Can I Eat Crawfish While Pregnant? Discover Safe Seafood For Pregnant Women

Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Can I Eat Crawfish While Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life, characterized by many changes in the body. Nonetheless, this moment is also marked as a period with exceptional uncertainties, especially for first-time moms.

It is normal to think about what to eat, what to avoid, and many other questions that are based on the premise of protecting the developing baby. 

When it comes to food, seafood is one of the most questionable categories for pregnant women.

Although seafood is high in protein as well as vitamins and minerals and low in fat content, there are some known risks, ranging from food poisoning to mercury intake that surrounds seafood consumption.   

However, is crawfish safe for pregnant women, have you ever wondered “Can I eat crawfish while pregnant?

These are all normal questions for pregnant women, so keep on reading to discover the answer to this important question and to understand if it is safe or not to eat crawfish while pregnant. 

Can I Eat Crawfish While Pregnant

Craving Crawfish While Pregnant

Let’s get straight to the point, if you are pregnant and craving to eat crawfish the good news is that you can eat it without posing any risk to your developing baby.

Nonetheless, it is important to mention that pregnant women should avoid any type of raw or uncooked seafood, including crawfish. 

In order to safely eat seafood while pregnant, you must certify – using a cooking thermometer – that the crustacean has reached a temperature of 75°C or 165°F in its interior and only consume it while hot.

In other words, if you are pregnant only consume cooked. 

In addition, you should be careful while handling raw seafood to avoid cross-contamination, bacteria can be transferred from one food to another if you use the same kitchen utensil. Moreover, even a portion of food that is completely cooked can become contaminated if it touches other raw food or the same surface where the raw food was placed.

For this reason, it is recommended to wash your hands, kitchen appliances, and surface thoroughly right after using them. 

It is extremely necessary to follow these measures in order to avoid getting infected with bacteria that might be present in the crustaceans. Foodborne illness is especially dangerous for pregnant women as their immune system is weaker during the pregnancy period. 

Crawfish Mercury Content

Mercury content in fish and crustaceans is another thing that scares most pregnant women, and it should not be underestimated. 

Mercury is a type of metal that passes into the air, soil, and water during some manufacturing processes.

Small organisms in the water take the mercury in, which creates chain contamination, where small fish eat those small organisms and large fish eat small fish. In theory, the larger the fish the more mercury is found in its tissue. 

A small amount of mercury in the bloodstream does not cause significant health concerns in healthy adults, however the same does not apply to babies, mercury can harm a fetus’ developing brain.

Moreover, mercury has the capacity to be passed to the baby during breastfeeding. For this reason, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid eating high mercury level seafood. 

According to the FDA, these are the highest mercury content seafood that you should avoid eating while pregnant and breastfeeding: 

  • King mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Shark 
  • Swordfish 
  • Tilefish 
  • Tuna, bigeye

Can I Eat Crawfish While Pregnant – How Much Can You Eat?

Size portion is another thing that threatens pregnant women, as good and sufficient nutrition is extremely important for the pregnant woman and the developing baby. However, how much food a pregnant woman should eat remains an unknown for most women. 

Here is the truth about food portions, according to dietitians a pregnant woman should eat about 300 more calories per day, especially in the third trimester, thus demystifying the “eating twice as much” conception. On the contrary, eating too many calories can be harmful to both the mother and the baby. 

According to the FDA recommendations, pregnant and breastfeeding women can consume between 225 to 340 grams or 8 to 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, preferring the low mercury content options. In terms of size servings, the recommendation is 1 serving equal to 115 grams or 4 ounces. 

Low-Mercury Seafood Choice

In order to help to build your diet routine, based on the recommendations for pregnant women, below you will find a comprehensive list of seafood options that are low in mercury content, thus allowed to be consumed between 2 to 3 servings a week as well as options that you should limit to one serving per week. 

Best Options (allowed to consume 2 to 3 times a week)
Anchovy Lobster Smelt
Atlantic Croaker Mullet Sole
Black Sea Bass Oyster Squid
Buttersfish Perch Tilapia
Catfish Pickerel Trout
Clam Plaice Tuna
Cod Pollock Whitefish
Crab Salmon Whiting
Crawfish Sardine
Flounder Scallop
Haddock Shad
Hake Shrimp
Herring Skate

 

Good Options (limit consumption to once a week)
Bluefish Monkfish White tuna/canned tuna
Buffalofish Rockfish Weakfish/Seatrout
Carp Sablefish White Croaker
Grouper Sheepshead
Halibut Snapper
Dolphinfish Striped bass

 

Can I Eat Crawfish While Pregnant Conclusion

If you are pregnant, you have probably wondered about the safety of eating seafood, this delicious group of food which includes fish and shellfish, is a source of great concern regarding food poisoning and mercury intake. 

Therefore, if you have ever asked “Can I eat crawfish while pregnant?” The good news is yes, you can!

Crawfish is an excellent type of seafood for pregnant women, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, yet low in fat and mercury levels. Pregnant women can safely consume crawfish between 2 to 3 times a week. 

Nonetheless, it is important to mention that some caution should be exercised in order to avoid foodborne germs and illness, which can be extremely dangerous for the pregnant woman and the baby. 

Safety measures include only consuming well-cooked seafood while it is still hot and wash thoroughly your hands, kitchen tools, and surface that might be contaminated from the raw food in order to prevent cross-contamination. 

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