Can Pregnant Women Eat Shrimp? When It’s Safe and When It’s Not

Can pregnant women eat shrimp during pregnancy? Due to the high risk of mercury contamination in shrimp, many women opt to avoid shrimp entirely during pregnancy. But, you can still enjoy shrimp in moderation.

In general, eating seafood is a healthy choice for pregnant women. After all, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shellfish promote a baby’s brain development, while many types of seafood are low in calories and high in protein. 

However, not all types of seafood are safe to eat when you’re pregnant. Some types of seafood can contain high levels of mercury or other contaminants that may be harmful to a developing baby.

This is a concern with shrimp, as it is almost always wild-caught and often contains high levels of mercury due to pollution in the oceans. 

In fact, the FDA recommends that all women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive should avoid eating shrimp or food that contains shrimp.

However, not all types of wild-caught shrimp contain high levels of mercury. 

In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends limiting your intake of three types of U.S.-caught and wild-caught shrimp because they have been found to contain relatively high levels of toxins. Those are gulf shrimp, Pacific white shrimp, and pink shrimp.

But what about other types of shrimp? can pregnant women eat shrimp cocktail? can pregnant women eat shrimp fried rice?

U.S.-caught brown (legitimate) shrimp should not contain harmful levels of mercury or other toxins, so they are safe to eat if you’re pregnant. 

Other types of wild-caught shrimp also may be safe to eat, but it depends on where they are caught. 

For example, the NOAA recommends that pregnant women limit their intake of shrimp from Chile and wild-caught gulf shrimp because these may also contain high levels of mercury.

The FDA does not regulate farm-raised seafood, including shrimp. Therefore, whether or not you can eat farm-raised shrimp when pregnant depends on the farm from which it came. 

If you are not sure about whether a type of shrimp is safe to eat, check with your doctor or nutritionist.

In general, you should aim to keep seafood intake low while pregnant because even wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp may contain mercury and other toxins. 

If you are not sure of the origin or safety of a type of shrimp, stick with another protein source, such as lean meats.

The Benefit of Eating Shrimp During Pregnancy

can pregnant women eat shrimp cocktail
why can’t pregnant ladies eat seafood

The benefit of eating shrimp while pregnant is a known fact. However, Seafood Safety is important for Pregnant mothers. 

Shrimp is one of them that needs to be eaten from farms that have been approved by the FDA as they are suspected to contain more toxins as compared to the “wild-caught shrimp”. 

In short, eating undercooked or raw shrimp can be harmful and should be avoided.

In general, eating seafood is a healthy choice for pregnant women. After all, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shellfish promote a baby’s brain development, while many types of seafood are low in calories and high in protein.

You Can Also Read This Related Article: Can Pregnant Women Eat Crabs?

However, not all types of seafood are safe to eat when you’re pregnant. Some types of seafood can contain high levels of mercury or other contaminants that may be harmful to a developing baby.

This is a concern with shrimp, as it is almost always wild-caught and often contains high levels of mercury due to pollution in the oceans. 

In fact, the FDA recommends that all women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive should avoid eating shrimp or food that contains shrimp.

What Happens When a Pregnant Woman Eats Shrimp?

This is a common question that women ask during their pregnancy. 

More specifically, when you eat shrimp when pregnant, what will happen to the baby? 

The answer depends on how often and how much you’re eating. 

If you’re only eating one serving of shrimp every few days, your baby should be just fine.

However, if you ingest too much mercury or other contaminants, your baby could be at risk for developing some serious problems. 

Mercury exposure has been linked to brain damage and developmental delays in babies, so you’ll want to limit how much shrimp you’re eating when pregnant.

What Should You Do if You’ve Eaten Shrimp When Pregnant?

If you have eaten shrimp when pregnant, you should consult your doctor or a pharmacist. You can also do some research on the Internet to find out whether the type of shrimp that you ate is high in mercury. 

If so, take steps to improve your diet by eating more low-mercury seafood options.

Again, it’s recommended that you limit your intake of seafood when you’re pregnant.

If you do decide to eat seafood, it’s best to stick with only one or two servings per week of low-mercury fish such as salmon and canned tuna.

