Posted by RS B on 25th December 2012

Can A Pregnant Woman Eat Crab? What Precautions Should Be Taken

The consumption of crab meat during pregnancy remains a controversial topic. Since this meat contains a high amount of Omega 3 acids and Vitamin B, it is a fairly healthy source of nutrition for women during pregnancy. However, most varieties of seafood, including crab, contain some amount of mercury, which is why pregnant women are apprehensive about including them in their diet. Read on to find out if crab meat is safe during pregnancy or not.

According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), crab is a safe and healthy sea food for pregnant women, as long as it is consumed in moderation.

This is because the protein and folate content present in crab meat is good for the baby’s overall growth and development. This meat contains natural antioxidants and amino acids, which improve immunity and boost energy levels in moms-to-be. You could also make sure that you get your required intake of iron, by adding crab meat to your pregnancy diet.

Precautions To Take Before Eating Crabs In Pregnancy

However, there are a few things to keep in mind, before you eat crab during pregnancy. Like all other varieties of seafood crab also contains mercury and high levels of mercury in a pregnant woman’s diet could be very dangerous for the baby’s brain and nervous system development. Therefore, you need to limit your consumption of crab to no more than 12 ounces of King Crab per week. However, certain varieties of crab contain higher levels of mercury, so in case you are adding Snow Crab, Dungeness Crab and Blue Crab, make sure that you consume no more than 6 ounces per month.

Also bear in mind that during pregnancy, your immune system is working overtime, which is why your body is more susceptible to infections than before. Raw meat contains a higher amount of bacteria, which could cause problems during pregnancy.

Therefore, do make sure that the meat you eat has been cooked thoroughly and is still hot, when it is served. Avoid eating crab meat that is raw or has been refrigerated. If the meat has been allowed to cool before you eat it, it has been exposed to bacteria again and can cause infections. The Colorado State University (CSU) also advises pregnant women to eat crab meat that is sold in a sealed pouch or can.

During pregnancy, the best thing to do is ensure that all types of shellfish you eat have been properly frozen or cooked, preferably at home. This way you can follow the required hygiene and safety guidelines while cooking.

When it comes to pregnancy diet and nutrition, every woman is different; while some women are allowed to eat certain foods, others may be asked to avoid the same items. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you check with your doctor before adding crab meat or any other food item to your daily diet.

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