Can Pregnant Women Eat Shrimp?
Having a healthy diet during pregnancy is important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, you should eat nutrient-rich foods like seafood. But certain types of seafood are safe to it during pregnancy. What about shrimp? Can you eat shrimp when pregnant? Or can you eat cooked shrimp while pregnant?
If you want to understand the answer to the questions mentioned and get more information about shrimp and its benefits, read our article on Hipregnancy.
Can you eat shrimp while pregnant?
One common question among pregnant women is: “Can I eat shrimp while pregnant?”
The short answer to the above question is yes. It is safe to consume shrimp while pregnant. Shrimp is a kind of seafood that has many positive effects on pregnant women. You must be careful about mercury levels in seafood while eating them. Fortunately, shrimp is low in mercury and does not cause birth defects.
There are some subspecies of shrimp which are safe during pregnancy;
- Wild-caught rock shrimps
These species can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. They look like lobster, have regular size, and have a sweet taste. You can cook it easily, in a short time.
- Wild-caught spot prawns
These are very expensive shrimp, and they can be found on the US or British Columbia Pacific Coast.
- US-farmed shrimps
These shrimp species have higher standards because of being cultured under the US regulation act. As a result, they are safer to consume during pregnancy.
- Wild-caught pink, cocktail, northern, and bay shrimp
Cold water is the best place for catching these species. You can add them to your salads or rice, for garnishing and healthy food.
If you want to taste other seafood like fish during pregnancy, and you don’t know whether it is safe, check out our another article discussing what fish to avoid when pregnant.
In this part, we covered the answer to the question ” Can you eat shrimp while pregnant?”. Now is the time to see why you should eat shrimp in pregnancy. Let’s continue to learn.
How much shrimp can you eat while pregnant?
Pregnants can enjoy cooked shrimp if taken in moderation. In other words, you should avoid eating too much shrimp during pregnancy and limit your intake. Generally, eating two to three servings of seafood is recommended weekly.
You can consume two to three servings of seafood while pregnant, including shrimp, scallops, fish, etc. Consult your doctor to know the certain amounts of shrimp you need to include in your pregnancy diet.
Also Read: can pregnant women eat seaweed
Benefits of eating shrimp during pregnancy
Cooked shrimp is one of the tastiest seafood and also a good source of nutrients for pregnant women. Eating shrimp while pregnant has numerous benefits, such as;
- It is a great source of protein essential for baby’s growth. Per 3 ounces of shrimp has 20 grams of protein.
- It is a low-fat option and does not lead pregnant women to unhealthy weight gain.
- It is high in iodine, essential for maternal and fetal thyroid hormone production. In addition, iodine plays a key role developing the fetal nervous system and brain.
- It is a great calcium source and strengthens your baby’s bone.
- It is high in selenium and can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, pre-term labor, and miscarriage.
- It has high omega-3 fatty acids, like Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can enhance baby’s cognitive skills. (To learn more read article omega 3 in pregnancy.)
- It is a good source of iron to reduce the risk of anemia during pregnancy and premature birth. [2: verywellfamily]
Also Read: can pregnant women eat lobster
Precautions to take while eating shrimp during pregnancy
Although shrimp is a healthy food during pregnancy, you should take some points into consideration for adding shrimp to your diet when you are pregnant. If you want to eat shrimp when pregnant, Pay attention to these vital points;
- Ensure that you choose the safe species to eat
- Ensure that shrimp is from a source with no alerts of mercury levels
- Avoid raw and under-cooked shrimp
- Consume only 8 to 12 ounces of shrimp each week
- Ensure that the shrimp is cooked thoroughly at 70 °C
- Try to purchase shrimp from reliable markets [3: parenting.firstcry]
Also Read: can you eat crawfish while pregnant?
Unsafe shrimp dishes for pregnant women
As we mentioned in the previous part, eating shrimp can benefit pregnant ladies and their unborn babies. You may ask: “Can I eat raw shrimp while pregnant?” or “Can I eat shrimp ceviche while pregnant?” The answer to these questions is No! Eating raw shrimp while pregnant is forbidden, and the same goes for dishes containing raw shrimp like shrimp ceviche.
