Can I Eat Octopus While Breastfeeding? What A Mom Should Know

The mercury level of octopus and other potential risks make people hesitate to consume. That’s why many new moms query, Can I eat octopus while breastfeeding?

We understand your question since it’s difficult to classify some kinds of seafood.

The octopus is a boneless sea creature and a culinary delicacy that attracts many people.

While the research on the potential benefits of eating this sea animal is ongoing, we can not reject its nutritional value as it’s an excellent source of protein, minerals, and other elements.

It can contribute to a healthy diet if consumed properly.

What Is The Nutrition Value Of Octopus?

Can I Eat Octopus While Breastfeeding?

Is It A Shellfish?

It is categorized as a shellfish even though it doesn’t have a shell. This marine creature is a mollusk and belongs to the cephalopod family of seafood.

The sea animal has an inner beak, which makes it look similar to squid, and its taste is like lobster.

Seafood is a rich protein source, and so is the mollusk. Every four ounces of the raw one contains 17g protein, 1g fat, and 2g carbohydrates, giving 93 calories per serving.

This kind of shellfish also contains many good minerals such as iron, Omega-3, Vitamin B12, copper, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

What Is The Level Of Mercury Of Octopus? 

Mercury is a toxic chemical element that can affect nervous system development and cause mercury poisoning.

As such, the fish type with high mercury levels is what a breastfeeding mom should not eat.

Depending on the size and the harvesting place of octopus, we can not say the exact level of mercury it contains.

Although there is no scientific test, the American Pregnancy Association listed it with a low mercury level, whereas the Environmental Defense Fund classified it as moderate.

Therefore, it’s assumed that this type of seafood is a low to medium mercury creature. So can pregnant women eat octopus? Is it safe to breastfeed as well? The answer is yes.

Can I Eat Octopus While Breastfeeding?

YES. Breastfeeding moms can have a dish of octopus, as this sea animal has a low or moderate level of mercury.

Although mercury can pass into human milk, it may not be a problem for the breastfed baby under normal circumstances.

Just follow the recommended mercury intake of 2-3 times per week. If your baby has a food sensitivity, consider consuming it little by little.

Is it safe to eat squid while breastfeeding as well? Squid and octopus are both considered to have low mercury content, so they are safe for breastfeeding.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Octopus When Breastfeeding?

Can I eat seafood when breastfeeding? Having different types of seafood in your balanced diet for breastfeeding is recommended.

Benefit For The Heart

There are a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids from the sea animal, which promises eye development and health for your heart.

The good fats help slow down the plaque formation process in the arteries and reduce your heart’s blood pressure and stress.

It assists you in avoiding the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart diseases.

Reduce Cancer Risk

The animal contains taurine, an amino acid, which is useful in fighting against inflammation and plays a role as an antioxidant to protect the cells damaged by cancer.

High levels of other antioxidants such as folate, selenium, and vitamin B12 were found in this creature.

Scientific research on those elements is still going on, yet their absence can increase cancer risks. Thus, consuming it weekly may prevent breastfeeding moms from cancer.

Improve Cognitive Health

Magnesium in this mollusk supports cognitive development. It’s the mineral that many people lack in their meals.

Improving activities for the brain development such as memory or learning process and reducing the risk of getting some diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia for breastfeeding women are cases in point for their efficacy.

Relieve From Depression

Many clinical trials on the ability of Omega-3 show promising results in easing the symptoms of depression and other similar mood disorders.

This sea animal has two types of fatty acid (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), making it healthy food to relieve depression.

Eating it works wonders for lactating moms to stay away from stress.

Avoid Neural Tube Defects

Iron and Vitamin B12 in the mollusk and other seafood are expected to prevent neural tube defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

These elements can also help against anemia. Thus, consuming a limited amount of seafood is allowed for breastfeeding.

What Are Safe Octopus Dishes For Breastfeeding Moms?

Eating raw seafood is unsafe for breastfeeding. Here are some examples of cooked dishes for your reference.


Grilled octopus is safer for lactating moms as it’s not raw. To ensure the food is fully done, cut in the thickest place and check inside.

Baked Or Boiled 

Baking and boiling are other ways to get the seafood cooked thoroughly.

Place a sharp knife or fork on the thickest part (top of the tentacle) to see if it’s tender all the way through; then, it’s safe for breastfeeding to eat.

Whole Baby Octopus

It’s a dish served in European countries and others. This delicacy can be grilled, boiled, or fried as long as there is no raw part.

Fried Octopus Balls

This Japanese snack food is totally cooked as it’s deep-fried. It’s also a safe option when giving milk to your infant.

What Should Breastfeeding Women Remember When Eating Octopus?

Potential Risks

Here are some potential risks of consuming octopus during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Cholesterol And Sodium Excess

Octopus is a rich source of nutrition. Your body needs these two elements to build up the cells and a healthy nerve system.

However, eating too much cholesterol and sodium can increase the risk of heart disease. So make sure you consume it in moderation.

Allergic Risk

The protein in sea animals can cause allergies. If you are intolerant to shrimp, oysters, or scallops, you’d better stay away from octopus and add it to your foods to avoid while breastfeeding chart.


Research shows that there are heavy metals in octopus tissue, such as lead.

Although the level of this toxin is below harmful standards, there’s no need to over-consume to minimize further health issues.

Unsafe Dishes

Breastfeeding women should be aware of some dishes that can be harmful to them.

Normally, you should avoid uncooked and cold ones such as octopus salad, Carpaccio, marinated or pickled, and the Japanese cuisine – Sashimi.

Also, what seafood can you not eat while breastfeeding?

As the mercury can come into breast milk, fish that contain high mercury levels, such as sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, etc., should be crossed out.


What Are The Benefits Of Eating Octopus When Breastfeeding?

By and large, can I eat octopus while breastfeeding? It’s safe for new moms to have an octopus dish as long as it’s hot and well cooked.

Consult with your healthcare provider, consume it with a limitation, and go to the doctor if you see any sign of food allergies.Suppose you look for which fish increase breast milk; go for salmon and sardines.

However, it’s absolutely fine to try octopus sometimes so that your meal can be more diverse and, of course, nutritious.

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