Can You Eat Mussels While Pregnant [Doctor Verified]

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.

Seafood is a healthy part of any diet, and pregnant women sometimes tend to shy away from it, thinking it might not be safe. While most seafood is perfectly fine to eat during pregnancy, there are a few exceptions. Are mussels one of them? Can you eat mussels while pregnant?

Can you eat mussels while pregnant?

Yes, mussels can be part of your pregnancy diet.

Mussels are low in mercury and high in nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain B vitamins, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients are crucial for a pregnant woman and her developing baby, supporting your baby’s brain development and nervous system.

However, pregnant women should avoid raw mussels. While they are not necessarily dangerous, the water they live in can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, thus can cause food poisoning. Other problems could be parasitic infections, gastroenteritis, and vomiting.

So, it’s safe to eat cooked mussels that have been thoroughly heated and throw away any that are open or have broken shells.

To make sure mussels are safe to eat, see signs that your mussels are still fresh, and their shells should be tightly closed. You can also check the smell – fresh mussels shouldn’t have any fishy smells.

Pregnant women should also be aware of the potential for allergic reactions when consuming mussels. If you have never eaten them, it is best to start with just a small amount to see how your body reacts.

Some people may experience an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Seek medical care if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

Can I eat mussels in white wine sauce while pregnant?

Now that we’ve established mussels as generally safe to eat during pregnancy, what about mussels in white wine sauce?

Technically, the white wine in the sauce shouldn’t pose a problem, as alcohol only harms the developing baby in large amounts.

Moreover, the white wine is cooked off during the preparation of the dish, so there shouldn’t be any significant amount remaining when the dish is served.

In any case, you should always err on the side of caution when pregnant.

If you are worried about the white wine content, you can ask your server how much alcohol has been used for cooking the mussels. You can also request that the sauce be made without wine.

There are many alternative ways to prepare mussels in sauce, so don’t be afraid to ask!


In general, seafood is an excellent source of nutrients for pregnant women, and mussels are no exception. Mussels are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, and selenium.

It’s also a good idea to eat a variety of seafood, including fatty and lean fish, shellfish, squid, and octopus. While you should avoid raw mussels during pregnancy due to the risk of contamination with harmful bacteria, cooked mussels are perfectly safe to eat.

They can be a nutritious and delicious part of your pregnancy diet.

While mussels are generally safe, they can be contaminated by the water they live in. In order to avoid contamination, always thoroughly cook the mussels bought from a reputable supplier.

Apart from that, always check with your doctor or midwife before making significant changes to your diet during pregnancy. They can give you the necessary advice based on your circumstances.