Octopus During Pregnancy – Is It Safe, Top Benefits and Precautions

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Octopus during pregnancy

Octopus is popular seafood that can help your body in various ways. It is considered a nutritious and high-protein food. But, it is obvious to have doubts about eating kinds of seafood when pregnant. In the same way, you may also think if eating octopus during pregnancy.

The period of pregnancy is very sensitive. Thus, it is significant to control and monitor the diet and nutrition being an expecting mother. Although octopus has many health benefits, it is important to be vigilant about your food when pregnant. Let us dive in to know more about this. 

In This Article

Is it Safe to Have Octopus During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women can have octopus but only if it is fully cooked before it is served. It is safe to eat it even cold if it is cooked and stored properly.

Octopus is not recommended to eat raw but only when it is properly cooked with other food as a dish like seafood stew or Paella. It should be avoided to eat when it is undercooked.

Benefits of Eating Octopus During Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding food bowl

The biology of the octopus is unique and it is known as the chameleon of the sea because of its feature to change shape and color.

The potential benefit of having octopus is that it contains some essential nutrients that your diet often lacks.

  • Octopus is beneficial for health as it is a good source of Iron, Omega-3, Selenium, and Copper.
  • Selenium is responsible for maintaining the metabolism of the mother.
  • It is rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. According to research, these minerals lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Octopus contains high vitamin B-12(Cobalamin) which is an important nutrient in pregnancy.
  • Having Octopus can lower the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat.
  • It can help to reduce chronic illnesses including heart diseases.
  • Two types of omega 3 found in Octopus can treat depression and other mood disorders.

Octopus provides a good source of protein as well as several nutrients such as vitamin B12 and iron. These nutrients help in the proper cognitive development of your baby, generate healthy cells, and prevent neural tube defects in babies like spina bifida, etc.

[read : Copper During Pregnancy]

Disadvantages of Having Octopus During Pregnancy

seafood in a plate

Octopus is rich in nutrients but consuming it too much can harm the mother’s body during pregnancy.

Here are some disadvantages of having octopus for pregnant women

  • There is a risk of mercury poisoning.
  • Be sure to buy it from reputed centers and prepare it healthily.
  • Consuming octopus while pregnant may sometimes cause damage to the fetal nervous system.
  • There is also a risk of contracting infectious diseases.
  • Eating Octopus may also harm the human nervous system.
  • There is also a chance to get infected with the Anisakis parasite.

Despite the fact that octopus may have a high cholesterol content, a recent study found that dietary cholesterol has little impact on blood cholesterol levels.

Some people, however, are “super responders” to cholesterol and are more likely to have health problems as a result of it. In that case, check with your doctor. Avoid octopus if your doctor has told you to stay away from foods high in cholesterol.

Since most people with cholesterol can consume octopus, it can be included in a healthy pregnancy diet in small amounts once a week. Their blood cholesterol will not rise as a result of this. However, consult your doctor regarding the amount to have during pregnancy so that it does not harm you and your baby.

[Read : Is It Safe to Consume Ready-To-Eat or Frozen Meals During Pregnancy?]

Precautions to Take While Having Octopus During Pregnancy

pregnant woman cooking

Octopus is considered similar to other shellfish. Just like other seafood/shellfish, it is important to cook it thoroughly before eating. It has low to medium mercury levels so it is advisable to consume octopus in limited intake i.e. up to 6-ounce servings per week.

  • Before buying an octopus from a store, buy a fresh one instead of packaged and stored one.
  • Buy only those which are refrigerated and stored on ice and have no fishy smell.
  • If you don’t want to eat on the day you bought it, keep it in the refrigerator and cook it within 2 days.
  • It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months if you buy frozen octopus. You can defrost overnight before cooking.
  • The menu for octopus should be carefully selected.
  • Items like grilled, boiled, or oven-cooked seafood are good to consume but raw octopus in the form of salad, sushi or carpaccio are bacteria contaminated and dangerous to consume during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a crucial stage in every woman’s life. So, it is important to maintain your health well. In this situation, a variety of nutritious food is ideal for pregnant women. It will help you to strengthen yourself and your child. If you consume octopus while you are pregnant, it takes care of the body’s major nutritional needs. But, before eating, remember to cook it completely or have fully cooked Octopus. Also, check with your doctor if you can have it and do as the doctor recommends.

[Read : Salads During Pregnancy]


1. Is Cooked Octopus Safe During Pregnancy?

Octopus cooked at a high temperature makes it edible for pregnant women. It supplies bodies with essential nutrients. It should be fully cooked and not raw. Raw octopus will be unsafe to consume for pregnant women.

2. Why Can’t You Eat Raw Octopus While Pregnant?

Eating raw octopus is not recommended as it has various side effects that can harm the fetus. In certain classic recipes though the octopus is brined raw and marinating it with vinegar to make it pickle does not make it safe enough for pregnant women. Octopus sashimi is also a risk for pregnant women because if it is briefly boiled it will cause harm. This dish is known to serve raw and even it is served live in some local enterprises.

3. In What Ways is Eating Octopus During Pregnancy Risky?

There are numerous preparation methods for octopus. Some preparation methods may not be suitable for expectant mothers. For instance, if you order an octopus salad at a food joint, the octopus may be raw. You need to be careful about the preparation of the salad.  Another example is Octopus Carpaccio which is served raw and sliced into strips. Raw octopus poses a potential risk during pregnancy as it contains bacteria.

Read Also: Can Pregnant Women Eat Bacon? Health Benefits, Risks And Recipes

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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