Can you eat eggs when pregnant?

Egg omelette that could be eaten during pregnancy

Yes, you can eat eggs when pregnant. In fact, eggs are a great food for pregnant women.

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods available and can make an important contribution to a healthy, balanced diet for pregnant women, helping them to achieve necessary intakes of vitamins and minerals, some of which aren’t found in many other foods.

Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin and pantothenic acid, as well as the nutrient choline, and other essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus.

Folate is particularly important during pregnancy as it contributes to the division of cells and therefore to tissue growth.

You can find more information on these nutrients here.

Many women go off strong-tasting foods in the early days of pregnancy and a simple runny boiled or poached egg with toast can help make sure that light, easily digested food is still nutritious.

Conversely, some women develop cravings for strong flavours, so eggs can help create a light but tasty meal such as spicy scrambles or omelettes.

Can a pregnant women eat eggs daily?

Yes – there are no limits on the number of eggs you can eat during pregnancy.

Eggs are a particularly nutritious food for pregnant women so you can enjoy them every day throughout your pregnancy, within a healthy balanced diet that includes a wide range of foods, including vegetables, fruit and whole grains.

In the past it was sometimes thought that you shouldn’t eat too many eggs because of their cholesterol content, but it’s now known that the dietary cholesterol from foods like eggs does not raise blood cholesterol levels in most people. All the major UK heart and health advisory organisations have lifted their previous limits on egg consumption.

Egg safety

The latest advice from the Food Standards Agency reviewed its advice has confirmed that British Lion eggs can safely be eaten runny, even by pregnant women, babies and elderly people. Read the full details of the latest FSA advice on runny eggs.

So pregnant women can get all the nutritional benefits of eating eggs while enjoying a soft-cooked boiled, poached or fried egg, as long as it has the British Lion mark on.

Allergy and pregnancy

It was once thought that women should avoid potentially allergenic foods when pregnant, especially if they had a family history of allergic disease. It is now recognised that avoiding these potentially allergenic foods, for example, peanuts or eggs, is unlikely to increase the risk of allergies to these foods in their babies. In fact research has shown that eating eggs when pregnant may help Mums reduce the chances of their baby being allergic to eggs later on.

So eggs can be consumed during pregnancy as part of a varied and balanced diet provided that the woman herself is not allergic to eggs.

See the egg allergy section for further information.

If you are a health professional, you can find out more about egg consumption in pregnancy and infant diets in the Journal of Health Visiting.

Why you can trust this page

All information checked by an independent Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian.

The website is provided by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC). BEIC is recognised by Government and Parliament as the representative voice of the UK egg industry.