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Is It Okay to Eat Clam Chowder During Pregnancy?

Is It Okay to Eat Clam Chowder During Pregnancy?

Practically every pregnant woman knows that there are a lot of foods that aren’t welcome during pregnancy. But what do we know regarding clam chowder during pregnancy?

Can pregnant women eat clams, or should they stay away from them?

I know many of you are aware of the fact that seafood isn’t the most desirable food option when you’re pregnant. However, there are still some things that are worth mentioning concerning clam chowder pregnancy.

Just because seafood is considered “unsafe” for pregnant ladies, if you’re wondering, “Can you eat clam chowder when pregnant?”, I’ll tell you that, yes, you can, but with a few precautions.

Generally speaking, seafood shouldn’t be perceived as a “forbidden fruit” if cooked properly.

In order to stop sounding so vague, I’ll provide you with more in-depth information down below!

All You Need to Know About Clam Chowder

As I stated in the beginning in regard to clam chowder during pregnancy, everything here revolves around cooking.

Just like with most foods, if it’s not cooked thoroughly, (of course) you won’t be eating it, right?

This refers to a lot of meals that contain clams, and one of them (indeed, the most popular one) is clam chowder.

So, let’s repeat together one more time, “Can you eat clam chowder when pregnant?”

Yes, my dear, just make sure your favorite dish is well-cooked.

Speaking of clam chowder pregnancy, why do so many pregnant ladies adore it?

Well, who can blame them (your husband/partner is probably addicted to it as well!) since this soup is so filled with different flavors, and is creamy and thick.

If you add some potatoes and milk to this mixture, then you’ll get something that’s going to stay with you forever!

Now that I’m discussing clam chowder pregnancy, I would like to remind you that this heavenly dish is considered a staple for a vast majority of families, particularly the ones who live by the sea.

That’s why, when a pregnant woman asks you “Can you eat clam chowder when pregnant?”, you tell her right away that of course she can, as long as she is cautious enough!

Namely, a plethora of women is simply yearning to get a spoonful of clam chowder during pregnancy because it immediately hits the spot.

Not to mention the fact that this yummy dish is a fantastic source of protein, which means that it’s not only tasty but healthy too!

That’s why, if you’re currently reading this article regarding clam chowder pregnancy and you’re wondering why you’ve been craving it lately, maybe that’s because you’re body is screaming for some protein.

But it doesn’t mean that your option should only be this dish, because, luckily, there are various other excellent sources of protein out there.

Are Clams Generally Good for Pregnancy?

As aforementioned, (when I was talking about clam chowder during pregnancy) and you were wondering “Can pregnant women eat clam?”, I told you that clams are a good source of protein. That is crucial for any pregnant woman who wants to stay healthy.

But besides that, I’ll let you know that clams are a great source of iron too. And iron is also essential for pregnant women because it prevents anemia.

Another important thing concerning clam chowder pregnancy is the fact that clams are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which positively impact the eyes and brain of your baby.

Different Types of Clam Chowder

Now that both of us are diving further into this topic (regarding clam chowder pregnancy), I would like to mention a couple of exciting things about it.

Namely, did you know that there are various types of clam chowder? If you didn’t, then let’s take your cravings up a notch by learning everything about them!

Let’s Begin with Rhode Island Clam Chowder!

Now that our clam chowder pregnancy topic is heating up, I simply must mention this dish. The Rhode Island clam chowder is typically made with a clear broth, although some people love to put a tomato puree too.

That’s generally a great idea if you want to have a red broth. In both cases, your soup is going to be relatively thin. In these instances, people use quahogs.

And Then We Have New England Clam Chowder!

I feel like this whole clam chowder pregnancy topic is getting more and more interesting, so let’s add some more useful information.

So, what do we know about New England Clam Chowder?

According to many seasoned taste experts (and who would ever doubt them?), this one is the most delicious type of clam chowder soup.  

And that’s precisely one of the reasons why it is so popular. It can be made with a cream base or milk, hence this soup is so thick and white.

Other ingredients you can add to it can be celery, potatoes, onions, salt, and pepper.

And Last, But Definitely Not Least – Manhattan Clam Chowder

Unlike the above-mentioned one, the Manhattan clam chowder is red with a tomato base. It usually includes a lot of veggies and contains carrots and green peppers.

Important Precautions When Eating Clam Chowder While Pregnant

If you think I’m done discussing clam chowder pregnancy, you’re wrong because some relevant facts still need to be added.

Just because you can eat clam chowder when pregnant, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some things into consideration.

Do Not Consume Raw Meat

It’s worth adding that shellfish and fish that are not adequately cooked are more prone to microbial contamination and parasites. 

And then, if you’re not careful enough, you may suffer from toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, or get salmonella.

Bear in mind that your immune system is not as strong and can easily be compromised when pregnant. Therefore, you have to do anything that’s in your power to protect it.

Another thing that must be remembered is the fact that the immune system of your infant is not fully developed.

Consequently, pregnant women who frequently eat raw or uncooked fish are increasing their chances of dealing with miscarriages or different congenital disabilities. 

Mercurous Seafood Is Not Welcome During Pregnancy

High-mercury seafood should be avoided during pregnancy because it can hurt the neurological system of your infant.

