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Can You Eat Shrimp While Pregnant?

Shrimps and other sea foods should
never be eaten raw. This is because they contain some parasites and worms which are dangerous to the health of the pregnant woman and her baby. These bacteria are passed from the mother to the baby causing serious health challenges. Some harmful bacteria such as listeria and antibiotics are also found in shrimps. These bacteria have been known to cause miscarriages among pregnant women. For safety purposes, shrimps should be cooked at temperatures of over 74° degrees. At this temperature the worms and bacteria will not survive. If you use a microwave to cook, make sure that the food is cooked evenly at all edges.


There is a concern about the levels of mercury in seafood. Shrimps as opposed to other seafood's have lower levels of mercury. Studies undertaken with tinned shrimps have been found to have very low levels of mercury that are not harmful to the human body. However, the weekly limit of shrimp consumption should not be exceeded. The mercury in seafood is usually absorbed from the sediments in the water bodies. This means that not all seafood will have mercury deposits but rather it will depend on the area from which the seafood came from. Mercury affects the fetus in a profound way. It interferes with the development of the nervous system. Mercury can cause language learning delays in children and memory impairment. Children who are exposed to mercury when growing in the womb will manifest these effects at one point during their development. The body is not also able to dispose of mercury and this leads to accumulation to levels that can be fatal leading to death.

Cooking Preparation

If the shrimp has been stored in the fridge, first make sure it thaws completely. Do not use the microwave to do this. Then you can devein it. This is the process of removing the intestinal tract and the back vein from the shrimp. This can be done with the help of a pointed utensil. After this use some warm water to thoroughly clean the shrimp.

Best Method Of Cooking Shrimps

Boiling shrimp is better than all other forms of cooking. Not many people will agree with this but when pregnant, it's the safest cooking method. Boiling shrimps will be required if it has been frozen. However, the main point here is not the method of cooking but rather if the shrimp was stored and cooked properly.

Benefits Of Eating Shrimp

Shrimp are an excellent source of protein which is needed for the normal development of the baby growing inside you. They contain high amounts of iron. This is one element that is needed in abundance by pregnant women. Shrimp is also known to contain omega-3 fatty acids. This is essential in the development of your baby's brain. Research has shown that women who consume moderate levels of shrimp and other seafood reduce the risk of premature delivery. It is no doubt that seafood should be part of your diet. It is not wise to cut out all types of fish and seafood during pregnancy. Caution should be taken to eat what is recommended and avoid what is not. Some sea and stream waters have high levels of mercury. Normally the relevant government department will issue an advisory against consuming seafood from these areas.

Shrimp Paste

Shrimp paste is one of the most popular methods of consuming shrimps. In fact most countries in Asia and lately in the Americas have been using shrimp paste condiment in their diets. Shrimp paste can be bought from a grocery store in its raw state and cooked at home. The main advantage of the shrimp paste is that it can be served with a wide variety of foods. Some of the foods served with the shrimp paste include rice, winged beans and even some fruit salads. However, in the case of pregnant women, they should never take it raw.

It is safe to eat shrimps during pregnancy. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the body that regulates food and drugs consumption in the United States it is absolutely safe to eat shrimps. However, pregnant women should eat 8-12 ounces of shrimps or other sea foods per week. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about the benefits and dangers of eating shrimps by pregnant women. Communities that live along water bodies have all along eaten seafood including shrimps. Even their pregnant women do so with no harmful effects. What really matters is the process the shrimps get through from the water top your plate.


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Can You Eat Shrimp While Pregnant