When we are pregnant or breastfeeding

During pregnancy the need for protein increases in order to support the growth of the developing baby19. Breastfeeding mums also need more protein to produce a good quality breast milk that provides enough for their growing baby as well as themselves19. Fish is a great choice for boosting protein and comes with the advantage of providing a range of other nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, copper, selenium and several B vitamins, requirements of which are often higher during breastfeeding. Oily fish is also the best dietary source of omega-3 fats, which are vital for the normal development of the brain and eye in developing babies during pregnancy and breastfed infants7,8. Aim for at least one portion of oily fish a week, but don’t have more than four portions.

7 EFSA Journal 2009. DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant - Scientific substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and support of the cognitive development of the unborn child and breastfed infant pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 [1] doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1007

8 EFSA Journal 2009. DHA and support of the visual development of the unborn child and breastfed infant - Scientific substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and support of the visual development of the unborn child and breastfed infant pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 [1] doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1006

19 Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom.