Can you eat prawns when pregnant?

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

Can you eat prawns when pregnant? 

Yes, you can eat prawns and any other shellfish during pregnancy on the condition they have been well cooked. So, avoid eating any raw fish like oysters or salmon since they might be contaminated with bacteria.

During the pregnancy period, pregnant women are more susceptible to infections and sickness compared to non-pregnant women. Thus, be careful about what you are eating to avoid getting sick. Moreover, food poisoning does not only affect the mother but also the baby in the womb.

Generally, raw seafood and raw meat are contaminated with Listeria which is a bacteria that lead to listeriosis. When the mother has been infected, she can feel some sickness symptoms and in severe cases, this infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or preterm delivery.

Prawns and other seafood such as lobsters, mussels, and scallops are recommended to be consumed during pregnancy because they are loaded with nutrients that are beneficial for the mother and the fetus’s growth and development. 

Diversity is the key, so try to consume a variety of seafood during pregnancy. However, be attentive to the cooking degree and the quality of your food. If you are buying fresh products check if they have developed any signs of spoilage like bad smell and texture.

Moreover, many pregnant women are concerned about the mercury in their seafood. Usually, mercury is found in large and big fish, not in small ones. Regarding prawns, they are safe to be consumed. Also, canned tuna or any other fish can be consumed in moderation.

Why should prawns be avoided during pregnancy?

Despite all the benefits of shrimp consumption during pregnancy, in some cases, pregnant women should avoid consuming them to keep them away from developing any problem that can be life-threatening for them and their babies.

First, if you are eating out in a restaurant try to choose safe dishes other than the ones containing seafood. Since seafood in the restaurants are more likely to be undercooked and sometimes inappropriately handled and stored.

Moreover, if you bought fresh seafood or shrimp and you are worried about their quality do not consume them. However, when you buy fresh products try to store them directly in the fridge once you get home and avoid keeping them away at room temperature for more than two hours.

The previously stated reasons should be taken into consideration because bacterial growth within the seafood, especially Listeria, can lead to food poisoning which can be detrimental for the mother and the baby similarly.

Furthermore, if the pregnant woman has an allergy to shellfish, surely, she should avoid eating shrimp. However, try to consume a little amount of shrimp at a time in case you didn’t have any sign of allergy previously. The symptoms of allergy are itching, abdominal pain, and rashes.

Besides, if the mother suffers from high blood cholesterol levels before and during pregnancy it is better to avoid high quantities of shrimp consumption. So, try to consume shrimp and seafood in moderation because they are high in cholesterol.

What are the benefits of eating prawns during pregnancy?

Prawns are a very beneficial food because they are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients advantageous for the mother’s health and baby’s development. Also, shrimp are delicious and can be added to different dishes.

First, shrimp are a good source of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, iodine, copper, phosphorus, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

These vitamins and minerals are important for the baby’s healthy growth. Particularly, iodine and fatty acids are crucial for the baby’s brain growth.

Moreover, prawns are rich in selenium, which is a mineral and antioxidants at the same time. Additionally, it is high in astaxanthin which is an anti-aging and anti-inflammatory agent. Both of them help in fighting cancer and preventing body cells from being damaged by free radicals.

Furthermore, shrimp are a good source of high biological value proteins. This means that the proteins in the prawns are easily digested and absorbed by the mother’s digestive system. These proteins will give the mother more satiety while regulating her post-prandial blood glucose.

Along with being high in proteins and a good source of omega-3, shrimp are low in calories. So, consuming them will not make you fat unless they are consumed in large quantities which are not advised to be done especially during pregnancy.


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


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.