Can You Eat Ceviche While Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

It’s important to know what seafood dishes are safe during pregnancy and what you need to avoid.

In this article, we briefly detail whether you can eat ceviche while pregnant and breastfeeding, what types of ceviche are safe, and everything you need to know about uncooked seafood dishes.

Can You Eat Ceviche While Pregnant?

No, pregnant women should not eat ceviche or any other type of raw/uncooked fish and seafood. Pregnancy brings a higher chance of food poisoning because your immune system is compromised and vulnerable during this time, making you more susceptible to contracting an illness, harmful bacteria, and food poisoning from Listeria (a common parasite in raw fish). 

Is Ceviche Raw Or Cooked?


Ceviche is a raw seafood dish that originated from South America and is made using fresh fish and citrus, such as lemon and lime juice.

Because of this, pregnant women should remove ceviche from their diet.

Although it is technically considered raw and not to be consumed during pregnancy, ceviche is technically not raw, as the citrus juice acts as a chemical source of heat and cures the fish, breaking down the flesh as if it has been exposed to heat – This process is called denaturation and has been used culturally around the world as an ingenious method of preserving and storing foods for months.

Can I Eat Shrimp Ceviche While Pregnant

All types of ceviche are dangerous for pregnant women and their babies, including shrimp ceviche.

Because of the nature of raw seafood and the fact that you are immunocompromised when pregnant, all types of ceviche and raw fish are considered potentially harmful.

Can I Eat Ceviche While Breastfeeding?

Ceviche is safe while breastfeeding and offers both the mother and child myriad health benefits.

But, you should also avoid fish with high concentrations of mercury and always ensure your fish produce is bought from a reliable and reputable supplier.

High quality is essential for fish, as you want to ensure any seafood you eat, raw or cooked, is fresh and contaminate-free.

Can A Pregnant Woman Eat Raw Fish?

When pregnant, it’s best to avoid all types of raw and uncooked fish like ceviche, sushi, and sashimi, because the nasty parasites that come with it are not suitable for your weakened immune system and unborn child.

Fully cooked fish is considered safe and can be explored as an option for healthy proteins while you’re pregnant, but it’s safe to assume that any raw fish dish is a definite no-go.

Avoid The Uncooked

Ceviche, sushi, and other raw seafood dishes will, unfortunately, have to take a back seat during your pregnancy to avoid nasty food poisoning or other negative effects.

But there’s good news: Not all fish is off the menu. Cooked seafood can still be safe, and with a bit of research, you can be sure you’ll find a safe and delicious alternative.