmon consumption to 140 grams per week.


Parasites can also be found lurking in the salmon so you must cook your salmon thoroughly before eating. If infected, it can be difficult to treat and can harm your baby’s brain and vision. 


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Can you eat salmon while pregnant?” We have also discussed the different benefits of eating salmon during pregnancy as well as the risks that come with it.