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During pregnancy and nursing, a woman takes extra steps to ensure she is supplying her baby with enough nutrients for his growth and development. But, eating certain foods, such as eggs, which are usually considered very nutritious and safe, can raise questions on whether or not they are safe for the baby’s health. Read on to find out if you can eat eggs while breastfeeding.
Can Breastfeeding Mothers Eat Eggs?
Eggs, as we all know, are protein-rich, and can be eaten every day. Consuming cooked eggs is recommended as eating raw eggs could cause salmonella infection. Furthermore, in your nursing phase, you must make sure that your daily calorie intake is increased by 500 calories more than other women to meet your own nutrient requirement, and these calories should come from a wholesome diet.
Benefits of Eating Eggs While Breastfeeding
Consuming eggs while nursing your baby is a healthy option as eggs contain loads of health benefits such as the ones mentioned below:
- Eating eggs while breastfeeding can help increase the good cholesterol levels in the body, which help lower the risk of heart ailments like heart attack, stroke and other health problems in most people, not just breastfeeding mothers.
- Eggs are fully loaded with vitamins, nutrients and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, calcium, zinc, etc., which can be very beneficial for your health in your nursing stage.
- Eggs also contain an essential compound known as choline which is vital for many bodily functions.
- Eggs are also beneficial for the eyes; eating eggs can help prevent macular degeneration and cataract.
- Eggs are also a storehouse of essential amino acids which is required by the body for essential functioning.
Can You Eat Raw Eggs?
Raw or undercooked eggs are added to milkshakes, eggnogs, homemade sauce, salad dressings, tiramisu, frostings, etc. Therefore, they can be included in your diet, but you must also be aware that there is an increased risk of developing salmonella due to the consumption of raw or undercooked eggs. Salmonella infection causes fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and nausea. If unfortunately, you are infected with salmonella, it will remain in your intestines and won’t enter your breast milk. It, therefore, wouldn’t affect breastfeeding directly. However, it can lead to dehydration, tiredness and weakness, which can be dealt with some changes in the fluid intake and diet, but you could be too exhausted to feed the baby. Consulting a medical practitioner is highly advisable at this stage for proper treatment and guidance.
Egg Allergy – Things to Keep in Mind
While it is considered safe to consume eggs while nursing your baby, you need to consider the following points:
- If there is any allergy history in the family, it is advisable to get your baby tested for allergies before you include any possible allergy-causing foods in your diet while nursing your baby.
- If you consume eggs during breastfeeding and notice symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, rashes, breathing problems, hives, asthma, etc. in your baby, it could be a sign of egg allergy in infants. If you witness any of these symptoms, consult a doctor, stop eating eggs and wait until the condition improves.
- In case your baby is severely allergic, you need to keep a note of all other foods you consume in a proper food-and-symptom diary.
- A lot of packed food and candies contain eggs, which can also cause allergies in your baby.
- Completely avoid mayonnaise, salad dressings, batter-fried items and other store-bought foods that contain eggs.
If you are in your nursing phase, you can consume cooked eggs, if your baby doesn’t have an allergy, of course. But it is suggested that you consult a doctor with regards to including them in your diet. Have a healthy diet during breastfeeding, and your baby will be fine!