Don’t feel bad if you ate shrimp while pregnant! 

Sometimes, cravings are just too hard to resist. But if you’ve eaten shrimp, you should monitor the baby’s development closely. 

If you have concerns, consult your doctor or pharmacist about any potential risks.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Well-Cooked Shrimp?

can pregnant women eat shrimp
pregnant women eat shrimp

It is a fact that most seafood can contain high levels of mercury or other contaminants. 

This is especially true when it comes to shrimp, which are almost always wild-caught and often contain high levels of mercury due to pollution in the oceans. 

The FDA recommends that all women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive should avoid eating “food that contains” shrimp.

However, it is healthy and safe for pregnant women to eat well-cooked, farm-raised, or wild-caught shrimp when they are craving seafood. 

The risk of contracting food poisoning from well-cooked shrimp is minimal, and the nutrients in shrimp are essential to a healthy pregnancy.

How Many Shrimp Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

As we all know that pregnant women can eat any food as long as they are well-cooked and served without any outside ingredients. 

Here is the question: how many shrimp can a pregnant woman eat?

The first thing you should know is that it’s recommended that you limit seafood and other foods high in mercury during your pregnancy.

If you do decide to eat seafood, it’s best to stick with only one or two servings per week of low-mercury fish such as salmon and canned tuna.

The second thing you should know is that shrimp is almost always wild-caught and often contains high levels of mercury due to pollution in the oceans. 

Shrimp is among the most popular seafood choices worldwide; however, it’s also one of those foods that pregnant women should avoid.

Thus, you might be wondering, how many shrimp you can eat during pregnancy? 

According to nutritionists and dieticians, pregnant women can eat up to two pounds of well-cooked and properly prepared farm-raised or wild-caught shrimp per week.

However, you should only eat one or two servings of this type of seafood due to the high levels of mercury that are sometimes found in shrimp. 

Additionally, you might want to read labels carefully and avoid eating shrimp that has additives, flavorings, or sauces on it because this can increase your risk for food poisoning.

You can also choose to avoid shrimp altogether during your pregnancy if you don’t feel comfortable with the mercury risks.

Seafood isn’t the only source of protein, and there are plenty of other types of food you can eat during pregnancy. 

Eggs, meat, and beans are also good sources of protein and safe to eat even when pregnant. These foods should be well-cooked and served without outside ingredients in order to prevent the risk of food poisoning.

Pregnant women can also eat seafood such as salmon and canned tuna in moderation since these have been found to have low levels of mercury.

However, it’s important that pregnant women limit their intake of tuna to six ounces per week because albacore is usually higher in mercury than light tuna is.

It’s important that pregnant women limit their intake of tuna to six ounces per week because albacore is usually higher in mercury than light tuna is.

If you’re not sure how much mercury is in your seafood, talk to your doctor about having a test done before you start eating it regularly.

Conclusion

Can a pregnant woman eat shrimp? The answer is yes, but only if it’s properly cooked and served without any outside ingredients. 

Pregnant women should limit their seafood intake to no more than two servings per week in order to protect the baby from mercury poisoning.

Remember that pregnant women can choose to avoid shrimp altogether during pregnancy if they don’t feel comfortable with the mercury risks involved. 

Seafood isn’t the only source of protein during pregnancy, and there are plenty of other types of food you can eat in moderation. 

If you love the taste of shrimp then you will be happy to know that it’s safe to eat–as long as it’s cooked and not covered in a sauce or additives. 

Add some fresh lemon juice and garlic to your shrimp, and cook according to the directions on the label. Then you can enjoy this delicious seafood guilt-free!

In summary, yes, pregnant women can eat shrimp with these cautions in mind:

  1. Shrimp is healthy for pregnant women as long as it’s cooked and not covered in sauce or additives.
  2. It’s recommended that pregnant women eat two pounds of well-cooked farm-raised shrimp per week.
  3. Pregnant women can also eat six ounces of canned tuna per week due to its low mercury levels.
  4. Seafood such as salmon and canned tuna are good sources of protein and safe to eat in moderation.
  5. Eggs, meat, and beans are also good sources of protein. These foods should be well-cooked and served without any outside ingredients in order to prevent the risk of food poisoning.