Maternal fish consumption, fetal growth and the risks of neonatal complications: The Generation R Study
Maternal fish consumption during pregnancy has been suggested to affect birth outcomes. Previous studies mainly focused on birth outcomes and did not study fetal growth during pregnancy. In a prospective cohort study from early pregnancy onwards in The Netherlands, we assessed the associations of first-trimester maternal total-fish, lean-fish, fatty-fish and shellfish consumption with fetal growth characteristics in the second and third trimesters, growth characteristics at birth and the risks of neonatal complications, including pre-term birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age. In total, 3380 mothers completed a 293-item semi-quantitative FFQ to obtain information about fish consumption during the first trimester of pregnancy. Head circumference, femur length and fetal weight were estimated in the second and third trimesters by ultrasound. Information about birth anthropometrics and neonatal complications was available from hospital and midwife registries. Maternal older age, higher educational level, folic acid supplement use, alcohol use and not smoking were associated with higher fish consumption (P < 0.01). After adjustment, we observed no consistent associations of maternal total-fish consumption or specific consumption of lean fish, fatty fish or shellfish with fetal growth characteristics in the second and third trimesters and at birth. Likewise, total-fish consumption or specific consumption of any type of fish was not consistently associated with the risks of neonatal complications. These findings suggest that in a population with a relatively low fish intake, consumption of lean fish, fatty fish or shellfish in the first trimester is not associated with fetal growth or the risks of neonatal complications.