COPENHAGEN, DENMARK. Danish researchers report that women who consume fish or seafood once a week during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy have a 3.6 times lower risk of giving birth to a low birth weight (less than 2500 grams) or premature (born before 259 days) baby than do women who never consume fish or seafood. The study involved almost 9000 women who completed a food frequency questionnaire.
The researchers found that women whose daily intake of fish was less than 15 grams, corresponding to a fish oil intake of 150 mg/day, were significantly more likely to give birth to a preterm or underweight baby than were women with higher intakes. They suggest that small amounts of fish oil may confer protection against preterm delivery and low birth weight.
Olsen, Sjurour Frooi and Secher, Niels Jorgen. Low consumption of seafood in early pregnancy as a risk factor for preterm delivery: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal, Vol. 324, February 23, 2002, pp. 1-5