Can pregnant women eat shrimp | Is It safe for mom & baby?

can pregnant women eat shrimpCan pregnant women eat shrimp? Let’s be clear. Eating during pregnancy is always a subject full of contradictions. There are gynecologists who support some foods and not others. In addition, every gynecologist, in addition to his or her medical knowledge of the subject that he or she strictly respects, has his or her own idea about it. Can pregnant women eat shrimp , you just have to observe a strict rule: shrimp in pregnancy must be cooked very well. Don’t joke with this detail, because you could become infected with dangerous viruses, both for yourself and for your child. Eating during pregnancy should be carefully controlled. In addition to raw shrimps, you should also avoid raw meat foods, as well as soft cheeses or sausages (e.g. raw ham).Shrimps are mature crustaceans, so they have a long, distended abdomen with a fan-shaped tail fin; in fact, the term “shrimp” is extremely generic as it covers a wide range of species belonging to different Genus, Family, Subfamily and Suborders. Shrimp It is therefore deductible that for “shrimps” are meant many animals sometimes with different sizes and colors.

Can pregnant women eat shrimp and fish: are they allowed when you “wait”?

The period of pregnancy is one of the most magical and intense for a woman. Your whole body changes, and month after month you realize how different your life will be from the day of the happy event. There are many concerns and sometimes there are even more than those that should be revealed. The gynecologist becomes your best friend, your husband or your partner, your support. Another aspect that many future mothers tend to underestimate is the diet in sweet expectation. Especially if you belong to one of those Women who loves Healthy food (vegetables, fish and meat), there are doubts that must be removed immediately.

Fish, meat and vegetables can be eaten but always and strictly cooked. When it comes to fish, in particular, the difficulty increases. Not only is it a difficult dish to cook but it is also complex to assess the energy value depending on the dish in question. Basically, blue fish is always better than white fish.  Today, however, we are talking about mollusc. Especially if can pregnant women eat shrimp. They are allowed? Yes, but very carefully. In particular, crustaceans, however good they may be, must have certain origins and it is already normally not advisable to eat them raw. During pregnancy, it is strictly forbidden. In any case, to sum up. Crustaceans that are not allowed during pregnancy are:


The only shellfish, which at least in theory, can be eaten during pregnancy without problems are sea urchins. Apparently, sea urchins do not survive in polluted waters. However, caution is never too much, so postponing for a few months can only preserve your health and that of your child.

Nutritional properties

Shellfish in general have high nutritional properties, are antioxidants, have purifying and laxative properties. Taking an adequate quantity of crustaceans per week can do very well. But remember to not overdo it. Above all, you must always check the origin, perhaps avoiding eating them raw. During pregnancy, any raw food is absolutely to be avoided, shrimps are one of those crustaceans allowed, but only if cooked in an impeccable way. As the latter are rich in cholesterol, they must be eaten very sparingly during gestation. It must be considered that when you are pregnant, the value of cholesterol increases, so you should not exaggerate.


Fish-based diet, as well as the meat-based one, is conceivable but always with attention to the quantities as well as to the origin. The most explicit benefits of eat shrimps when pregnant, can be classified as:

Low calorie value;
Rich in iron;
Rich in Omega3:
High protein value.

The crustacean pulp, for example, is composed of 80% water, 20% protein, mineral salts and very low quality polyunsaturated fats, as noted by Omega 3. If yours, is a careful eye to the caloric aspect, it will be useful to know that the most caloric fish is the white one. The less caloric fish is the blue one. From a nutritional point of view, it is much better to include fish rich in omega-3 in your daily diet. As for the quantity, for a woman who is not pregnant, it would be advisable to eat it 3 or 4 times a week. Otherwise, for a pregnant woman it is better to compensate very carefully for the amount of fish per week. During pregnancy period is good to avoid mussels and clams. What is important to know ,when we come across to the question “can pregnant women eat shrimp” is the quality of the water in which the shrimp were caught. It should be borne in mind that all mollusc are filter organisms, so they absorb large quantities of heavy metals much more easily.


