Fishy Pregnancy

Dr. Lissa Rankin answers a reader's question on whether or not it's safe to eat certain kinds of fish while pregnant.

OB/GYN On-Call

Fishy Pregnancy

Dear Lissa: I was just wondering if it’s safe to eat smoked salmon when I’m pregnant? Thanks so much!

–Salmon Lover

Dear Salmon Lover: I tell my patients that smoked salmon is just fine in pregnancy – in moderation. Sure, there are some risks – such as the amount of mercury you consume during pregnancy or listeria contamination. If you’re one of those women who want avoid every possible risk during pregnancy, then skip the salmon- but make sure you avoid getting in a car, since a car accident would be much risky than eating smoked salmon.

You may think I’m a bad Mommy, but when I was pregnant, I ate almost everything they tell you not to eat in What To Expect When You’re Expecting (in fact, I told my patients to ignore that chapter altogether). I just ate small amounts, spaced apart over time. Remember – pregnancy is not a disease. It’s a natural, healthy state of being for women. If you’re so freaked out about everything you do during pregnancy, you’ll forget to enjoy the very special experience of carrying a child and bringing life into the world. Be safe, get educated – yes. But then let go and live!

Lissa Rankin is a gynecologist and author. She blogs at, and you can follow her on Twitter at @lissarankin.

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