Is It Safe To Eat Shrimp When Breastfeeding?

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Nursing mothers often devote extra time and energy to provide their babies the best of nutrition. While breastmilk is full of antibodies, mothers who breastfeed, need to pay extra attention to their diet. It is mainly because the food and drink that the mother consumes transfer through her breastmilk to her baby.

Whether you are a second-time mom, or this is your first child, breastfeeding can be a confusing phase. You remain unsure of what to eat, and everything you do put on that plate should be safe for you and the baby. Shrimp is one of the most delectable seafood that you can eat. But, how safe is it to consume when you are nursing your little one, and what kind of side effects can it lead to. Here we offer you some general information about eating shrimp while breastfeeding your infant.

What Is Shrimp?

Shrimp accounts for almost 25% of the seafood purchased in some countries, and it is very popular. It is a rich source of antioxidants and is highly nutritious. It is also rich in omega-3 and sterol. Shrimps are crustaceans, just like crabs and lobsters and thus have an exoskeleton. Often the words shrimp and prawns are used for the same fish, but while prawns inhabit freshwater habitats; shrimps predominantly inhabit saltwater habitats. Shrimp is considered to be low in methyl mercury and hence can be consumed by a breastfeeding mother once in a while [1].

Is It Safe To Eat Shrimp While Breastfeeding?

Though shrimp is comparatively safe while breastfeeding, you should limit the consumption to 12oz each week. What this means is that you can 2-3 servings of fish a week, which includes shrimp. If you happen to consume more fish one week, you can limit or reduce the consumption the next week and balance it.

To conclude, it is okay to consume shrimp while breastfeeding, but in a limited amount. Also, make sure to check the signs of allergy on the baby and stop if the baby is irritated or shows signs of allergic reactions.

How To Purchase Shrimp While Breastfeeding?

Just like any other seafood, buy shrimp from a well-known and hygienic store. The store should offer a fresh supply, or speak to the fishmonger so that you have a fresh supply every time. While purchasing shrimp, you would also want to decide if you want a fresh shrimp or the frozen kind. The frozen kind has a longer shelf life while the fresh ones can be kept only for a day or two. The color is a good indicator of the quality of the shrimp. Unless it is a spotted shrimp, you should not see any rings or spots of any kind on the skin. These are a mark of deterioration.

Why Should You Limit Eating Shrimp While Breastfeeding?

While it is a great source of omega-3 and fatty acids, it contains mercury and other contaminants, which can pass into your breastmilk and further into your baby’s digestive system. Excessive exposure to mercury through breastmilk can increase the risk to the newborn baby and his nervous system. Also, certain food in the diet can lead to irritation and even cause allergic reactions. If the baby becomes fussy or develops rashes, diarrhea or congestion, consult a pediatrician immediately [2].

Side Effects Of Eating Shrimp While Breastfeeding:

A breastfed baby might sometimes be allergic to foods that the mom eats. Common among such foods is soy foods, wheat, corn, eggs, peanuts, and fish like shrimps, etc.

The signs of baby having an allergic reaction include:

  • Frequent Vomiting and spitting
  • Apparent pain in the belly, a sign of gas
  • Bloody stools
  • Hard stools
  • Swelling and rashes

If you see any of these signs of the baby avoid the most apparent allergic food and call the doctor. If the problem continues, keep a list of all the things you have throughout the day and discuss the same with the doctor. Your doctor might be able to pinpoint the problematic food.

Now that you have an understanding about shrimp and breastfeeding, how did it benefit you? Tell us here. Leave a comment below.