They go out to a special dinner and watch the surf and lawn. You know you have to order a well done steak, but what about shrimp? Can you eat it too?
Yes,can pregnant women eat shrimp. That doesn’t mean it should become your daily meal, but it does mean that you and your baby can benefit from some of the great nutrients in shrimp.
Let’s take a closer look at some recommendations for eating shrimp and other seafood when pregnant, as well as some safety precautions.
What are the recommendations for eating shrimp when pregnant?
Can pregnant women eat shrimp, some women avoid it like the plague because they have been told that all seafood is taboo. But while it’s true that you should avoid some types of seafood when pregnant, shrimp isn’t on the list.
In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration , seafood can provide pregnant and breastfeeding women with nutrients to support their baby’s growth and development. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of which seafood is safe and which seafood should be avoided.
Basically, you need to avoid seafood with large amounts of mercury. This is important because consuming too much mercury can damage a growing child’s nervous system. Seafood high in mercury includes:
- king mackerel
- fresh tuna
- orange rough
However, seafood that is low in mercury is safe to eat during pregnancy. That includes shrimp — but not just shrimp. If your taste buds are screaming for seafood in general, you can switch them up and eat one of the following:
- to take
- canning tuna
Keep in mind that they still contain mercury – just not as much. As a general guide, pregnant women should eat no more than 8 to 12 ounces (two or three servings) of seafood per week.
Benefits of Eating Shrimp During Pregnancy
A healthy diet during pregnancy can contribute to a healthy baby.
Shrimp and other types of seafood are extremely healthy as they contain many vitamins and nutrients that you need. For example, seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Prema Research , Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in seafood, may potentially reduce the risk of preterm birth when consumed during pregnancy. In addition, babies born to mothers with adequate omega-3 intake were less likely to have low birth weight.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also considered a key factor in fetal brain and eye development , which is why they contain so many prenatal vitamins—but being able to get these fatty acids through your diet is an added bonus.
Eating seafood while pregnant also provides the body with protein, vitamin B-2, and vitamin D. In addition, seafood and shrimp are a source of iron, magnesium, and potassium . Eating iron-rich foods during pregnancy will help your body make extra blood for produce you and your baby. This can combat iron deficiency anemia and give you more energy during pregnancy.
Precautions to take when eating shrimp when pregnant
Just because shrimp is safe to eat during pregnancy doesn’t mean there aren’t a few safety precautions.
To be on the safe side, avoid raw seafood during pregnancy. Pregnancy can destroy your immune system. So eating ground food uncooked puts you at risk of getting nutrition – and let’s face it, that’s the last thing you want to do during pregnancy. Also, it can be more dangerous for the baby.
So avoid raw sushi, sashimi, oysters, ceviches, and all other low-fat seafood. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to sushi for those 9 months — most sushi restaurants will offer cooked options, including fried shrimp or other safe seafood preparations.
Which brings us to the next point: When ordering seafood from a restaurant, always make sure the dishes are fully cooked. If you’re preparing your seafood at home, make sure it’s well cooked and has an internal temperature of 145°C or 62.8°F. Consider investing in a food thermometer.
Also, easily buy fish, shrimp and other seafood from shops and fish markets that have a good reputation in the community. If you’re extracting your seafood from local waters, keep up to date with local fish advice to avoid fishing in polluted waters.
Yes, shrimp is safe to eat during pregnancy. But don’t overdo it.
Stick to two to three servings of seafood (including options like shrimp) per week and avoid eating raw. Follow these recommendations, and you’ll satisfy your taste buds — and your cravings — without sickening yourself or your child.