That’s precisely one of the reasons why so many medical experts are so against it, mainly if it’s raw (undercooked). So if you’re pregnant, you should stay away from the food items below:

1. Tilefish, shark, king mackerel, and marlin

2. Instead, eat fish that doesn’t contain mercury, such as catfish or tilapia

If you’re pregnant, eat canned light tuna because it doesn’t contain as much mercury as white tuna.

Also, be sure not to overdo it. Instead, limit yourself to 6 ounces of it every week. Bear in mind that mercury builds in your bloodstream; consequently, you need to be very cautious when consuming it.

Pregnant ladies who believe that they’ve been exposed to mercury (plus they experience some unusual pregnancy symptoms) are advised to talk to their healthcare provider as soon as possible!

Embrace Difference

It is widely known that mercury can be found in most fish and shellfish. Hence if you want to indulge your cravings, then ensure you are eating a variety of different shellfish and fish.

That’s something that’s going to help you limit your mercury consumption. Many experts suggest that pregnant women can have up to twelve ounces of fish every week.

Be Careful During the Preparation of Seafood

As previously suggested (when I discussed clam chowder pregnancy), seafood is generally an okay option if cooked correctly.

This goes to show that you simply must be very careful when preparing it. Just like raw clams are not good for you, well, the same goes for undercooked or raw seafood.

That’s something that can negatively affect your well-being. Don’t forget that cooking completely destroys a vast majority of bacteria and parasites.

Consequently, if you’re craving clams (or any other type of seafood for that matter), you should properly cook it because cooked clams are then safe!

Clam chowder that’s cooked is not going to jeopardize your health or the health of your baby.

So how can you tell if your clams are cooked properly?

Another common question regarding clam chowder during pregnancy is precisely that one. To make sure you cooked it correctly, employ a food thermometer.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning (when it comes to clam chowder during pregnancy) is to avoid preparing your meals on or near raw fish or any type of meat.

This is something that’s going to surely reduce your chances of having any pathogens or parasites embedded in the food you’ll be eating.

Delicious Clam Dishes That You Can Try Out!

You must admit this whole clam chowder pregnancy topic is getting more and more interesting, right?

So now that you got your answer regarding “Can pregnant women eat clam?”, it’s time to indulge your clam cravings (because it would be boring to eat only clam soup chowder all the time right?) by giving you some spectacular suggestions.

Tinned or Canned Clams

If they do not need to be put in the fridge, then you can freely eat canned clam cold or hot.

How come, you’re probably wondering?

Well, that’s because these are already properly cooked and sterile, which is why you can eat them while pregnant.

Is Clam Juice Allowed Too?

Parapapampam…Yes! In case you didn’t know, fresh clam juice typically comes from either sauteeing or steaming clams.

Therefore, if you want to consume it while it’s hot, then you’re good to go! Normally, clam juice is utilized for different creamy soups, stews, and sauces.

If it comes from a commercially produced jar, then you can definitely eat it.

Tasty Clam Strips

Clam strips are also known as fried clams, and I’m giving you the green light when it comes to them, just be sure to cook them thoroughly.

Now, if by any chance, you stumble upon clams that are very large, then it would be recommendable to cut them in half, just to be one hundred percent sure they are completely cooked.

Stuffed Clams

These are basically clams on a half shell and are loaded with some delicious filling, along with breadcrumbs or cheese. If you cook them properly, then you can freely eat them as well!

More Useful Advice Concerning Clam Chowder Pregnancy

Now, that we’ve almost reached the end in terms of the clam chowder pregnancy topic, I would still like to add a few things (so don’t leave yet).

Even though your question (Can pregnant women eat clams) has been answered, I would still like to add a few more essential pieces of advice so you can eat clam chowder when pregnant without worrying too much.

If you didn’t know, clams contain around 240 milligrams of DHA and EPA per one hundred grams.

And clam chowder is one of the most famous ways of eating clams. That’s precisely one of the reasons why so many women crave clam chowder during pregnancy. It’s simply so delicious and hard to resist.

As stated above (when you asked “Can you eat clam chowder when pregnant?”) it is safe for pregnant ladies, as long as other ingredients that are put in it (such as pasteurized cream and milk) are also considered pregnancy-safe.

If you are yearning to consume clam chowder during pregnancy, then you have to ensure you cooked it properly in the soup because that’s one of the most effective ways to completely eliminated bacteria.

Furthermore, NHS has stated several times that cooked shellfish, like lobster, mussels, prawns, clams, and scallops are perfectly safe to eat while pregnant.

According to the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference, clams that are properly cooked should adhere to these methods of cooking:

     1. Boiled – Must be cooked for at least 3 minutes

     2. Fried – The same goes for this, at 190oC or 375oF

     3. Steamed – Five to ten minutes while the water is steaming

     4. Grilled – Cooked three inches from the heat for approximately three minutes

     5. Oven baked – Ten minutes at 230oC or 450oF


There’s no doubt that eating clam chowder during pregnancy is a very common thing because, at the end of the day, pregnant ladies are human beings (not aliens) who just like the rest of us, crave clam chowder during pregnancy.

Therefore, feel free to binge on them, but don’t forget to implement the tips I mentioned above so you can eat clams like there’s no tomorrow!

clam chowder during pregnancy

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