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    Chicken During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Safe and Nutritious Eating

    Diet & Nutrition

    Chicken During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Safe and Nutritious Eating

    Updated on 6 March 2024

    Pregnancy is a time when a woman's nutrition becomes even more crucial, as it directly impacts the health and development of the baby. A well-balanced diet is essential to provide the necessary nutrients for both the mother and the growing fetus. One popular food choice is chicken during pregnancy, as it is a lean source of protein and offers various other health benefits.

    In this article, we will explore the safety and nutritional aspects of consuming chicken in pregnancy, including important precautions to take and alternative protein sources to consider.

    Is Chicken Good for Pregnancy?

    With so many food restrictions and myths, it’s common for pregnant women to wonder can I eat chicken during pregnancy. Chicken is indeed a good food choice during pregnancy due to its numerous nutritional benefits.

    It is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for the growth and development of the baby's muscles, tissues, and organs. Protein also plays a vital role in the production of hormones and enzymes that support the overall health of both the mother and the baby.

    You may also like: Prawns During Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Safety, Benefits and Risks

    What About Consuming Chicken Liver During Pregnancy?

    While chicken liver is a great source of iron, it is important to consume it in moderation during pregnancy. Although iron is essential for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia, excessive intake of liver can lead to an overload of vitamin A. High levels of vitamin A can be harmful to the baby's development and may increase the risk of birth defects. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the consumption of chicken liver to once or twice a week and ensure that it is cooked thoroughly to reduce any potential risks.

    What are the Benefits of Chicken During Pregnancy?

    Here are some benefits of chicken for pregnant women:

    1. High-Quality Protein

    As mentioned earlier, chicken is a rich source of high-quality protein, which is essential for the baby's growth and development.

    2. Vitamins and Minerals

    Chicken is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that support the overall health of both the mother and the baby, such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

    3. Low in Fat

    Chicken is a lean protein option, meaning it is low in fat. This makes it a healthy choice for pregnant women who want to maintain a balanced diet and avoid excessive weight gain.

    4. Boosts Immune System

    The nutrients found in chicken, such as zinc, help strengthen the immune system, protecting both the mother and the baby from infections and illnesses.

    5. Promotes Healthy Baby Development

    The combination of protein, vitamins, and minerals in chicken contributes to the healthy development of the baby's muscles, tissues, and organs.

    You may also like: Fish in Pregnancy: Benefits & Risks

    Precautions to Follow While Consuming Chicken in Pregnancy

    Here are some tips for pregnant women to keep in mind while consuming chicken:

    1. Safe Handling and Cooking

    Pregnant women should always practice safe handling of raw chicken, such as washing hands thoroughly after handling it and ensuring it is cooked to the appropriate internal temperature to prevent foodborne illnesses.

    2. Avoid Uncooked or Undercooked Chicken

    Raw or undercooked chicken can contain harmful bacteria like salmonella. It is crucial to cook chicken thoroughly until there is no pink meat and the juices run clear.

    3. Refrigeration and Storage

    Properly store chicken in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth. Consume it before the expiration date and avoid consuming leftover chicken that has been stored for too long.

    4. Balanced Diet

    While chicken is a nutritious choice, it is important to maintain a balanced diet by incorporating a variety of other foods to ensure a wide range of nutrients for both the mother and the baby.

    5 Alternative Sources of Protein in Pregnancy

    Although chicken is a popular choice for protein during pregnancy, there are other alternative sources that can be included in a well-rounded diet. These alternatives provide a variety of nutrients and can be beneficial for those who prefer vegetarian or vegan options. Here are five alternative sources of protein to consider:

    1. Beans and Legumes

    Options like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

    2. Tofu and Tempeh

    These soy-based products are rich in protein and can be used as substitutes for meat in various dishes.

    3. Quinoa

    Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber and other beneficial nutrients.

    4. Greek Yogurt

    Greek yogurt is packed with protein, calcium, and probiotics, making it a healthy option for pregnant women.

    5. Nuts and Seeds

    Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are all great sources of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.

    You may also like: Guide: Following A Vegetarian Diet During Your Third Trimester Of Pregnancy


    1. Can I Eat Chicken in Early Pregnancy?

    Yes, it is safe to eat chicken during early pregnancy. In fact, eating chicken during pregnancy first trimester can provide essential nutrients that support the baby's development during this crucial stage. Just ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly and handled properly to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

    2. Can I Eat KFC Chicken During Pregnancy?

    While occasional indulgence in KFC chicken during pregnancy may not cause harm, it is important to keep in mind that fast-food fried chicken tends to be high in unhealthy fats and sodium. It is advisable to opt for healthier cooking methods and homemade chicken dishes that are cooked with minimal oil.

    3. Is It Okay to Have Chicken Soup in Pregnancy?

    Chicken soup can be a healthy and comforting choice during pregnancy, especially when made with lean chicken and a variety of vegetables. It provides hydration, essential nutrients, and can help alleviate common pregnancy discomforts like a sore throat or congestion.

    4. Can I Consume Chicken Liver During Pregnancy?

    As mentioned earlier, chicken liver can be consumed in moderation during pregnancy. It is a good source of iron but should be limited to once or twice a week to avoid excessive intake of vitamin A, which can be harmful to the baby's development.

    You may also like: Top 10 food items and beverages that one must completely avoid during pregnancy

    The Bottomline

    Chicken during pregnancy can be a safe and nutritious choice due to its high-quality protein and various vitamins and minerals. However, it is essential to follow the necessary precautions in handling, cooking, and storage to avoid any foodborne illnesses. It is also important to maintain a balanced diet by incorporating a variety of other protein sources, especially for those who prefer vegetarian or vegan options.


    1. Hibbeln JR, SanGiovanni JP, Golding J, Emmett PM, Northstone K, (2017). Meat Consumption During Pregnancy and Substance Misuse Among Adolescent Offspring: Stratification of TCN2 Genetic Variants. Alcohol Clin Exp Res.

    2. Taylor M, Galanis E. (2010). Food safety during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician.


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

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    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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