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Eggs and pregnancy

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods available and can make an important contribution to the diet of pregnant women, helping them to achieve optimal intakes of vitamins and minerals. As a pregnant woman, your diet can affect your unborn baby and specific nutrients found in eggs may help support both your health and the development of your baby. These include folate, vitamin D, iodine, selenium, choline and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

Egg safety in pregnancy

At the time of the salmonella and eggs scare in 1988, the Department of Health recommended that recipes for uncooked dishes involving raw eggs should be avoided, and that lightly cooked eggs should not be served to vulnerable groups – i.e. infants, pregnant women, elderly and debilitated people.

This advice, however, pre-dated the introduction of the British Lion scheme in 1998. Since the British Lion scheme was introduced in 1998, however, these risks have been effectively eliminated from Lion-marked eggs and the Food Standards Agency has recently reviewed its advice, and is planning to confirm that British Lion eggs can safely be eaten runny, even by pregnant women, babies and elderly people. Read more here.

Find out more about the advice on eggs for mums and babies.

 

Allergy and pregnancy

It used to be 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, may be more likely to increase the risk of allergies to these foods in their babies.  

Emerging research is showing that women who eat eggs when pregnant may actually reduce the chances of their baby being allergic. Find out more about egg consumption in pregnancy and infant diets in the Journal of Health Visiting.

Therefore, eggs should be consumed as part of a varied and balanced diet that includes a wide range of foods.

Related links

Find out more about eggs and allergy.

Further information about eggs and babies.

British Lion boiled egg in egg cup