Fish is a source of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids, but it may also contain a number of pollutants.

Between April and July 2013, we selected 114 women who gave birth to living babies, and divided them according to type and frequency of the fish consumed. We evaluated both gestational and neonatal outcomes. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation was taken into account.

One hundred and four women (91.2%) consumed fish on the average of 4.7 times/month, while 10 (8.8%) did not consume fish at all. Fifty-nine women (51.8%) were taking supplements containing DHA (200mg/day), almost all of whom (n=55) consumed fish. Pregnancy induced hypertension was more frequent in non-fish eaters than in fish eaters (20% vs 4.8%, P=0.056). Consumption of small size oily fish correlated positively with both neonatal weight (r=0.195, P=0.037) and head circumference (r=0.211, P=0.024). In contrast, consumption of lean fish or shellfish correlated negatively with neonatal head circumference (r=0.206, P=0.028, or r=0.192, P=0.041).

These data agree with previous observational studies and reinforce the protective role of small oily fish consumption on preterm birth risk, neonatal weight, length and head circumference.

Small oily fish consumption should be favored over other types of fish.