Some shrimp dishes are unsafe in pregnancy, and should be avoided during these 9 months. Let’s take a look at the list of unsafe shrimp dishes for pregnant ladies;
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Shrimp Sushi
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Shrimp Carpaccio
Raw shrimp makes the above dishes unsafe for pregnant women, as it can cause food poisoning while pregnant. Remember that you should only eat completely cooked shrimp while pregnant to prevent any health issues related to eating raw shrimp. Many other foods should be avoided when you get pregnant. Do you know them? If not, read our article about what not to eat when pregnant.
Hipregnancy recommends you check the safety of shrimp in your dishes during pregnancy when you are eating it out or at home. This will ensure you are eating safe shrimp dishes during pregnancy and will not face any problems and issues after consuming this type of shellfish.
How to cook shrimp during pregnancy?
There are many questions about cooking shrimp like, “Can you eat fried shrimp while pregnant? Or “Can pregnant women eat boiled shrimp?”
The cooking process of shrimp is easy, but some points should be followed to make shrimp a pregnancy-safe option. Here is all you need to know about cooking shrimp during pregnancy;
1- It is essential to thaw frozen shrimp before cooking it.
2- Another important point is cleaning shrimp with warm water and removing the intestinal tract and back vein using a sharp knife.
3- Cooking shrimp at 70-74 °C is needed to kill harmful bacteria that raw shrimp may contain.
4- Frying shrimp after boiling is a good idea to ensure that your shrimp dish is safe to consume during pregnancy.
5- If you want to use a microwave for cooking this food, let the shrimp stand in it for about 3-5 minutes before frying it.
The above points may seem simple, but they are key for cooking a safe shrimp dish for pregnant ladies. Therefore, you should take these points seriously if you don’t want to put yourself and your baby at risk of health issues.
Is it safe to eat frozen shrimp when pregnant?
You may want to know whether you can consume frozen shrimp while pregnant. Is it safe to eat this type of shrimp?
The answer to this question is yes! Frozen shrimps are the same as fresh types; consuming them will not cause any problem for you and your baby. You can thaw the frozen shrimp before cooking it and then enjoy eating your yummy shrimp dish after cooking it completely.
You may also wonder: “Can you eat cold shrimp while pregnant?” You can eat cooked shrimp served cold during pregnancy, but you should check it has been stored safely.
Hipregnancy has good news for you! You can cook shrimp and then freeze it when you are too busy to cook. Shrimps which are cooked and then frozen, are also a safe option for pregnant ladies to consume.
It is advisable to consult your doctor about eating shrimp during pregnancy, but it is generally safe to eat thoroughly cooked shrimp at any stage of pregnancy.
Shrimp recipe for pregnancy
Blackened broccoli and shrimp
- 1 lb medium or large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 2 lb fresh broccoli (cut into small pieces)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp blackened seasoning
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa. Simmer quinoa for 10-15 minutes until cooked thoroughly.
- Season broccoli with melted coconut oil, spread them evenly on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
- After the broccoli has been cooked, add peeled and deveined shrimp to the same baking sheet with broccoli, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook shrimp and broccoli for another 8-10 minutes until shrimp is cooked completely.
- Serve the cooked quinoa on the side or combine it with shrimp and broccoli.
Shrimp is a nutrient-dense food to consume during pregnancy. You can eat shrimp when pregnant because it is rich in protein, selenium, calcium, iodine, etc. Also, it has low-mercury levels. Remember not to overdo it and take it in moderation.
In this article on Hipregnnacy, we tried to cover all the important points and questions related to consuming shrimp while pregnant.
Are there any other points you know about consuming this type of seafood? Please, share your ideas with us and other moms-to-be via comments.
1. Can you eat shrimp cocktail while pregnant?
Shrimp cocktail is a safe dish for pregnant women since it is fully cooked. This dish contains cooked shrimp in a cocktail sauce served in a glass.
2. Can you eat shrimp cooked in lemon while pregnant?
Shrimp cooked in lemon is called shrimp ceviche. This shrimp dish is forbidden during pregnancy as it contains raw shrimp.
3. Can pregnant women eat scallops and shrimp?
Scallops and shrimp are considered safe for pregnancy if cooked until steaming hot before serving.
4. Can you eat shrimp and crab while pregnant?
Shrimp and crab are two pregnancy-safe options if cooked properly and taken in moderation.