There are very few foods to avoid during pregnancy, however raw fish is good to avoid because of parasites that can be in the fish flesh. These parasites can be harmful to the baby if ingested at critical periods of development of the fetus. Unpasteurized products should also be avoided during pregnancy because of the risk of acquiring certain types of infection that can be harmful to the developing fetus even when they are not harmful to the mother.

Health Canada has just put out an alert about Tuna, Swordfish and Shark. While eating canned tuna is safe, cooked tuna, swordfish, or shark should only be eaten once a month by pregnant women or children due to the risk of heavy metal poisoning, particularly mercury. Canned tuna is safe because the tuna they use for this are usually the smaller, younger tuna which have not had their fat stores filled with heavy metals as yet. Salmon is always okay because they have a short life span and therefore do not accumulate as much of the heavy metals.

Dr. Linda Ducholke, a mother of two, has been a successful Family Practitioner with Obstetrical privileges for the past 20 years. The main focus and passion of her practice is obstetrics and childcare.