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    Prawns During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Safety, Benefits and Risks

    Diet & Nutrition

    Prawns During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Safety, Benefits and Risks

    Updated on 3 November 2023

    Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also comes with its fair share of concerns, especially when it comes to your diet. One common question that many expectant mothers have is whether it is safe to consume prawns during pregnancy. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the safety, benefits, and risks of including prawns in your diet while expecting.

    Can pregnant women eat prawns?

    Pregnancy is a crucial time for a woman, and she needs to be extra cautious about her diet. One common question that pregnant women often ask is can I eat prawns during pregnancy. Prawns are a popular seafood choice, known for their delicious taste and high nutritional value. However, when it comes to pregnancy, certain precautions need to be taken.

    Pregnant women can eat prawns as long as they are cooked thoroughly. Raw prawns should be avoided due to the risk of food poisoning. Other cooked shellfish like mussels, lobster, and crab are also safe to eat during pregnancy. However, it is generally recommended to limit seafood consumption during pregnancy due to water pollution and the risk of food-borne infections.

    Seafood, including prawns, may contain high levels of mercury, which can affect the baby's nervous system development. It is always best to consult with a doctor before including prawns in the diet during pregnancy.

    Nutritional value of prawns

    Let us now understand the nutritional contents of prawns:

    • Prawns are a rich source of vitamins B12 and folate and trace minerals such as iodine, zinc, and selenium.

    • They are also a great source of Vitamins B-6, B-12, and Niacin which help the body produce energy, build muscle, and replenish red blood cells.

    • Prawns contain astaxanthin, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

    • However, prawns contain cholesterol and may have high sodium levels, so those on low-salt diets should limit their intake.

    What are the benefits of prawns during pregnancy?

    Consuming prawns in pregnancy can have several benefits. Here are seven reasons why including prawns in your pregnancy diet can be advantageous:

    1. Rich in protein

    Prawns are a great source of high-quality protein, which is essential for the development of the baby's muscles, tissues, and organs.

    2. Promotes brain development

    The omega-3 fatty acids present in prawns are crucial for the baby's brain development. These fatty acids aid in the formation of the baby's nervous system and can contribute to better cognitive function.

    3. Boosts iron levels

    Iron deficiency is common during pregnancy and can lead to complications like anemia. Prawns are a good source of iron, which helps in preventing anemia and maintaining healthy blood production.

    4. Supports immune system

    Prawns contain zinc, a mineral that plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. A strong immune system is essential during pregnancy to protect both the mother and the baby from harmful infections.

    5. Enhances fetal growth

    The rich nutrient profile of prawns promotes healthy fetal growth and development. The vitamins and minerals present in prawns contribute to the overall well-being of the baby.

    6. Improves heart health

    Prawns are low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease in pregnant women.

    7. Provides energy

    Pregnancy can be exhausting, and prawns can provide an energy boost due to their high protein content.

    You may also like: Is eating fish safe during pregnancy?

    What are the risks of consuming prawns during pregnancy?

    While prawns offer numerous benefits, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with their consumption during pregnancy. Here are five risks you should consider:

    1. Mercury content

    Prawns can contain mercury, a heavy metal that can be harmful to the developing baby's nervous system. It is crucial to consume prawns in moderation and choose prawns that are low in mercury.

    2. Allergic reactions

    Some individuals may be allergic to shellfish, including prawns. If you have a known allergy to shellfish, it is advisable to avoid consuming prawns to prevent any adverse reactions.

    3. Foodborne illnesses

    Consuming raw or undercooked prawns can increase the risk of foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella or listeria. These infections can be dangerous during pregnancy and may lead to complications.

    4. High cholesterol levels

    Prawns are relatively high in cholesterol compared to other seafood options. Pregnant women with high cholesterol levels or a history of heart disease should consume prawns in moderation.

    5. Contamination

    Prawns can sometimes be contaminated with bacteria or pollutants from their environment. It is essential to ensure that the prawns you consume are fresh, properly cleaned, and sourced from reputable suppliers.

    You may also like: Is it safe to eat crab during pregnancy?

    Precautions to follow while eating prawns in pregnancy

    To safely enjoy the benefits of prawns during pregnancy, it is crucial to follow certain precautions. Here are five precautions you should consider:

    1. Cook prawns thoroughly

    To eliminate the risk of foodborne illnesses, ensure that prawns are cooked thoroughly, reaching an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C). Avoid consuming raw or undercooked prawns.

    2. Choose low-mercury options

    Opt for prawns that are known to be low in mercury. Shrimp, for example, is generally considered safe during pregnancy due to its low mercury content.

    3. Be aware of allergies

    If you have a known allergy to shellfish, it is best to avoid consuming prawns altogether. Allergic reactions can be severe and pose a risk to both the mother and the baby.

    4. Source prawns from reputable suppliers

    Ensure that the prawns you purchase are fresh and sourced from reputable suppliers. This reduces the risk of contamination and ensures the prawns are of high quality.

    5. Balance your diet

    While prawns offer nutritional benefits, it is essential to have a balanced diet during pregnancy. Include a variety of foods to ensure you are getting all the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

    Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, prawns can be a safe and nutritious addition to a pregnant woman's diet if consumed with caution and following the necessary precautions. The high protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients make prawns beneficial for both the mother and the baby's health. However, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming prawns during pregnancy and follow the recommended precautions.


    1. Guldner L, Monfort C, Rouget F, Garlantezec R, Cordier S. (2007). Maternal fish and shellfish intake and pregnancy outcomes: a prospective cohort study in Brittany, France. Environ Health.

    2. Hibbeln JR, Spiller P; et al. (2019). Relationships between seafood consumption during pregnancy and childhood and neurocognitive development: Two systematic reviews. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids


    Prawns During Pregnancy in Hindi, Prawns During Pregnancy in Bengali, Prawns During Pregnancy in Tamil, Prawns During Pregnancy in Telugu

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    Written by

    Mittali Khurana

    Mittali is a content writer by profession. She is a dynamic writer with 04+ years of experience in content writing for E-commerce, Parenting App & Websites, SEO.

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