Can a nursing mom eat sushi?

Can I eat sushi while breastfeeding? I’ve read about toxoplasmosis and wonder if it can be passed to the baby via breast milk.

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

The main concern with eating raw-fish sushi is that it may not be fresh, and that it may have come from a place where the water is polluted. In this case, the fish could contain parasites or high levels of bacteria.

As for toxomplasmosis, if a mother is infected, it’s safe and important (because of antibodies passed through her milk) to continue breastfeeding. Toxoplasmosis can be contracted by eating uncooked or undercooked meat, though it doesn’t seem to be of concern when eating fresh raw fish.

Japanese moms eat sushi regularly and there don’t seem to be any studies/warnings to nursing mothers who consume sushi on a regular basis.

If you are still concerned about the safety of eating sushi during lactation, pick veggie rolls or pieces made with cooked fish.

If you decide to eat raw fish, stick with sushi-bar/restaurants where you trust that the food is very fresh and well prepared. Don't feel uncomfortable about inquiring as to the source of their fish, the method of delivery and its freshness.

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