Can You Eat Crabs When You Are Pregnant?

According to the American Pregnancy Association (APS), pregnant women may eat crabs. The APS advises that it is safe for pregnant women to eat two 6-ounce servings of crabs or other seafood with low mercury levels, such as anchovies, clams, catfish, salmon, sardines, scallops or shrimp, per week.

According to the Mayo Clinic, both the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency say that it is safe for pregnant women to eat up to 340 grams, or 12 ounces, of seafood per week. Seafood is an excellent source of essential nutrients, such as protein and zinc, which are important for a baby’s development. However, some types of seafood can contain high levels of contaminants, particularly mercury. Excessive levels of mercury may damage the baby’s nervous system. Pregnant women are advised to avoid predatory fish that can be high in mercury content, such as tilefish, marlin, shark, swordfish and king mackerel.