Can You Eat Shellfish While Breastfeeding?


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Are you a seafood lover? Do you want to eat shellfish during your breastfeeding phase? Is it safe for you and your baby? If these are questions, you can relate to, you might want to read our post here.

When you’re breastfeeding, you need to pay more attention to your diet. Consuming seafood containing high levels of mercury can induce health risks. Here, we look at the potential risks and health benefits of shellfish while breastfeeding. Consuming a moderate amount of shellfish can cause no harm to your baby, and you can lead a healthy life.

Can You Eat Shellfish While Breastfeeding?

In most of the cases, a moderate amount of shellfish causes no potential harm to you and your breastfed baby. However, you can be allergic to seafood and suffer from health discomforts including skin rashes or eczema. But, if you have no family history of seafood allergies, you can continue nursing and eating shellfish in your diet. The main thing to remember is to store and cook the shellfish properly (1).

[ Read: Safe Seafood While Breastfeeding ]

Potential Risks Of Shellfish While Breastfeeding:

If you have a family history of food allergy, consult your doctor before including shellfish in your diet during breastfeeding. If you are allergic to seafood and especially shellfish, you may notice your feeding baby to develop some allergic symptoms including:

  • Skin rashes
  • Trouble breathing
  • Skin itchiness
  • Diarrhea

In such circumstances, consult your pediatrician immediately and stop consuming shellfish. Moreover, if you are eating improperly cooked or stored shellfish, such as undercooked prawns or oysters, you are more prone to suffer from food poisoning. Suffering from such food infection can affect your milk production, and the antibiotics are not at all safe for your feeding infant.

[ Read: Side Effects Of Eating Fish While Breastfeeding ]

Health Benefits Of Eating Shellfish While Breastfeeding:

The nutritional value of seafood is high for pregnant or lactating mothers. Seafood contains vital nutrients like omega-3 fats, which are greatly beneficial for both you and your baby. Omega-3 fats from shellfish serve as healthy fats and can improve the development of the nervous seen of the breastfeed baby. Some of the beneficial shellfish to be included in your diet includes:

  • Salmon
  • Mussels
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Herring

Shellfish can be a part of your healthy diet, and consuming 8-12 ounces of properly cooked shellfish can improve health conditions for both you and your baby.

Shellfish is extremely low in saturated fat and supplies adequate amount of iron, to keep your body energized while breastfeeding. Iron also protects your body from harmful and disease-producing infection. The Vitamin B¬6 in shellfish promotes healthy brain development (2).

[ Read: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

Points To Remember:

  • If you are allergic to seafood or shellfish, it can predominantly induce allergic reactions in your feeding baby. To avoid such health discomforts, change your dietary habits and remove seafood from your diet plan.
  • Eat 8 – 12 ounces of shellfish every week, to acquire an adequate amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. The beneficial element can improve your baby’s visual and cognitive development.
  • If the shellfish smells bad, it is a sign that the fish is no longer in edible condition. Discard such fish immediately to avoid the onset of food poisoning.
  • Cook all shellfish at elevated temperatures, as undercooked or raw shellfish can cause severe health diseases. Cook lobster and shrimp until the meat inside the hard shell becomes opaque. Cook mussels and oysters until their outer shells are fully open.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding ]

If you wish to consume shellfish during breastfeeding, follow these precautionary measures to prevent any health discomforts.

Have you consumed shellfish during breastfeeding? Did you experience any allergic reactions or health diseases?

Share your experiences here. Comment in the box below!

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