Pregnancy is a sensitive time that requires a mom-to-be to strike a careful balance between her food cravings and the safe food choices. There are tons of do’s and don’ts to follow with dietary measures taking the lead. This leaves a woman wondering if she can eat something or not.
Seafood, in particular, is a tad bit controversial. This culminates in questioning gazes that are cast toward the relationship between crawfish and pregnancy. If you are wondering, ‘can a pregnant woman eat crawfish,’ then the simplest answer is yes.
However, it is essential to make sure that the fish has been well-cooked and its intake averages to no more than 12 ounces in a week. Read on to find out about crawfish and pregnancy further:
Crawfish and pregnancy: what sits at the center of the controversy?
The element that holds the helm of the controversy is mercury. Seafood tends to contain mercury which is harmful to the growing fetus. Research outlines that high levels of mercury in the blood of expectant mothers correspond with poor child cognitive development at three years.
Furthermore, evidence also indicates that human exposure to mercury can also increase the content of methylmercury in the blood. Methylmercury is formed when the mercury content in the fish mixes with bacteria in the water.
This compound is absorbed by the placenta and further transferred to the growing child when the mom eats mercury-contaminated food. Such prenatal exposure to methylmercury correlates with low mean birth weight, behavioral and neuropsychological effects, and an increased risk of preterm delivery.
Eating crawfish when you’ve a bun in the oven
The good news is that the mercury content is not a threat when it comes to crawfish. Crawfish is also commonly referred to as crayfish and it tastes mainly like lobsters. However, the chief difference between lobsters and crayfish lie in their sizes.
Crawfish are only 2-3 inches longer. On the other hand, lobsters can be as long as 20 inches. The former live in fresh water, whereas, lobsters thrive in saltwater. While mercury can be naturally present, its content can increase drastically in seafood due to industrial pollution.
In such a case, mercury turns into what was mentioned above, methylmercury. This compound can hamper the development of the baby’s central nervous system, kidneys, and the brain.
Some sea fish that prey on other sea life are packed with a high amount of this compound. Consequently, it can cross the placenta and cause harm to the growing child. This is the exact reasoning why seafood is controversial.
Crawfish is safe to take though. What you need to ensure is that:
- Ensure that the cooked food is at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit
- Eat as much as 12 ounces in a week
It is significant that you cook crawfish well enough. This helps to kill the bacteria present in the fish. Crawfish contains very low content of methylmercury. Thus, you can have it in small portions. It’s best to have no more than 2-3 portions of four ounces in a week. From a nutritional point of view, the fish is a stellar protein source for you and your growing child.
On top of that, the fish is high in iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Iron is crucial for the support that is needed for the red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids are vital for heart health.
Make sure that you eat a limited quantity of crawfish. Besides, some other fish to avoid during pregnancy include swordfish, king mackerel, and Mexican tilefish to name a few.