One of the fun things about being pregnant in London is that I can still eat sushi! How so? The NHS (National Health Service) does not list sushi as a food to restrict in pregnancy, due to fish handling laws. In England, Wales & Northern Ireland the Food Standards Agency, and EU fish freezing rules, require that fishery products intended to be consumed raw or undercooked, including sushi & sashimi, must be frozen before consumption. Specifically, these fishery products must be frozen at -20°C for not less than 24 hours, or -35°C for not less than 15 hours. The freezing must reach all parts of the product. This helps kill any remaining parasites (specifically a worm called Anisakis). To play it safe: consult with your doctor or midwife first, ask staff before you buy and choose fully cooked eel and shrimp. Pictured is the "baby salmon and avocado rolls" from Itsu. According to their website, Itsu salmon and tuna are considered safe to consume raw. Just remember that while fish is a good source of protein and iron -- and omega-3 fats in the case of oily fish -- you should avoid shark, swordfish/Marlin, tilefish and king mackerel in pregnancy and limit albacore/"white" tuna to 6 ounces per week. Learn more at www.food.gov.uk , www.nhs.uk and www.eatright.org.
There's a lot of confusion around caffeine restrictions in pregnancy. Lots of people have been asking me if I can still drink coffee and the short answer is: Yes. The American College of Obestricians and Gynecologists, The March of Dimes, The American Pregnancy Association and the UK's National Health Service all agree that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day. For perspective, a 1-ounce shot of espresso contains about 65mg (2-ounces = about 130 mg) and an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee can contain anywhere from 95-200mg. Personally, I drink espresso based drinks and instead of abstaining from coffee or switching to decaf, I limit myself to 1-2 lattes/cappuccinos/flat whites per day or 1-2 espresso shots and I take some days off too. To play it safe: Always ask how many espresso shots are in your drink before you order, as it differs by cafe and by size of beverage, and consult with your doctor or midwife. Also, don't forget that tea, colas, cocoa/chocolate and energy drinks all contribute to your daily caffeine intake. To learn more about the caffeine content of many popular beverages, check out the Caffeine Chart from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.