Prawns in pregnancy: Can I eat them?

prawns pregnancy

by Lorna White |
Updated on

However you like to eat your prawns (otherwise known as shrimps!), whether that’s in a prawn sandwich, a prawn cocktail or even a prawn curry, there is some confusion about whether you can eat shellfish such as prawns in pregnancy or not, and if there is any risk to your unborn baby.

Can you eat prawns in pregnancy?

The good news is that it’s perfectly safe to eat prawns in pregnancy, however, they need to be cooked prawns to be eaten without any risk, meaning eating raw prawns is not recommended.

This is the same as other shellfish including mussels, scallops, squid and langoustine. As long as these are all cooked, they are fine to eat. Raw shellfish can contain harmful bacteria and viruses, carrying a higher risk of food poisoning so should be avoided during pregnancy.

When you are pregnant, you are more susceptible to food poisoning due to changes to your metabolism and circulation so it’s worth being extra cautious and avoiding eating certain foods that haven’t been cooked.

How do I know my prawns are cooked?

pregnant woman peeling prawns

It’s fairly easy to tell when prawns are cooked as their flesh becomes opaque and they turn pinky-red. This means they are safe for you to eat.

What are the benefits of prawns in pregnancy?

There are lots of great benefits to including cooked prawns in your diet as they include a lot of B vitamins which are needed for energy and to help support the nervous system. They also contain calcium and iron, both of which are involved in healthy blood formation and clotting.

How much fish should I be eating in pregnancy?

The NHS says that “A healthy, balanced diet should include at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 of oily fish.”

For certain types of fish though there are recommendations about how much of it you should be eating, such as tuna. Breastfeeding and pregnant women should eat no more than two portions of oily fish a week.

Wondering if it's safe to eat sushi while pregnant? We can help with that too!

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