Most of the meals you liked before becoming pregnant can still be consumed while you are pregnant, with a few exceptions.

But seafood is one food group that frequently leads to confusion.

Many people assume that all seafood is harmful to eat while pregnant because of worries about mercury and the effects it can have on your developing baby.

However, when prepared properly, consuming fish and seafood that are low in mercury has significant advantages during pregnancy.

Here’s what you need to know about using crawfish, your favorite seafood, in your balanced pregnancy diet.

Read on to discover more.



✅ Thankfully, you don’t have to avoid eating crawfish when you’re pregnant.

But before you eat it, you must make sure it has been cooked all the way through.

And ideally, you ought to give preference to shellfish that is caught domestically so that you may be sure they contain less mercury.


When eating crawfish while pregnant

If you enjoy eating crawfish, you may relax knowing that you don’t have to avoid it while pregnant. Crawfish are totally safe to consume after being thoroughly cooked.

With only an average of 0.033 parts per million (ppm) of mercury, crawfish are thought to be low in mercury compared to other seafood. According to the Food and Drug Administration, seafood with a mercury content of 0.1 parts per million or less is regarded to be “low” mercury (FDA).

Therefore, you can eat this shellfish at any time during your pregnancy as long as it is cooked properly. The only restriction will be whether or not you have morning sickness (or have a craving for something else instead).


When crawfish isn’t safe to eat while pregnant

Although crawfish is thought to be safe to eat while pregnant, it needs to be prepared properly. Accidentally consuming seafood that is undercooked is the biggest worry. Thankfully, crawfish is not a type of shellfish that is frequently consumed uncooked. However, if it’s undercooked, you run the danger of exposing yourself and your child to bacteria, viruses, or even parasite disorders.

Additionally, since the mercury content in imported crawfish is unclear, you should stay away from them.


Cooking crawfish properly at home

You should adhere to common food safety recommendations provided by the United States Department of Agriculture when handling and preparing crawfish (USDA). This entails using distinct cutting boards and tools while cooking raw crawfish to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.

Or, to minimize the danger of contamination, thoroughly wash and sterilize all equipment and food preparation surfaces that may come into touch with the raw fish.

Likewise, after handling raw crawfish, make sure to properly wash your hands, utensils, surfaces, and any appliances you used.

Keep in mind that since their bodies are now supporting two people, pregnant women have weakened immune systems. Bacterial infections can therefore be troublesome and dangerous to your unborn child even if they may be less severe when you aren’t pregnant.

Make sure the crawfish has warmed up to 165°F (74°C) inside. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure that the right temperatures have been reached for your yummy dishes for the best outcomes.


Advantages of crawfish for expectant mothers

Knowing that crawfish is a nutrient-rich dish will make you pleased if you have a hankering for it while pregnant. In particular, crawfish is regarded as a lean protein that is low in fat and saturated fats. Shellfish is a fantastic way to obtain:

  • iron
  • selenium
  • copper
  • niacin
  • trace levels of vitamins A and C

Consider the following factors

Even if crawfish is considered “OK to eat,” that doesn’t imply you should go crazy and eat it nonstop. Of course, pregnancy isn’t the time to test to see if you’ve overcome a shellfish allergy if you already know you have one. Then again:


Remember the 12-ounce limit

Although it contains little mercury, pregnant women are recommended to limit their weekly seafood intake to no more than 12 ounces. This often equates to two to three seafood servings each week. Since crawfish are smaller than other crustaceans like lobster and crab, you might consume more of them while still adhering to the suggested dietary limits.

For instance, grocery store ready-peeled crawfish typically come in 12-ounce or 1-pound containers. In contrast, entire crawfish from a crawfish boil provide less flesh when the shell is removed and would weigh 6 to 7 pounds to meet the recommended 12-ounce serving size.


Origins of crawfish

We have explicitly referred to specifications and measurements for crawfish obtained from American sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both closely oversee the crawfish industry, which is one of the largest producers in the world. Because of this, the FDA can declare with confidence that crawfish are mercury-free.

However, there are fewer regulations on imported crawfish, and their mercury content is frequently described as uncertain. Therefore, it is recommended to stay with crawfish that are sourced domestically for the protection of both you and your kid.


Wild versus cultivated

You should be able to guarantee that the seafood is low in mercury as long as you choose crawfish that was raised or harvested in the United States. Nevertheless, if you’re crawfishing on your own, that might not be given. To ensure that the water you’re fishing in is clean and free of toxins, you should look for marine warnings.

Indications that the crawfish you ate was dangerous

You should watch out for certain symptoms if you suspect that you may have consumed contaminated crawfish. The potential of food contamination is the biggest worry. The following signs and symptoms may manifest one hour to 28 days after eating tainted food:

  • Constipation
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • fever
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • weakness

If you suspect you may have food poisoning, seek medical attention right away because your immune system is compromised during pregnancy.


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