If there’s one food I’m asked about more than any other then it has to be lobster!
As it’s such a common question, I’ve put together this post to answer once and for all – can pregnant women eat lobster and look at if it’s safe.
In this post, you’re going to learn everything there is to know about eating lobster during pregnancy.
Let’s get started!
Can Pregnant Women Eat Lobster?
Pregnant women can eat whole lobster, claws and lobster rolls during pregnancy so long as it’s properly cooked. However, you should avoid other lobster dishes such as bisque, thermidor and raviolli.
Here’s When Lobster Is Safe To Eat In Pregnancy
There are a few instances where lobster is safe to eat during pregnancy, these are ultimately when the lobster is fully cooked.
The good news is that boiled lobster is safe to eat during your pregnancy and you can even eat it cold once it’s been cooked through.
Again, so long as it’s cooked fully, grilled or barbecued lobster is perfectly safe to eat when pregnant.
Good news for fans of this New England staple – lobster rolls are perfectly safe to eat because they’re stuffed full of boiled lobster.
That said, if you’re going to order yourself a lobster roll, make sure you skip the mayonnaise as mayonnaise contains pasteurized egg which is a big no-no.
You might also skip coleslaw too as this also contains pasteurized eggs.
Another dish that’s perfectly safe to eat so long as you avoid mayonnaise.
Lobster Mac And Cheese
While on paper lobster mac and cheese is safe to eat, you should double-check that the dish is made with hard cheese such as cheddar, Gruyere or Provolone but it’s worth making sure.
Which Lobster Dishes Are Unsafe For Pregnant Women?
While lobster is always safe to eat when it’s fully cooked, there are certain lobster dishes that should always be avoided.
We’ve pulled together a list of dishes to avoid below.
Lobster bisque is always best avoided. The dish is often thickened with raw egg yolk which is a big no-no and it also contains thick cream which is unsafe if it’s not pasteurized.
Similar to Lobster Bisque, Thermidor often contains cream and egg yolks which make it off the menu during pregnancy.
The good news is that the dish is traditionally topped with hard cheese so you could make your own version with pasteurized cream and Gruyere, thickened with an alternative ingredient.
Lobster Ravioli often contains cream cheese and egg in it making it one to avoid during pregnancy.
How To Tell If Lobster Is Cooked Properly
There are a few simple ways to check if a lobster is cooked properly:
- The first and most important thing to look for is that the meat is cooked through. The easiest way to tell is that the meat will be white with no translucent areas.
- Next, if the lobster is being served whole or in the tail or claw, the shell should be red all the way around.
- Personally, I’ve always found the best method to be by taking all of the above into account and then using an internal thermometer which should read 140 F / 60 C
Is Lobster High In Mercury?
A study by the FDA found the following results in different lobster:
- Spiny lobster contains an average of 0.093 mercury concentration parts per million (ppm)
- Northern / American lobster has an average of 0.107 mercury concentration ppm
Considering the FDA considered anything below 0.1ppm to be a low level of mercury then lobster can be seen to be low in mercury.
To further support this, if you’re only eating claws rather than a whole lobster then levels will be significantly lower.
Is Lobster Safe in the First, Second or Third Trimester?
- Whole lobster, pieces or claws is safe to eat during any stage of your pregnancy so long as it’s cooked right through.**
In fact, should you choose to eat lobster during pregnancy you’ll benefit from the protein and key minerals and nutrients that are packed in the meat. These include zinc, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B12, magnesium, selenium, iron and vitamin E which are all fantastic nutrients during pregnancy.
How Much Lobster Can I Eat When Pregnant?
With so much protein, nutrients and minerals lobster is a fantastic choice.
While lobster meat does contain high levels of dietary cholesterol, according to the NHS this is the safer type which has much less of an effect on the level of cholesterol in your blood.
The Bottom Line
So can pregnant women eat lobster? Absolutely! The meat is packed full of nutrients that are beneficial for you and baby and so long as you stay away from the dishes we listed above, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a lobster roll or claw!
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.