Can You Eat Clams While Pregnant?


Pregnancy is a time you need to pay extra attention to your diet. In other words, you should have a healthy, balanced diet to support a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthier baby. Seafood is the best option on the table! Consuming seafood like clams while pregnant provides several health benefits to you and the growing baby.

In this article on Hipregnnacy, we will cover the most important points and the answers to your top questions about eating clams when pregnant, including its benefits, mercury levels, and ways to consume them during pregnancy. Read on to learn more about clams and pregnancy.

Can pregnant women eat clams?

Is it safe to eat clams during pregnancy?

Pregnant ladies can enjoy consuming seafood and shellfish during pregnancy, but only the ones that are low in mercury and are properly cleaned and fully cooked before eating. The same goes for clams! According to studies and my experience of prenatal care visits, you can consume clams while pregnant, but you should wash them properly and cook them thoroughly until the shells open.

You should avoid consuming raw seafood, like clams, oysters, or octopus while pregnant, as they may contain listeria or other bacteria such as vibrio vulnificus. These harmful bacteria can put you at the risk of food poisoning when pregnant; therefore, the food which is made with raw seafood is a big no-no during pregnancy.

Fortunately, cooking can make your favorite seafood a pregnancy-safe option, except the ones that fall into the category of fish to avoid while pregnant. It is good to know that for washing the clams, you can soak them in salt water, or scrub them under running water.

Let’s continue to see how beneficial clams are for pregnant ladies.

Health benefits of eating clams when pregnant

Health benefits of eating clams when pregnant

Due to its high nutritional value, seafood is a nutritious food for pregnant ladies. The following section will show you the benefits of adding clams into your diet during pregnancy, including;

  • Developing a healthy immune system

Clams are rich in vitamin C, which can improve your immune system during pregnancy, protect cells from damage, fight infections, and make collagen for skin, bone, and tendons.

  • Providing omega-3

Consuming clams while pregnant provides omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Having omega-3 while pregnant can support the visual development of the baby, lower the risk of preeclampsia, prevent preterm labor, and reduce depressive symptoms in women with prenatal depression.

  • Supporting normal growth and development of the baby

This kind of shellfish is rich in protein, which is needed for the growth and development of the fetus, maintaining energy, and building up muscle. The same goes for eating calamari during pregnancy, as squid is one of the best protein resources for pregnant ladies.

  • Preventing anemia

Clams are rich sources of iron, which is highly needed during pregnancy. Since clams are rich in iron, they can help you meet the level of iron your body needs while pregnant, to transport oxygen, support metabolic processes, and prevent anemia as well.

It is good to mention that the same goes for consuming crawfish when pregnant, as it is rich in iron.

  • Providing vitamin B-12

Having clams while pregnant provides your body with vitamin B-12. You should know that this vitamin is needed for the fetus’s brain development, and to prevent congenital disabilities.

Furthermore, vitamin B-12 aids in maintaining the nervous system of both the mother and the developing baby. It is good to know that lox is similar to clams, as it is high in vitamin B-12. To learn more about eating lox, check the article titled “Is it ok to eat lox while pregnant?“.

Are clams high in mercury?

Are clams high in mercury?

Generally speaking, pregnant ladies should avoid consuming high-mercury foods to prevent food poisoning while pregnant. When it comes to seafood, you may get confused about choosing the safe option, which is low in mercury.

 For instance, you may ask; “Can pregnant women eat lobster? Is it safe to eat clams when pregnant? or Can you eat shrimp while pregnant?” The answer to all mentioned questions is yes, as lobster, clams, and shrimp are low in mercury and won’t put you at risk of pregnancy complications.

The mercury content level of clams is 0.009 PPM; this means clams have 0.009 parts per million concentration of mercury. This average is considered very low and proves that consuming clams while pregnant is safe for expecting mothers.

It is good to know that all clam species are considered low in mercury; therefore, enjoy eating them while pregnant, but only in moderate amounts.

Can you eat clam chowder while pregnant?

Can you eat clam chowder while pregnant?

Clam chowder is a delicious soup with clams, shallots, vegetables, and meat. This soup is one of the most popular ways of eating clams when pregnant.

Studies and measured data of pregnant women who visited my pregnancy center proves that pregnant ladies can enjoy eating clam chowder during pregnancy; however, there are 3 points they should take into consideration while consuming cooked clams while pregnant.

  • Pregnant women should avoid consuming large quantities of clam chowder while pregnant. Always, moderation is a key!
  • If you want to add milk or cream to your soup, use pasteurized products.
  • Using fresh clams instead of canned ones is recommended to make clam chowder.

Follow the above guidelines when craving chowder while pregnant to prevent possible risks, including foodborne illness. Do not forget to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before having clams during pregnancy. If your doctor is ok with consuming it, add it to your pregnancy diet plan.

How to consume clams when pregnant?

How to consume clams when pregnant?

Regrding clam dishes and their pregnancy safety, several questions arise, like; “Can you eat steamed clams while pregnant? or “Can you eat baked clams while pregnant?” The answers to these questions are covered in the following section. Before discussing them, let us tell you that the only way to make clam a pregnancy-safe food is to cook it completely before serving it.

Here are some general guidelines to show you how much time you need to cook clams thoroughly, including;

  • Steamed clams while pregnant; 5-10 minutes until the shells of clams are opened.
  • Baked clams when pregnant; about 10 minutes at 450f / 230c.
  • Fried clams while pregnant; at least 3 minutes at 375f / 190c.
  • Boiled clams when pregnant; at least 3 minutes.


Hipregnancy covered the top points and guidelines you are required to know about eating clams while pregnant. Now, you know that clam falls into the category of what can a pregnant woman eat due to its high nutritional value and low mercury levels.

If there is any point you want to mention or if you want to share your experiences about eating clams when pregnant, contact us via comment.


1. Can I eat clam while pregnant?

You can consume clams while pregnant, but you should opt for thoroughly cooked ones.

2. Can you eat oyster and clams while pregnant?

Yes, eating oysters and clams during pregnancy is okay if they have been fully cooked. Hipegnancy warns you about consuming raw oyster or clams while pregnant, as they can cause infections.

3. Can you eat clam strips while pregnant?

Clam strips or deep-fried clams can be consumed when pregnant if they’re thoroughly cooked. Consider that if you want to eat large clams, you should cut them in half to ensure they are cooked all the way through.

4. Can I eat canned clams while pregnant?

Consuming canned clams when pregnant is considered safe, as they are steril and cooked. However, you should have them in moderate quantities.

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