Can I Eat Mackerel During Pregnancy?


Most pregnant ladies are concerned about mercury; they find it hard to opt for safe fish to eat. If the same goes for you, here is a complete guide regarding consuming one of the well-known kinds of fish, mackerel. Consuming mackerel during pregnancy is considered safe if taken in moderation.

To learn more about mackerel pregnancy, keep reading this article on Hipregnancy. Ready to start? If yes, let’s begin.

Is mackerel safe for pregnant?

Generally speaking, pregnant women should include fish in their diet, but they should be cautious about the mercury levels of their chosen fish. While eating some kinds, like sole fish during pregnancy is safe, having shark or tilefish while pregnant is dangerous. What about mackerel? Is mackerel okay during pregnancy? Can pregnant women eat mackerel?

Mackerel is a pregnancy-safe food option when used in moderate quantities. Since it is an oily fish, consuming it in excess is not recommended. Mackerel is low in mercury and will not harm the growing fetus in the womb.

Consider that mackerel should be fresh and well-cooked before eating when pregnant. To have mackerel during pregnancy, cook it to an internal temperature of 145 F to kill harmful bacteria and parasites.

It is good to know that different countries have different limits for mackerel during pregnancy. For instance, you should not consume more than two servings of oily fish like mackerel per week while pregnant. However, in Australia or the USA, there are no recommended limits on how much oily fish you can have during pregnancy.

Also Read: can i eat lobster while pregnant?

Benefits of mackerel while pregnant

Benefits of mackerel while pregnant

The health benefits of consuming mackerel during pregnancy include the following;

  • Mackerel is rich in good fats for pregnancy which plays an important role in developing the growing fetus’s eyes, brain, and nervous system.
  • Consuming mackerel while pregnant offers vitamin B 12, which aids in maintaining the mom’s nervous system. Moreover, it can prevent anemia, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth retardation.
  • Mackerel is loaded with vitamin D and aids in regulating the amount of calcium in the body during pregnancy.
  • This fish is a great source of selenium which can influence thyroid function and prevent thyroid issues, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
  • Since mackerel is rich in omega-3, having mackerel fish for pregnant women can prevent preterm labor, increase birth weight, and lower the risk of preeclampsia or high blood pressure.
  • Mackerel fish contains phosphorus which supports the building of strong bones in the unborn baby and aids in proper kidney function, blood clotting, and muscle contractions.

Although mackerel is safe for pregnancy and provides several health benefits, it is advisable to consult your health provider before adding it to your diet. Then go for it if your doctor is okay with having it.

Canned mackerel for pregnant

Canned mackerel during pregnancy

You might wonder whether eating canned mackerel fish during pregnancy is safe. Here is what you want to know! Typically, consuming canned mackerel is safe for pregnant if;

  • taken in moderation,
  • has been appropriately stored,
  • and eaten before the expiration date.

Since canned mackerel is heated to high temperatures during the canning process, it has no harmful bacteria, and consuming it will not lead to food poisoning while pregnant. Moreover, it is low in mercury and won’t harm the developing fetus’s brain.

The followings are 4 best-canned mackerel brands to enjoy while pregnant, including;

  • Season Fillets of Mackerel in Olive Oil
  • Bumble Bee Chub Mackerel
  • MW Polar Mackerel in Brine
  • Wild Pacific Mackerel

Is mackerel good for the first trimester?

Is mackerel good for first trimester

Mackerel is safe and good for pregnancy, including the first, second, or third trimesters. Consuming mackerel early pregnancy or later provides the same health benefits. So, not only is mackerel good for the first trimester, but also it is suitable for 2nd and 3rd trimester.

Pregnant ladies are recommended to limit their intake of mackerel as it is oily fish. But if taken in moderation, mackerel can aid in developing the fetus’s eyes and brain. Moreover, it can boost your overall health, supporting a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthier and smarter baby.

Can I eat Indian mackerel during pregnancy?

Can I eat Indian mackerel during pregnancy

Indian mackerel is one of the safe kinds of mackerel for pregnant women. It is commonly found in the Indian and West Pacific oceans.

This fish contains protein, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B 12, selenium, and omega-3. Eating this type of mackerel fish for pregnant women is safe if cooked properly.

Including Indian mackerel in your pregnancy diet helps prevent cancers, lower bad cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure, regulate hormonal levels, and enhance memory. Remember that overeating Indian mackerel during pregnancy can change it into unhealthy and harmful food due to its high fatty acid levels.

Smoked mackerel pregnancy

Smoked mackerel pregnancy

When you are craving mackerel during pregnancy, you can try smoked mackerel. It is generally considered safe to have smoked mackerel while pregnant if it has been thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F.

Only hot-smoked mackerel is safe for pregnant women, and cold-smoked mackerel should be avoided. Hot-smoked mackerel is cooked at a high temperature at the same time as smoking, but cold-smoked one is smoked at a low temperature to have a smoky taste.

It is best to avoid cold-smoked mackerel for pregnant women, but if you still want to have it, fully cook it after cold smoking to make it a pregnancy-safe item. Do not overeat smoked mackerel since having large amounts of it is not healthy for you and the developing fetus.

I ate king mackerel during pregnancy; good or bad?

While most mackerel are safe to eat while pregnant, king mackerel should be avoided. King mackerel, which lives in the Western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, falls into the category of fish to avoid during pregnancy since it contains high levels of mercury.

Hipregnancy warns you about consuming fish high in mercury when pregnant. Mercury can damage your lungs, nervous system, and kidneys and cause vision and hearing issues in you and your baby after birth.

To conclude, if you are exposed to mercury or ate king mackerel during pregnancy, let your doctor know. You should be checked up.

To learn more about other unsafe fish for pregnant women besides the list of safe fish during pregnancy, check fish to avoid when pregnant.

Is it okay to have Spanish mackerel while pregnant?

Spanish mackerel is low mercury fish pregnancy but high in omega-3 and omega-6. There are two distinct populations of Spanish mackerel; one in the Atlantic and one in the Gulf of Mexico. Spanish mackerel is;

  • smaller than king mackerel,
  • have silver sides and a belly with a greenish back,
  • covered with tiny scales,
  • and have olive green or yellow oval spots all over.

This mackerel fish is healthy for pregnant women as long as it is cooked thoroughly before serving and used in moderation. Otherwise, it can cause health issues and weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of illnesses and infections.


“I ate mackerel while pregnant. Is mackerel safe for pregnant women?”

Consuming mackerel during pregnancy is considered safe and beneficial. Mackerel should not be consumed raw to prevent the chance of foodborne illness. Moreover, king mackerel should be avoided when pregnant since it is high in mercury. Other mackerel varieties, like Spanish or Indian mackerel, are smart seafood choices for pregnant women.

This article on Hipregnancy aimed to cover the top and vital points you need to know regarding eating mackerel during pregnancy. Hope you have enjoyed this article. If there are any other questions about mackerel and pregnancy, share them with us via comment.

The Hipregnancy team is always here to help you!

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