Is eating shrimp while pregnant safe? Yes, you absolutely can. The main seafood which pregnant women should definitely avoid are the larger, less tasty ones, like shark, tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish.
But what about eating shrimp while pregnant? Shrimp is actually safe to consume during pregnancy. It’s a nourishing food which your growing baby will really benefit from. However, there are also certain precautions that you need to take when you consume it while you are pregnant.
If you are already being exposed to large amounts of Mercury or other contaminants, then you may be at risk for developing neural defects in your child. Although not all women in their pregnant stages are bound to experience this, one in eight pregnant women is known to be exposed to large amounts of mercury in the environment, such as industrial dumping of mercury into water supplies. So, how do you know if your pregnant condition is caused by Mercury or other pollutants? One way of determining this is by looking at your placenta. If there are low levels of “cyanuric acid”, which is mercury related, then it means that you may have been exposed to mercury in the environment.
Pregnant mothers should also avoid foods that contain estrogens, particularly those rich in phytoestrogens, as these are linked with an increased risk of low birth weight in babies. Phytoestrogens are found in plants and seeds, but most seafood is cooked and consumed unprocessed. The highest concentration is found in shrimp, which is served in many American restaurants. Other foods that contain high levels of phytoestrogens include cabbage, soybeans and potatoes.
Pregnant mothers are advised to avoid eating hot dogs while pregnant. Why? Shrimp, beef or chicken contain a large amount of fat, so they are more susceptible to heat during preparation. This may lead to premature birth and low birth weight in babies. So, what’s a woman to do? Although eating hot dogs during pregnancy may be considered acceptable, eating them at a very high temperature, as in microwavable style, is not.
When eating raw fish, especially while pregnant, it is important for the mother to keep her mouth well clear of any saliva, as some raw fish are contaminated with small quantities of bacterial infections, such as e-coli. It is also very important for mothers to avoid eating too much raw fish. In general, though, it is safe to eat as much fish as one can handle safely. For example, pregnant women can eat small amounts of tuna, sardines, salmon and mackerel, because these are considered healthy, although they are not a good choice during pregnancy. So, eat wisely and stay healthy!