Shellfish in general represent a category of fish, to which more attention must be paid. They are defined as “sea sweepers” and this makes us understand how dangerous they can become, as foods to be introduced into our daily diet, if not properly cooked or slaughtered respecting the famous cold chain. As a new mother, your concern, even before the child is born, is to preserve her health. You are carrying another human being whose body is not yet fully formed. Any mistake regarding food can become fatal for you and your baby. Shrimps, if not carefully cooked, can cause these consequences:

Gastrointestinal diseases;
Listeriosis, in the last trimester of pregnancy;
Hepatitis A;

Always be careful when you go to buy fish, ask the origin and cook it very well. If possible, during pregnancy, reduce the amount of crustaceans to a minimum.

can pregnant women eat shrimp

How to cook the shrimps during pregnancy period

Based on the assumption that it is not shrimp itself to hurt pregnant women, but the way in which they were raised and thus the possible bacteria they took, you can cook them in many ways. Clearly, the rules of women in regard to pregnancy food are clear:

Little salt;
Little sugar;
No spicy;

No heavy and elaborate condiments; Right amount based on the weight of the woman. The famous saying “I must eat for two” is very questionable. It is not absolutely certain that you have to increase the amount of food to satisfy the child. What is certain is that you have to eat well, 5 times a day (fruit and protein based snacks) and with measured quantities. Any nutritionist will explain that a pregnant woman should never give up a first course of rice, pasta or cereals. Just from carbohydrates like pasta, comes most of the energy that a mother needs every day. A curiosity about fish in pregnancy, is related to a research by the University of National Health Institute , which specified that the fatty acids Omega 3, contained in fish, would be good for the intellectual development of the child. In addition, they would be able to decrease post partum depression in the new mother. In conclusion, the best advice you can give a expectant mother is to listen carefully to the advice of the gynecologist and nutritionist. Clearly, the first advice is to enjoy this wonderful period.

Now let’s see some very tasty recipes , which you can prepare.

Paccheri with shrimps

Ingredients: 400 g of fresh shrimps – 280 g of paccheri – 1 onion – thyme – 150 g of dry white wine – salt – extra virgin olive oil – tomato paste – fresh cream

Time: 60′


Shell the shrimps and cut the tails into chunks. Collect the heads in a saucepan with the wine, 300 g of water, thyme and salt. Squeeze the heads and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, then filter with a strainer.
Brown the finely chopped onion in a spoonful of oil, add the shrimps, a spoonful of tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes, lengthening and using a spoonful of cream. Combine the boiled paccheri , stir-fry for 2 minutes over a high heat and serve.

Steamed hake

Ingredients: 600 g of hake fillet – 2 leeks – 2 carrots – butter – salt – pepper – 4 tablespoons of bechamel – fresh cream

Time: 30′


Clean and wash the leeks, separate the sheaths and place them on the bottom of the steam cooking basket. Place the hake on the leeks and cook for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut them into fillets with a grater with wide holes. In a pan with a non-stick bottom, heat a knob of butter, add the carrots and cook gently adding a pinch of salt.
Serve the hake on the sheaths of the leeks, place the carrots on top, decorate with the béchamel sauce diluted with a tablespoon of cream and season with a pinch of pepper.

Peppers in a pan with anchovies


750 g of mixed red, green and yellow peppers – 2 anchovies in oil – garlic – extra virgin olive oil – salt – 20 g of toasted pine nuts – basil – a tablespoon of parsley.

Time: 25′


Clean the peppers, removing seeds and internal membranes. Wash them and cut them into strips. In a saucepan, heat 3 or 4 spoons of oil.
Season with a clove of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed. Add the anchovies, carefully de-boned, drained from the preserving oil and finely chopped (they must melt). Finally add the peppers, cover the casserole, lower the heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Discover, remove the garlic clove, add the pine nuts, the parsley, the chopped basil and let it season.
Serve hot or cold.

Anchovy and peppers crusts


8 fresh anchovies – 4 red peppers – 2 breads like French sticks – extra virgin olive oil – salt – pepper


Wash the peppers, cut them into layers and empty them of seeds and skin, then scald them directly on the fire on the side of the peel, so you can easily remove it, peel them and keep them aside. Clean the anchovies by opening them under the head and extracting the entrails (if you want you can leave the head attached, but it is more convenient to remove it directly), then roast them in a pan, in a veil of hot oil, salt and pepper slightly. Divide the two bread in half and then open them for the long, so as to obtain 8 croutons (two each). Arrange a bed of peppers on each one and spread an anchovies on top of it. Bake for a few minutes (the time to heat the bread) and serve the croutons with another drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil.