I’m Pregnant and I eat raw fish…


Hi, I’m Shan and today I have a confession to make…

I’m Pregnant and I eat Sashimi Salmon. I drink coke once in a while and have at least one cup of caffeine every day. I breastfed during pregnancy and dyed my hair even when the world was against me.

No one likes to talk about the “pregnancy rules” that get broken but today, I want to share my experience with you. Pregnancy should never make you feel like you are in prison because honestly it is one of the best and weirdest experiences ever! There are certain things that are a big no-no but a few that can be taken in moderation. I don’t see the reason why you can’t indulge once in a while especially if you are craving something!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I’m sure that, after reading this post, you will have one of me. I am sharing my experiences and views with you on this post and no one else’s. Please note, I’m not encouraging you to break the rules and I’m no doctor to give you advice.

I hated sushi until I fell pregnant with my daughter. I remember the first time I tried it (before pregnancy) with my husband-to-be on Valentine’s Day, I almost gagged! It was an unpleasant experience for me and I told myself: “I think this is not for you…”

Sushi during pregnancy

Then a couple of months later… one of my biggest cravings during pregnancy was sushi! I wanted it and I wanted it all the time! I was scared because my family was against this and being pregnant for the first time I felt like I was committing the biggest sin ever! I ended up sharing my frustration with my gynae and he explained what I should do.

He said: “Shan, go ahead and eat!” I couldn’t believe those words came out of his mouth because I’ve read everywhere that is was a big no-no during pregnancy. He continued to explain the history about this rule etc. and said that it should only be eaten from a reputable restaurant. I jumped with joy and a few days later I was indulging in my biggest craving guilt free at “Signature” – a restaurant in Morningside while a few “perfectionists” stared at me as if I was committing murder.

Sushi became one of my favourites throughout my first pregnancy and stayed with me afterwards.

When I told friends that I’m indulging, I always got the weird looks and a bunch of questions. “Aren’t you worried about the safety of your baby?”

My reply was: “Don’t women in Japan eat sushi during pregnancy?” In fact, they are encouraged to do so.

The biggest concern with raw fish is mercury poisoning. I wouldn’t eat raw tuna – but for me, salmon is fine only when extremely fresh. It’s all about moderation. Eating fish is part of a healthy diet during pregnancy as long as you eat fish with safe mercury levels. Eat at reputable restaurants. Know your food.

Sushi during pregnancy

The British Medical Journal stresses that fish is an extremely important substance to have during pregnancy. Children whose mothers ate fish during their pregnancy had a “higher intelligence quotient” than those who didn’t eat fish, due to omega-3 fatty acids.

My daughter was born perfectly healthy and is one of the biggest fish eaters in my house. When we go to restaurants, we have to order a portion of sashimi just for her.

During this pregnancy, I promised myself to avoid breaking any rules during the first 3 months but I ended up breastfeeding. Some say breastfeeding while pregnant can cause a miscarriage, to be honest I was scared but it wasn’t something that could be stopped in one day. My daughter ended up weaning off on her own (which I will explain in another post)…

My point is you will always get criticism, especially when you are pregnant, when you’re a first time mom, and even when you a mother of 5 kids. We all break rules and sometimes make our own.

Sushi during pregnancy

I always research and get advice from my doctor before I make any decisions and thus far, everything has been fine.

Flat coke was my lifesaver for breast milk during the first 3 days at the hospital and dying my hair made me feel more confident during this pregnancy.

I am one of those women who are relaxed during pregnancy. I just don’t stress any more. I know my body and I know my limits. I’ve realized that people have strong opinions about pregnancy and this is something I have to deal with. I just wish that people would realise that women are special. We are intuitive and more often than not we can trust ourselves.

The next time you doubt yourself. Get expert advice and ask why? Why is Sushi dangerous? Answer – level of mercury and hygiene during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a sickness – it’s a privilege.  Sometimes being so over-cautious causes more stress than anything… and stress should be avoided.

I am not saying be negligent. I am saying be wise. People have a reason for all the things that we need to be cautious about. Find out why. It may help you understand…

Did you break any pregnancy rules?

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2015-08-11 / 12:58

    I ate sushi as long as it was fresh, I ate processed sausages that were cooked properly, I drank coke and ate chocolate and coloured my hair. I drank coffee too. Both my children are happy, smart, healthy kids.

  2. 2015-08-11 / 14:56

    I had vegetarian sushi every 14 days. I had a pretty strict diet when I was pregnant but I was a sucker for ice lollies. We all have our vices but in moderation.

  3. 2015-08-11 / 22:35

    At 20 weeks I started eating sushi but the fried crab roll or prawn tempura avalanche or the bean curd rolls. I’ve cheated with sushi at least once a week now just no salmon or tuna as they raw bur prefer the cooked ones like stated above. ocean basket has a good deal prawn fried califorian roll 8 piece for R56 or crab fried califorian roll 8 piece for R36 those are my fav

  4. 2015-08-17 / 14:28

    Japanese women eat sushi on a regular basis while pregnant. A lot of our pregnancy taboos are completely bonkers to women from other first world countries. I too was a sushi eating, coffee drinking preggo mama.

  5. 2015-08-18 / 21:59

    I have never been pregnant so I have no opinion on this. I know that most say its a big no-no to east fish when pregnant but I thought like you what about people in asia who eat fish all the time

  6. 2015-08-20 / 03:26

    So many things have changed since I was pregnant 29 years ago. I ate healthy and limited my caffiene and sugar. Had a beautiful bouncing baby boy. We still eat healthy but not to extremes.

  7. 2015-08-20 / 20:00

    You’re definitely right. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So as long as you feel you’re doing the right thing for you and the baby- do you! I love coke!
    And congrats on your upcoming bundle of joy!

  8. 2015-08-23 / 21:01

    I drank Coke when I was pregnant too. A little soda or coffee every now and then was essential for me, lol

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