Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab? How To Know If They Can

Are you pregnant and a seafood lover? Well, hold that sushi! You’ve probably heard this before but don’t you know why? While there are risks in eating crab while being pregnant there are obviously benefits too. Do you think can pregnant women eat crab or not? If you’re confused, keep reading our findings below!


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns pregnant women to lessen their crab intake because of the hazard of high mercury intake. It can damage your child’s brain development. Moreover, foodborne bacteria like salmonella will likely harm your child’s development.

Additionally, even if you’re not allergic to carbs and shellfish before, the possibility of being one during your pregnancy is high because of hormonal changes. Crabs along with shrimps, lobsters as well as shellfish make up the crustaceans family. And food allergy to crustaceans might lead to critical responses often occurring in anaphylaxis.

The primary allergenic substances present in crab or all crustacean groups are tryptomysin therefore you ought to be careful enough in selecting food including tryptomysin not only in crabs, but any other sea food dishes including crabs.

Should Pregnant Women Still Continue Eating Crab, Though?


You meant to ask, “can pregnant women eat crab?” but yes, they can! Even doctors would want you to eat such seafood. However, you have to know the right amount of servings.

It is recommended to eat not more than 12 ounces of shellfish once a week. And we meant the total number of seafood intake, whether they’re fish, oysters, shellfish or crabs.

To know the number of mercury, see this table below:


Mean (PPM)

Range (PPM)

Lobster Northern (Species unknown)


ND - 0.451

Lobster (Northern/American)


ND - 0.230

Crab (Blue, King, and Snow)


ND - 0.610



ND - 0.051



ND - 0.070



ND - 0.250



ND - 0.028



ND - 0.050

Cell 9 / 1


ND - 0.033

  • PPM = Parts Per Million
  • ND = Not Detectable: Mercury concentration below detection level
  • Level of Detection (LOD) = 0.01ppm

Again, can pregnant women eat crab? Yes. But check the table once more to see if you’re alright with it.

Benefits Of Eating Crab

Just take into mind how many you should consume in a week and you’ll be okay. Consult with your doctor if whether they think you’re totally alright with eating crab. If you can, you will be amazed at the benefits it can bring to you and your baby. Let’s just say moderation is key.

  • High source of protein for development. You and your child can benefit in rebuilding your muscles and tissues with protein. Now that you’re pregnant you will have more of it to heighten your immunity levels. Your unborn child will need it too for a healthy development of muscles, organs, skin, bones and hair.
  • It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A & D. Crab meat is seen to lower your chance of a heart disease and assists in promoting growth of a hale and hearty brain.
  • Plenty of antioxidants for immunity. This will help battle out toxins from your baby’s system and yours too. And especially that you’re pregnant, you need your energy and resistance system high.
  • Healthy source of iron to fight anemia. Your blood plays a role in your pregnancy. It is through the bloodstream where nutrients you have taken will be given to the baby. Also, some mothers have experienced pregnancy anemia. Therefore, crab iron keeps you at bay. In addition, it helps your hemoglobin levels healthy after delivering your child.
  • Provides calcium for the baby’s development of teeth and bones. Other than you’ll be needing calcium for your achy back, your child needs it too for its development phase.
  • Low in calories and cholesterol. You won’t be gaining much weight with crab meat and its low cholesterol benefits would prevent you from having coronary artery diseases.
  • Has folate vitamin. For fetal development, it prevents neural tube deficiencies in a child. This issue can lead to termination of your pregnancy.

Things To Consider In Eating Crab Meat

Feel free to chow down a small chunk of crab meat but remember these tips and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

  • Never eat them raw. To be safe, you have to hold your cravings for sushi. Eating raw crab meat or any other seafood would likely increase your risk of food poisoning. The meat could contain salmonella and other detrimental microbes that could endanger your child’s growth.
  • Check if the crab meat is fully cooked. The shell should be vivid orange or red and its meat is white. An undercooked crab has the same hazardous effects of a raw one.
  • Eat different shellfish, not just crab. It’s true that almost all shellfish has mercury, but it’s best not to eat the same meat as it would hype up your mercury intake even more.
  • It’s alright to be choosy. You have the right to be fussy when you’re pregnant. Especially with food. Who knows, it could save your life from food poisoning. And everybody will forgive you anyway since they can understand your situation.
  • Make sure that the food is clean. While before then you can muster up swallowing bits of sand, this time you have to put your foot down and say no to those kinds of foods. If you’re the one preparing the food, make sure it’s free of any mud and grime.

How To Prepare And Clean A Crab

Clean Crab

Via youtube.com

There is a debate whether people should clean or cook the crab first. But the majority prefers to wash their crabs before cooking. Go crabbing first then we’ll show you how to clean and cook your live catch.

  • Step 1: Have your crab all tied up for them not to go crazy during cooking time. If you’re uncomfortable with cooking a live crab, store them in a freezer for 15 to 30 minutes until they’re numb.
  • Step 2: Find and fill your pot with water. Take your crab out of your fridge and lower it to your pot. Salt the water and wait for it to a boil.
  • Step 3: Observe if you’re crab has gone to bright orange or red, if it does, then you’ll know it’s cooked.
  • Step 4: Remove the crab and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Step 5: To start cleaning the crab, remove its top shell.
  • Step 6: Turn it around and look for the triangular section of the shell and do away with it. You can take it away by pulling it up backwards. It’s more efficient that way.
  • Step 7: Flip the crab and remove its gills.
  • Step 8: Crack the crab into two and remove its legs if you like.

Now, that you’ve prepared your meal, just take half or a fourth of the portion and save some over the next few days. Oh, and if women can cook crab does that mean can pregnant women eat crab too? For video tutorials on cleaning a crab, see one here.

Our Response To Your Query

Can pregnant women eat crab? Yes. Don’t let your pregnancy make you feel like a prisoner of your own cravings. Feel free to eat but do it in small amounts. As stated above, even doctors recommend it for expecting mothers. It’s part of their healthy diet for the baby to grow well.

So, are you still feeling a bit jittery if whether it’s alright for you to continue eating crabs or other shellfish? Talk to your doctor if you can. And if you need another mother to hear you out, then let’s have a conversation. Comment below. Our line is ever open anyway.

Sarah Clark

Hi, I'm Sarah Clark. I like to write about mommies and their babies. Sometimes, even if I don’t, I like to hear stories from other mothers. I may not be an expert mommy by any means, but I am happy to share what works for mothers out there. I, for once, would like to build a community for mothers. And that's here in Giant Mommy.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Claire - January 15, 2017

My question is can pregnant women eat crab safely without worrying their baby might end up allergic to it? I’ve reduced my shellfish portions considerably but I didn’t eliminate it in its entirety. I was mostly pescitarian before being pregnant but at my doctor’s advice, I’ve started adding chicken to my diet. I have to admit I’m not that keen on it so I tend to go back to shellfish every other day. Is this too much? Will this affect my baby?

    Sarah Clark - January 15, 2017

    Hi, Claire! As far as I know, if the mother is allergic to crabs and the result is the redness and bloating of skin, the baby won’t be affected by it. But if the reaction you have is the shortness of breath, swelling, and gastro problems, the danger can harm your baby. The best way is to control yourself from eating crabs. Seek a doctor if you must.


Leave a Reply: