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Pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and nursing mothers should not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish due to high levels of mercury.

Women of child-bearing age can safely eat up to an average of 12 ounces a week of any other type of cooked fish from a store or a restaurant.

Women of child-bearing age should not eat more than 6 ounces a week of cooked fish that are caught in local waters.

Pregnant women can eat hard cheeses, but should not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses (like Roquefort), and Mexican style soft cheeses. There is an increased risk of a bacteria called Listeria in soft cheeses that have not been pasteurized. If a pregnant mother becomes sick from Listeria, she can pass the bacteria to the unborn baby and can cause sickness or death. Symptoms of infection may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and premature labor.

Pregnant women should consume three servings of dairy products daily or the equivalent in a calcium supplement (approximately 500mg per dairy serving). Suggested supplements include Tums, Viactiv, OsCal 500, Citracal, Caltrate, or "Nature Made" brand calcium.

Pregnant women are advised not to drink alcohol in pregnancy, as no level of drinking has been proven safe. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy may cause birth defects.

*This information is provided as a resource only and not intended to be a recommendation or a substitute for consultation with your physician regarding your healthcare needs.

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