Can We Eat Chicken During Pregnancy

Can We Eat Chicken During Pregnancy
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It is normal for pregnant women to have a lot of concerns regarding what they should and should not do during pregnancy. Their food habits are one of the concerns.

Chicken is one such food that people have concerns about. They don’t know whether eating chicken during pregnancy is beneficial to the body or not.

Pregnancy is a very important time; women need all the essential nutrients to support their bodies and promote their baby’s growth and development. The food they take needs to be able to provide them with the nutrients they need.

In this article, let’s look at the benefits of chicken and whether pregnant women can add them to their diet.

Is eating chicken safe during pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat chicken during pregnancy. Chicken is a nutritious and healthy food choice for pregnant women. It is low in fat and calories and rich in vitamins and antioxidants, making it an ideal choice for pregnant women.

Chicken is a good source of essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, iron, and zinc. Eating chicken during pregnancy can give you and your baby the nourishment needed for healthy growth and development.

Did you know?: Eating 100g of chicken fulfills 50% of the daily protein requirements of a pregnant woman.

The Many Benefits of Eating Chicken During Pregnancy

Rich source of proteins

Protein is a crucial component of our diet. It is composed of amino acids, which serve as the building blocks of our muscles. A 100-gram serving of chicken breast contains 31 grams of protein.

Rich Source of Vitamins and Antioxidants

Chicken is also abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The Vitamin B3 or niacin in the chicken helps the baby’s brain development and keeps them healthy. Vitamin B3 can also help with miscarriages and certain birth defects.

Vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium, thiamine, iron, and zinc are other vital vitamins and nutrients found in chicken as well as Jackfruit. Especially Jackfruit consists of enriched vitamin A, Fiber that helps with digestion during Pregnancy. Some of these nutrients have antioxidant qualities that support healthy energy levels and metabolism. Other nutrients assist new cell development.

Low in Fat and Calories - Manage Your Weight

Women obviously need more calories during pregnancy than when they are not. But, the amount of calories required is not as high as you might think.

During the first trimester, most women only need around 1,800 calories. The amount increases as time passes, with women requiring around 2,200 calories during their second and 2,400 calories during their third trimesters.

Chicken is low in fat and calories. Eating them can satisfy your hunger while making you feel fuller for a long time. This will satisfy your craving and prevent you from munching on unhealthy foods.

For Body Cells and Tissues

Chicken breast has high amounts of riboflavin. It can promote the growth and repair of blood cells and tissues.

Harmful Effects of Eating Chicken

Causes Listeriosis

The main concern people have about chicken is the presence of bacteria called Listeria. This bacteria can be found in contaminated chicken and can cause an infection called Listeriosis.

Listeriosis can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches. It can also affect the nervous system, leading to seizures and meningitis. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery.

However, it is good that listeriosis is a rare issue and only affects a minority of people. It is just that pregnant women are more susceptible to this infection than others.

It is crucial to cook the chicken thoroughly without leaving any area uncooked. The bacteria can’t survive in an environment above 160 degrees Fahrenheit. So, pregnant women should opt for well-cooked chicken instead of raw or semi-cooked chicken.

Causes Toxoplasmosis

It is important for pregnant women only to eat hot, fully cooked chicken. Raw or undercooked chicken may contain Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis can be dangerous for pregnant women, as it may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects. To prevent this issue, pregnant women should handle raw meat carefully and wash their hands and utensils afterward.

Tips for Eating Chicken During Pregnancy

Here are some tips you can follow to eat chicken in a healthy and wholesome way during pregnancy.

  • If you want to have chicken, ensure you have freshly cooked hot chicken. Avoid cold-cooked chicken or processed chicken bought from shops. This is because partially cooked chicken or cold chicken can be contaminated with harmful bacteria.
  • What to do if you have leftover chicken? You can store the leftover chicken in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Heat them until they are piping hot if you wish to have them later.
  • It is better to cook chicken at home. But, if you buy roasted or barbecued chicken outside, eat it immediately while it is still hot. If you refrigerate them, heat them again before eating.
  • It is also better to avoid processed chicken meat like ham. If you want to have them, have them well-cooked and hot.
  • It is best to avoid stuffed chicken because we don’t know how well it is cooked. But, if you want to have them, ensure the chicken is cooked separately and thoroughly before being stuffed. It should also be hot.


Chicken is generally safe to eat during pregnancy. Cooking it thoroughly and eating it while it is hot can prevent it from being contaminated by bacteria and germs.


To kill bacteria in the chicken, it must be cooked until the thickest section reaches 71 degrees Celsius. The meat is now safe to consume. The juices should run clear when you cut into the thickest portion.

Lean chicken is a fantastic source of protein, iron, and zinc, both of which are beneficial to expecting mothers. Chicken, which has low levels of fat, is also suggested for people who want to reduce weight or keep their weight stable while pregnant.

No, it is highly recommended you not eat KFC chicken during pregnancy. Processed chicken can be unhealthy during pregnancy, especially if it is greasy or fried. So, try avoiding eating KFC or any type of processed chicken during pregnancy.

Picture of Dr. Rukkayal Fathima
Dr. Rukkayal Fathima

Dr Rukkayal Fathima, India's Leading Gynaecologist and the best fertility doctor in Chennai. She has 11+ years of experience and treated 1000+ patients. She finished her M. S., Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Institute of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Madras Medical College), Chennai. She is a visiting consultant at St. Isabelle Hospital, Motherhood Hospital, Rainbow Hospital & Mehta Hospital. Dr Rukkayal Fathima specialises in Obstetrics care, Early Pregnancy Scan, IVF, ICSI, TESA/Micro TESE, Menopause advice, Gynaecological surgeries and endoscopy. She is a Co-Founder of Hive Fertility, the Best Fertility Center in Chennai.

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