Can You Eat Scallops When 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.

Scallops are always a delicious seafood dish. However, pregnancy can make expectant mothers more cautious about what they eat.

This article will help put you at ease by exploring if you can eat scallops when pregnant.

Read along to find out the benefits of eating scallops during pregnancy, how many scallops you can eat while pregnant, and if you can eat scallops and lobster when you’re expecting.

Can You Eat Scallops When Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat scallops when pregnant if they are fully cooked. To ensure that your scallops are fully cooked, the DGA recommends that all seafood be cooked to at least 145℉ for pregnant women. You can check the internal temperature of the scallops by using a food thermometer.

The Mayo Clinic specifies that pregnant women should avoid raw or undercooked fish and shellfish.

As a visual guide to check if your scallops are cooked, make sure they are seared on the outside and nice and tender on the inside. As scallops cook, they tend to turn from translucent in color to opaque and white.

You can always slice the scallop in half to check for tenderness and color. We suggest selecting and cutting the biggest scallop as a reference since they often take the longest to cook.

For less fuss, you can also opt for baked or roasted scallops that are thoroughly cooked in the oven.

Scallops also make a great seafood choice for pregnant women because they are low in mercury levels (FDA).

Benefits of Scallops During Pregnancy

According to Healthline, scallops contain a nice amount of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
They are also packed with anti-inflammatory magnesium and potassium that assists in regulating the fluid in your body, muscle contractions, and nerve signals.

Additionally, scallops contain important minerals like zinc, copper, and selenium.

The FDA confirms that omega-3 fats help support a child’s brain development, and minerals like zinc help to support immune systems.

How Many Scallops Can a Pregnant Woman Eat?

The DGA advises that pregnant women should try to eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week.

The FDA supports this recommendation and suggests that readers use the palm of their hand as a reference for 4 ounces. Each serving should be around 4 ounces, so pregnant women can eat 2 to 3 servings weekly of scallops.

Can You Eat Scallops and Lobster While Pregnant?

The FDA also classifies lobster as one of the best low-mercury seafood choices for pregnant women. Like all seafood, lobster must be fully cooked to be eaten during pregnancy. Therefore, it must also be cooked to at least 145℉.


Pregnant women can eat scallops as long as they are fully cooked and adequately portioned.

Scallops are an excellent choice for pregnant women as they provide plenty of health benefits by supporting a baby’s brain development and the mother’s immune system.

Other types of low-mercury seafood, like lobster, are safe to eat while pregnant when thoroughly cooked.