If you are a seafood fan and have recently learned that a new family member is arriving soon, there are always a multitude of health considerations that you are dealing with. Suddenly the rules of what you can and cannot do have changed dramatically and you find yourself worrying about everything. Eventually you get to the culinary questions and find yourself wondering ‘Can pregnant women eat lobster?’. Well, we’ve done our homework and we can give you the answer to that, along with some other useful recommendations in regards to eating seafood. Let’s discuss if you can eat lobster when you are pregnant and go from there!
The quick version
Yes, you can eat lobster while pregnant… in moderation. When pregnant a woman can eat lobster once a week. This is limited to a 6 ounce serving of lobster (this equates to roughly the standard size of a lobster tail).. This is good news, as you may still enjoy lobster if it is one of your favorite foods.
Why only 6 ounces?
It all comes down to mercury levels. Lobster is considered one of the ‘medium level’ mercury fish. These fish have about 3 times the potential of mercury contamination as ‘low level’ mercury fish (which we will go into later). Other fish in the ‘medium level’ for mercury include most locally caught fish as well as:
- White canned Albacore Tuna
- Tuna steaks
- Striped Bass
You may have a 6 ounce serving of one of the fish from this group a week.
So, during pregnancy I can eat lobster or other
medium level fish… but what about other fish?
Aside from lobster and other medium level fish, there is a low level fish
group as well as a high level one in regards to mercury. While you may only have a 6 ounce serving from the medium-level mercury fish, if you choose the low-level group then you may have 2 6 ounce servings per week. The fish that are included in this group include fast-food fish sandwiches, fish sticks, and the following fish:
- Canned Light Tuna
- Shellfish (aside from lobster, we mean)
What about high level mercury fish?
These are a definite no-no. You are advised to avoid high level mercury fish as they contain approximately 9 times the level of mercury when compared to low level mercury fish. Fish that belong in this group include (but are not limited to):
“It has a high amount of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids.”
How good is lobster for me when I am pregnant, anyways?
Lobster is actually quite nutritious. It has a high amount of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Eating lobster can help to protect against anemia, thyroid disease, and even depression. Beyond this, from a nutritional standpoint lobster also contains the following:
- Copper- Contributes to proper iron absorbption and helps in the production of red blood cells. Copper is also good for maintaining the bones, blood vessels, immune system, and more.
- Zinc – Also good for a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin B12 – Helps to maintain the body’s blood and nerve cells. It can also help to prevent anemia.
- Selenium – Can help to protect against asthma, cancer, and more!
- Vitamin E -Can promote eye health, good skin, help with the immune system, and more.
- Magnesium – This is very important in bone formation.
- Phosphorus – This helps in the formation of the bones and the teeth, as well as helping in the growth and in maintaining cells and tissues.
Some additional considerations regarding eating lobster when you are pregnant
While it is safe to eat your 6 ounce portion of lobster every week, there are still some concerns that you will need to address in order to do so safely. First, no frozen lobster. It likely has a host of biological contaminants that you don’t want to introduce to yourself or your baby. Also you will want to avoid eating it raw, of course. Only well-cooked, fresh lobster should be consumed. Now, some of us like to cook fresh-caught lobster and when it comes to this the most important part is going to be only using reputable suppliers. This lets you know where the lobster was caught and this is very important, as some bodies of water have a higher level of mercury contamination as well as other environmental variables that make eating a lobster caught from there much riskier than normal.
Is there a more comprehensive list of fish available somewhere?
We are glad that you asked! Yes, there is a more comprehensive guide available when it comes to what fish pregnant women may consume or should avoid. Americanpregnancy.org has a guide that you may obtain which relates to fish and mercury levels and it is most helpful. A Google search on ‘mercury levels fish pregnant women’ can help you to find this and other resources in order to get some more comprehensive information. This includes lists of fish that may be eaten, effects of mercury on unborn children, and more. If you are an avid seafood lover then we would highly recommend further research into the subject so that you have a better idea of the best types of fish to enjoy while pregnant.
Well, you were wondering ‘can I eat lobster when pregnant’ and as you have seen, the answer is definitely ‘yes’ as long as moderation is observed. Don’t forget to learn where your supplier is obtaining the lobsters as well, so that you may research the mercury levels of the waters from which they were fished. If you observe the rules we have espoused here, enjoying lobster should be as safe as it is delicious. Now, the butter that it is being dipped in… that’s a subject for another day. Until then, enjoy your lobster!