can you eat scallops while pregnant

Can You Eat Scallops While Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a whirlwind, right? Along with the joy and excitement, there’s a storm of information to sift through. You’re probably finding yourself up late at night, questioning everything, especially when it comes to food. “Can you eat scallops while pregnant?” might be one of the questions keeping you up. Well, let’s dive into this, shall we?

Understanding Scallops

Scallops! Not just a pretty plate at the restaurant, these shellfish are also nature’s little nutrient-packed wonders. Adorable in their unique fan-shaped shells, they’re loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals like Vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium. So far, so good, right?

Seafood and Pregnancy: The General Guideline

Let’s be honest, seafood is a fabulous addition to any diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in many types of seafood, are particularly important for your baby’s brain development. But as with all good things, there’s a catch. Pregnancy requires a little extra care when it comes to seafood due to the risk of high mercury levels and potential foodborne illnesses.


Seafood: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Seafood can offer a buffet of benefits for you and your growing baby. Protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals are all on the menu.

But here comes the not-so-great part: some seafood can be high in mercury, which isn’t ideal for your baby’s developing nervous system. Also, undercooked or raw seafood can host nasty bacteria such as listeria and salmonella, which could put both you and your baby at risk.

Can You Eat Scallops While Pregnant?

Here’s the million-dollar question: “Can you eat scallops while pregnant?” The answer is a qualified yes. Scallops, known for their lower mercury levels compared to other seafood, are generally a safe bet.

Just remember, the key to enjoying scallops during pregnancy is in the preparation. Cooking them thoroughly is a must, as undercooked or raw scallops could lead to foodborne illness.

can you eat scallops while pregnant

Tips for Safe Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy

Here are a couple of tidbits to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your scallops are fully cooked to 145°F. They should be opaque and firm. And as a rule, steer clear of raw or undercooked seafood.
  • It’s also smart to buy from trusted sources. Fresh, high-quality scallops can help you avoid foodborne illnesses.

The Benefits of Scallops in Your Pregnancy Diet

Incorporating scallops into your pregnancy diet can have its perks. They’re a great source of protein, which is super important for your baby’s development. Plus, they’re packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain development.

omega 3

Alternatives to Scallops

If scallops don’t float your boat, or you’re feeling a bit cautious, there’s no shortage of other nutritious foods. Lean meats like chicken, eggs, and legumes are packed with protein. Other low-mercury seafood options like salmon, shrimp, or clam chowder are also safe bets.


So, “Can you eat scallops while pregnant?” Yes, you can, provided they’re well-cooked. Keep safe food handling in mind, and always reach out to your healthcare provider if you’re unsure. Pregnancy is a wild ride, so choose foods that not only nourish you and your baby, but also make you happy. After all, happy mom, happy baby, right?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I eat pan-seared scallops while pregnant?

Yes, absolutely! When you’re expecting, pan-seared scallops are still on the menu. The only hitch is that they have to be cooked right through to protect against any foodborne illnesses. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be any less delicious!

Are seared scallops fully cooked?

When it comes to seared scallops, a perfect one is usually cooked on the outside but still retains a slightly soft and tender center. However, when you’re carrying a little one, we recommend that the scallops are cooked through thoroughly just to err on the side of caution.

Can you eat crab and scallops when pregnant?

Oh yes, you can! Both crab and scallops are more than okay for pregnant ladies as long as they’re cooked well. Plus, they’re sourced from a place you trust. They’re not just tasty but pack a nutritional punch too. Just keep an eye on the portions, and you’re good to go.

What seafood can I eat while pregnant?

For all the seafood-loving moms-to-be, you’ve got a bunch of options. You can enjoy salmon, shrimp, pollock, catfish, canned light tuna, and yes, scallops. They’re all nutritious and low in mercury, which is a win-win. But remember to give raw and undercooked seafood and larger fish like sharks and swordfish a miss. Also, with albacore tuna, it’s best to limit it to under 6 ounces per week.

Are scallops high in mercury?

Thankfully, scallops are on the lower end when we’re talking about mercury levels. That makes them a safer choice compared to many other seafood. But it’s good to remember that all seafood will have some mercury, so mix it up a bit. That way, you’re not just limiting potential mercury intake but also enjoying a range of flavors!