Nutrition is an integral component of good health throughout our lives, but there are two stages in a woman’s life when it becomes even more vital - these are pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Following a proper pregnancy diet is important during the nine months of gestation because during this time the mother’s body provides the oxygen, nutrients and immunity that the growing foetus needs.

Similarly, paying attention to a healthy diet after giving birth is important for two reasons. One, it is important for the new mom to regain her strength after nine months of carrying a baby in addition to getting enough energy to keep up with the demands of a newborn. And two, because breastfeeding mothers provide both nutrition and immunity from infections until the baby’s own immune system is fully developed and the child has received the protection that vaccinations provide.

To be able to do this, a new mother must eat adequate amounts of protein, healthy fatscarbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and nuts and seeds. And when it comes to proteins, eggs provide all the nutrition you need packed into one small hard shell. Eating one whole egg (egg yolk as well as the white portion of the egg) or two egg whites every day is a dietary recommendation for everyone, and breastfeeding mothers should also adhere to this recommendation.

However, in some cases, the baby might be allergic to certain foods. One of the predominant causes of infant food allergies is egg consumption by the mother. If your baby has a food allergy, your doctor might ask you to stop consuming eggs for a while.

  1. Benefits of eggs in breastfeeding diet
  2. Side effects of eggs in breastfeeding diet
  3. Egg safety measures during breastfeeding

Whether it’s large or small, an egg is chock-full of proteins, folate (the natural form of vitamin B9), choline, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and bioactive compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Eggs also contain a moderate amount of potassium, an important mineral for electrolyte balance in the body. Research shows that increasing potassium intake slightly - or reducing sodium intake slightly - while breastfeeding reduces the risk of heart disease and bone loss in new moms. Research also shows that new moms can lose 3-5% of bone mass during breastfeeding; most of which can be recovered after they stop breastfeeding.

It was previously assumed that egg yolks are unhealthy, and eating them could lead to heart diseases. This led to a decades-long debate on which is better: egg yolks or egg whites. However, recent research has argued that this is not the case, and eating eggs is not linked to heart diseases.

Eating one egg every day can have the following benefits for you and your breastfed child:

  • Eggs are rich in all nine amino acids (building blocks of proteins), which can help you regain strength and also aid muscle development in your baby.
  • Eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, choline, folate and minerals like phosphorus and zinc. These can help develop your baby’s brain properly.
  • Eggs are packed with so much nutrition that they can give your immunity a good boost.
  • Eggs are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which help the eyes develop and keep macular degeneration (age-related deterioration of eyes and eyesight) at bay.
  • Eggs are a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, which can strengthen your bones and help your baby develop healthy bones too.
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While eggs are very nutritious and eating them can aid the proper development of your baby, in some cases, babies develop food allergies. This type of allergy happens when the baby is sensitive to certain foods and drinks the mother consumes, like cow’s milk, soy foods, wheat, corn, oats, eggs, nuts (including peanuts), fish and shellfish. If your baby has the following symptoms, he or she might be suffering from a food allergy:

  • Frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • Hard, pebble-like baby poop
  • Tummy ache (indicated through excessive gas or pulling up legs in pain)
  • Bloody or mucous-tainted poop
  • Rash and swelling
  • Breathing trouble (extremely rare)
  • Swelling in the face (extremely rare)

If your baby has any of these symptoms, you should contact the doctor immediately and stop the consumption of foods the baby might be allergic to. A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2009 also suggested that an egg allergy can cause moderate to severe eczema in babies with egg sensitivity. 

Usually, a skin prick test is done to find out which allergy the baby has. If the food consumed by the mother that caused the reaction is identified to be eggs, then you will have to stop consuming eggs until you stop breastfeeding.

Unless your baby has an egg sensitivity, you can eat eggs while breastfeeding without any fear. However, the following safety measures are compulsory while buying, cooking and eating eggs during breastfeeding:

  • Always buy freshly laid eggs. Make sure they have the Agmark grading or FSSAI approval before buying them.
  • Do not buy eggs that have dirty or cracked eggshells. These could be contaminated and cause bacterial infections, like salmonella and listeriosis.
  • Refrigerate the eggs within two hours of buying them, but make sure they are not stored in the fridge door - instead, keep them in a separate box, away from other foods.
  • Do not eat raw or half-fried eggs while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. These can cause salmonella and listeriosis. It’s also best to avoid pickled eggs, cheese-stuffed omelettes, etc., which can cause indigestion.
  • Eat hard-boiled eggs during breastfeeding. If you’re frying eggs, make sure you use olive oil or any other healthy plant oil for cooking.
  • Do not store cooked eggs in the refrigerator, or eat stored cooked eggs during breastfeeding.


  1. Nemours Children’s Health System [Internet]. Jacksonville (FL): The Nemours Foundation; c2017. Breastfeeding FAQs: Your Eating and Drinking Habits
  2. Davis, Karla L. and Scranton, Stephen E. Effect of Maternal Egg Consumption on Breast Milk Ovalbumin Concentration. Pediatrics, November 2009, 124 (Supplement 2) S120-S121.
  3. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology [internet]. Arlington Heights, Illinois, US; Is it safe to eat eggs while nursing?
  4. National Health Service [Internet]. Hertfordshire. UK; Breastfeeding and diet
  5. Harvard T.H Chan. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Harvard University, Cambridge. Massachusetts. USA; Eggs.
  6. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India [Internet]. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India. New Delhi. India; FSSAI issues egg safety guidance note, busting myth about plastic eggs
  7. Sir Peter Gluckman, Mark Hanson, Chong Yap Seng, and Anne Bardsley. Potassium in pregnancy and breastfeeding. In "Nutrition and Lifestyle for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding". Oxford University Press; published online: Jan 2015.
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