Crab During Pregnancy – Is It Safe To Eat?

6 min read

Written by Pradeep


crab during pregnancy
Guaranteeing ideal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the best blessings you can give your child. Doctors warn the expecting mother about the possible dangers of certain foods. Are you a seafood lover? Have you quit eating crab during pregnancy because somebody told you eating crab during pregnancy can be bad for your baby? Are you confused and looking for a definite answer? Then read on and take in about how eating crab can influence your pregnancy.

There are several factors that you must consider before consuming your favorite exotic dish in the course of pregnancy. Crabs fall into the fish and shellfish class of foods, so you want to pay special attention to FDA warnings. Likewise, with anything you eat or drink while pregnant, you must always take your doctor’s advice. For example, never have crab before consulting a doctor if your cholesterol level is not under the control.

In This Article

Is it Safe to Eat Crab During Pregnancy?

The biggest issue with eating seafood while pregnant is the risk posed by natural pollutants, such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins and mercury, which may be present in them. Nevertheless, crab belongs to the lowest category when it comes to contamination and can be beneficial to crab during pregnancy.
Crabs are safe to eat during pregnancy only after satisfying the following conditions.

  • The crab should be well cooked.
  • Only moderate consumption is encouraged.
  • You have taken your doctor’s go Ahead on eating crabs.
  • You trust the source of the crab.

5 Considerations When Eating Crab During Pregnancy

All pregnancies are precious. While crabs are beneficial and may not cause significant issues in pregnancy, certain pointers should be kept in mind.

1. Try to Eat King Crab

In the course of pregnancy, intake of king crab is the most secure choice for crab craving. Other popular crab varieties like Snow crab, Blue crab, and Dungeness crab can have higher mercury content and may not be as safe as king crab.

2. Get an Opinion From Local Advisers

Water contamination and pesticide levels vary from one place to another. Always check with the local health department or local fish advisers to ensure that the crab is safe, especially if the crab is a self-caught one.

3. Big NO-NO to Pre-Cooked or Raw Crab Meat Dishes

Precooked and raw shellfish like a crab may contain dangerous parasites and microorganisms and cause food poisoning. Not only does it cause health issues for the expecting mother, but it can also affect the development of the child. While the Japanese are well known for taking their seafood raw, it is not safe when you are pregnant. Therefore, dishes like sushi and sashimi are out of the question during pregnancy.

4. Never Eat Under-Cooked Crab

Under-cooked crab can be as hazardous as raw crab. Most of the dangerous parasites and microorganisms are destroyed during the cooking procedure. So ensure your crab dish is piping hot.

5. Never Use Frozen Crab Meat

It is better not to use frozen crab meat for preparing dishes. As per CSU’s proposal, a sealed can or pouch type of crab meat is better for expecting mothers.

6 Health Benefits of Eating Crab During Pregnancy

health benefits of crab during pregnancy

If all the conditions mentioned above are met, and after your doctor gives you the green signal, you can go ahead satisfying your craving for crab. Here are some advantages of eating crab during pregnancy:

1. Promotes the General Development of the Fetus

Crabs are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and protein. By eating crabs, expecting mothers promote the overall development of the baby.

2. Boosts Immunity of Expecting Mother

Antioxidants and amino acids present in crab meat help increase the energy level and immunity of the expecting mother.

3. Helps in Fighting Anemia

Crabs are rich in iron. Eating crab during pregnancy guarantees iron intake for expecting moms and keeps pregnancy anemia at bay. Iron also ensures a healthy hemoglobin count for the baby after birth.

4. Crabs are Rich in Calcium

Eating crabs can promote the teeth and bone development of the unborn baby.

5. Crabs are Low in Calories

Crabmeat is low in calories. Therefore, you can eat without worrying about gaining weight.

6. Crabs are Low in Cholesterol

Expecting mothers may worry about increasing cholesterol levels when they eat crab meat. However, if your cholesterol levels are low, you needn’t worry and can safely eat crab.

[Read : Eating Jackfruit During Pregnancy]

Crabs usually are low in mercury content. However, that does not mean you can have them without limit during pregnancy. 6 Ounces of king crab twice a week is the recommended portion for an expecting mother. Snow crab, blue crab, and Dungeness crab can have higher mercury content, and you can only have them less than 6-ounce every month.

You can even skip them totally to be on the safe side. All pregnancies are exceptional. What might be right for somebody may not be beneficial for you. Only your doctor will be able to give you the best suggestion, as he/ she is familiar with your health history.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Snow Crab Legs?

snow crab legs

Snow crab legs contain fat that is enough for your body’s daily needs. But, they are also high in sodium, and excess consumption may not be safe for the pregnant mother.

When consuming, ensure that you cook crab legs properly with healthy toppings. You can cook them by boiling, steaming, barbeque or frying. Never eat half-cooked or raw legs. Ensure that you do not exceed the RDA also.

Risks and Considerations

When you get pregnant, you should not eat raw or half-cooked crab and should cook it properly. Consumption of raw seafood and shellfish can cause food poisoning in pregnant women due to the presence of Vibrio vulnificus Salmonella in it. Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain and require immediate medical attention.

Safe food handling and preparation is an important thing when eating seafood like crab, fish, or any raw meat. Following are some risks and considerations while including crab in the pregnancy diet.

  • Cook the crab meat properly and employ the right methods of cooking.
  • Always store live crabs in well-ventilated containers only and fresh crab in a refrigerator at temperatures less than 40°F or well-packed in ice. Storage boxes should be airtight.
  • When cooking raw crab, use separate cutting boards, plates, and also other utensils for raw and cooked and keep everything separate.
  • Exposure to mercury can be toxic to a fetus and lead to neurological problems and congenital abnormalities in the fetus. As a result, avoiding high-mercury crabs is necessary for keeping the fetus healthy and safe.

It is safe to eat crabs during pregnancy if you pick the right variety of crabs, such as king crabs. Ensure the right source and the right cooking methods to enjoy the full nutritional benefits and avoid the risk of food poisoning. Avoid crabs contaminated with mercury as they can harm the baby growing within you. Always consult your doctor, dietitian, or gynecologist before adding crab to your diet during pregnancy.

[Read : Is It Safe To Eat Tofu During Pregnancy?]


1. Can I Drink Crab Soup Regularly When am Pregnant?

When cooked well, crab soup can be safe. When pregnant, you may crave for something warm and soothing. Soups can help hydrate you too.

2. Can Eating Crabs During Pregnancy Lead to Food Poisoning?

If you are a regular crab eater, your body will be used to it. Crabs have to be cooked properly. If the crab is not cleaned and cooked properly, it can cause food poisoning.

3. Can Crabs Give Any Sea Food Allergy?

If you are not used to regular consumption of seafood it might. Many pregnant women develop different allergies when pregnant. Seafood is a high-risk category.

4. How Frequently Can I Eat Crab When Pregnant?

You need moderate your intake when pregnant. Do not eat more than 12 ounces of seafood in a week. Your doctor can advise better about the quantity.

Read Also: Pregnancy And Eating Fish


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