Can you eat prawns when breastfeeding?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat prawns when breastfeeding?”, and other queries related to this topic.

Can you eat prawns when breastfeeding? 

Yes, breastfeeding mothers can eat prawns. However, during this period the mother should be careful about what she is eating and the reaction of the baby after breastfeeding because some babies might be allergic to seafood and so prawns. 

Additionally, breastfeeding women are advised to consume two to three servings of fish and seafood each week. Hence, they should watch the type of fish consumed as well as the quality and the degree of cooking of their fish to avoid consuming raw or undercooked seafood.

Shrimps are types of seafood and shellfish is considered one of the eight top allergens. So, try to limit your shrimp consumption during breastfeeding. Shrimps are a good source of omega 3 which is an essential fat needed for the brain and intellectual development of the baby.

Moreover, shrimp is high in minerals like zinc and selenium as well as choline and Vitamin B12. However, many other foods are rich in omega 3 such as olive oil, nuts, and avocado. So, they might be considered a good substitution for seafood.

How to purchase shrimp while breastfeeding?

First of all, you need to decide whether you want to purchase frozen or fresh shrimp. So, if you want to buy frozen shrimp you should not be worried about their quality because they are safer than fresh shrimps since they underwent treatments before freezing and they have a long shelf life.

Regarding fresh shrimps, you should buy them from a very reputable and clean store to avoid being contaminated and to ensure their freshness. So, look first at the color of the shellfish. Its color should be bright. However, if you notice some spots on their skin do not buy them.

Moreover, take a sniff to smell the odor of the fresh shrimp. If you notice a bad smell avoid buying them because this indicates that they are bad and not fresh. So, consider all these tips before purchasing prawns.

Bad prawns might be contaminated with Listeria which will lead to food poisoning. If the mother gets sick, she will not be able to breastfeed her baby due to medications that will pass through the breastmilk.

What are the benefits of shrimp while breastfeeding?

Shrimp is high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as well as it is a good source of proteins and omega-3. This richness in nutrients helps in the recovery of the mother after delivery by replenishing her stores.

Selenium and iodine are the major minerals present in shrimps. These minerals are essential for proper thyroid functioning and lactating women need more selenium and iodine during breastfeeding compared to non-breastfeeding mothers. 

Moreover, prawns are a source of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Vitamin B12 is essential for the brain development of the baby as well as prevents anemia development. Babies who do not receive Vitamin B12 through breast milk in case the mother is not consuming animal proteins can develop brain damage.

Regarding Vitamin D, breastfeeding women require a higher dose of Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for the baby’s bone development since vitamin D helps in calcium absorption through the digestive tract.

Furthermore, shrimps are a good source of iron. Iron is essential for the mother to replenish her stores after pregnancy. As for the baby, iron helps in maintaining his stores for a longer time. So adequate iron supply to the baby after birth can avoid the need for supplementation.

As stated previously Vitamin B12 is not the only nutrient that helps in brain development, but also choline has this effect. Shrimps are a very good source of choline. Along with vitamin B12 and choline, omega-3 helps in brain development.

What to take into consideration if you want to eat prawns during breastfeeding?

The mother should be careful in case she wants or already consumed shrimp. Because bad quality shrimps might lead to food poisoning and thus breastfeeding can not be continued. Moreover, the baby might be affected mostly if he has a shellfish allergy.

First of all, consume shrimp and other seafood in moderation and try to avoid buying fish that are high in mercury. Generally, shrimps are low in mercury so they can be safely consumed. Hence, excess mercury can affect the brain and nervous system development of the baby.

Additionally, make sure you are well cooking your shrimp or other seafood. Uncooked or undercooked seafood might put you at risk of being affected by Listeria which will lead to listeriosis. 

Moreover, variety is the key. So, consume a variety of seafood like salmon, oysters, mussels, and any other type of seafood. These types are low in mercury. Hence, tuna and swordfish are predator fish, and thus high in mercury.


In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat prawns when breastfeeding?”, and other queries related to this topic.