File photo: The study of 40 000 mothers found that "children’s communication skills at five were significantly better if their mothers had eaten seafood when pregnant".

London - Pregnant women should eat plenty of fish as their children’s brains will benefit, scientists claim.

Going against advice that seafood should be limited during pregnancy – as it can contain high levels of methyl mercury that is a risk to a baby’s growing nervous system – a Norwegian study has concluded that "low mercury exposure showed no negative effects".

The study of 40 000 mothers found that "children’s communication skills at five were significantly better if their mothers had eaten seafood when pregnant".

But the researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health did advise that fish "with high mercury contamination levels, such as tuna, should still be avoided".

A previous study found that pregnant women who consume high doses of omega-3 fatty acids in the third trimester may help protect their kids from developing breathing problems in their early childhood.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, was conducted in three groups of women in their third trimester.