Can pregnant women eat shrimp?

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Ines

Whether boiled, fried, or as a cocktail, shrimps are delicious. No wonder eating shrimp during pregnancy is a common desire. But can pregnant women eat shrimp?

Shrimp

Healthy eating during pregnancy

Is it safe to eat shrimp during pregnancy?

Yes, pregnant women can eat shrimp as part of a balanced diet.

Shrimp is a good source of protein and other nutrients that are important for the health of the mother and the developing baby.

However, a pregnant woman should ensure that she only eats fully cooked shrimp and not overdo it!

Can a pregnant woman eat a shrimp cocktail?

Yes, pregnant women can eat a shrimp cocktail as long as the shrimp is fully cooked!


What are the recommendations for eating shrimp during pregnancy?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set general recommendations and guidelines for seafood consumption during pregnancy.

These guidelines recommend that pregnant women consume at least eight and up to 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, including shellfish such as shrimp

The type and amount of seafood a pregnant woman can safely eat depends on its mercury content. It is important to choose seafood that is low in mercury, as high levels of mercury can be harmful to the developing baby. 

Fish safety in Pregnancy, based on their mercury levels

Shrimp belong to the group of seafood that contains the least mercury. You can eat up to 12 ounces of shrimp per week when pregnant, assuming you didn’t eat any other seafood in the same week.

In addition to not exceeding the recommended amount of seafood consumed during pregnancy, ensure that you only eat fully cooked shrimp

Pregnant women should eat only fully-cooked shrimp

Consuming raw or undercooked shrimp increases the risk of foodborne illness. Raw or undercooked seafood can harbor harmful bacteria or parasites, such as Vibrio and Salmonella, causing foodborne illnesses that are especially dangerous to a pregnant woman and her baby.

How to cook shrimp to be safe during pregnancy?

You have to cook shrimp to a safe internal temperature, which helps to kill any harmful bacteria or parasites that may be present in the shrimp.

The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C) or above to be safe to eat. However, you don’t need a meat thermometer to know you’ve cooked your shrimp properly. You can rely on your eyes and touch!

You can boil, broil, grill, bake, or sauté to cook shrimp. Just cook the shrimp until they turn pink and the flesh is opaque!


What are the benefits of eating shrimp during pregnancy?

Shrimps are a nutritious and delicious addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. They are a good source of protein and other nutrients for the mother’s and developing baby’s health.

Benefits of eating shrimp during pregnancy

Some of the specific benefits of eating shrimp during pregnancy include the following:

  • Protein: Shrimp is a good source of high-quality protein, which is vital for the growth and development of the baby. Protein is also essential for maintaining the mother’s health, as it helps build and repair tissues and plays a role in immune function.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Shrimp is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and eye development in the baby. Omega-3s may also help reduce inflammation in the body, which can benefit the mother during pregnancy.
  • Selenium: Shrimp is a good source of selenium, a mineral important for the mother’s and developing baby’s health. Selenium is essential for the proper immune system functioning and may also help protect against certain types of cancer.
  • Vitamin D: Shrimp is also a good source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and calcium absorption. Vitamin D is significant during pregnancy, as the developing baby needs a sufficient supply of calcium to form strong bones.

Safety precautions when eating shrimp during pregnancy

There are a few safety precautions that pregnant women should take when eating shrimp:

  • Choose seafood that is low in mercury: High levels of mercury can be harmful to the developing baby. Pregnant women should choose seafood low in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Canned light tuna is also a good choice, as it is lower in mercury than other types of tuna.
  • Ensure that the shrimp is fully cooked: Raw or undercooked seafood can harbor harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause illness. It is important to ensure that the shrimp is fully cooked before eating it. Properly cooked shrimp should be opaque and have a firm texture.
  • Avoid raw seafood: Pregnant women should avoid raw seafood, such as sushi or raw oysters, to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
  • Follow guidelines for seafood consumption during pregnancy set by the FDA and EPA

By following these safety precautions, pregnant women can enjoy shrimp as part of a balanced diet without increasing their risk of foodborne illness.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *