Can you eat oysters while breastfeeding?

can you eat oysters while breastfeeding

Oysters are delicious!  So why shouldn’t we eat them while breastfeeding? Well, according to the Food and Drug Administration, consuming raw shellfish like oysters could cause food poisoning.

While breastfeeding you might want to avoid certain foods, like shellfish which can be allergenic for some people and might lead to an allergic reaction in others with sensitive skin or eczema-prone conditions. However, unless you have a family history of food allergies yourself (or notice symptoms after consuming them), there isn’t really any need to avoid these types altogether while breastfeeding. As far as mercury levels go: although oysters are not particularly high compared to other seafood such as fish which do contain higher amounts–a concern still remains due to our environment being so heavily influenced by pollution nowadays.

Eating Oysters While Breastfeeding

Oysters contain zinc, copper and iron, along with several other vitamins and minerals. They’re also rich sources of protein, fiber and B12. But there are risks associated with eating them while breastfeeding.

These include bacterial infections such as vibrio vulnificus, which can cause severe illness or even death. Vibriosis can occur when bacteria enter the body via cuts or wounds, especially those caused by shellfish consumption.

You can eat seafood and oysters during breastfeeding but if you’re worried about possible bateria infection then rather make sure to cook it thoroughly.

In addition, the FDA recommends pregnant women should avoid consuming raw fish because it could lead to tetrodotoxin poisoning. Tetrodotoxins are found in pufferfish, fugu and stingrays.

Risks Of Eating Oysters While Breastfeeding

Oysters are one of the most popular shellfish consumed worldwide and are one of nature’s delicacies. They are considered to be a healthy food because they contain high amounts of protein and vitamins A, B12, D, E, K, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper and selenium. But some people believe that eating oysters while breastfeeding could harm your baby.

Eating too many raw oysters could lead to toxic levels of mercury in your system? Mercury is a heavy metal found naturally in the environment, but it can build up in our bodies over time. This buildup occurs primarily from consuming fish that are contaminated with mercury.

While some studies suggest that cooking oysters reduces the risk of mercury poisoning, others show that cooking does not eliminate the toxin entirely. If you’re concerned about mercury toxicity, you might want to consider avoiding oysters altogether.

Or, you could choose another type of seafood that doesn’t pose a threat to your health, such as salmon, shrimp, cod, tuna, crab, lobster, clams, scallops and sardines.

However, there is no evidence that suggests that eating oysters causes mercury poisoning.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is recommended that you only eat 8 and 12 ounces per week of a variety of seafood from choices that are lower in mercury. This includes raw shellfish such as mussels, clams, scallops and oysters. You should also limit the amount of canned tuna and salmon that you eat.

Some studies show that maternal exposure to methylmercury from eating contaminated fish increases the risk of autism in children. Methylmercury accumulates in the brain and damages nerve cells.

However, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the amount of mercury found in oysters is much less than what is found in other types of fish.

In fact, oysters contain about half as much mercury as bluefin tuna. So, if you want to enjoy a delicious meal without worrying about harming your baby, go ahead and indulge yourself in oysters.

How Many Oysters Can You Eat While Breastfeeding?

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to eating oysters while breastfeeding. Some nursing mothers may choose to avoid them altogether, while others may find that they can enjoy them in moderation without any problems.

While breastfeeding, you should be able to eat up to six oysters per day without harming your baby. However, this number may vary depending on several factors including your weight, age, and overall health.

Oysters are a good source of zinc, which is important for both mother and baby. If you do eat oysters while breastfeeding, be sure to wash them thoroughly and cook them well before eating. 

  • Don’t eat more than 8 to 12 ounces per week.
  • Try to find fresh oysters rather than canned ones.
  • Avoid raw oysters if you’re pregnant or nursing.
  • Don’t eat too many oysters at once; this could lead to indigestion.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids while you’re eating oysters.
  • Do not eat oysters on an empty stomach.
  • Be careful about consuming alcohol while you’re eating oyster.
  • If you’re allergic to shellfish, avoid eating oysters.

If you’re concerned about eating too much while breastfeeding, try limiting yourself to one or two oysters per meal. In general, I suggest following the FDA recommendations about eating different types of fish.

Can You Eat Cooked or Steamed Oysters While Breastfeeding?

Eating steamed oysters while breastfeeding is healthy because it’s a quick way to prepare the food without adding extra calories or fats.

Eating raw oysters isn’t recommended while breastfeeding. Cooking them will reduce the risks of food poisoning.

But there’s one thing you shouldn’t do: eat raw oysters. They contain bacteria that could make you sick.

It’s important to purchase fresh oysters from a reputable seafood supplier. When selecting oysters, look for those that have a plump body and a clean shell. Avoid any that are cracked or open, as this could indicate that they’re not fresh.

Once you’ve purchased your oysters, it’s time to cook them. The best way to do this is to steam them until the shells open slightly. This will kill any bacteria found in the oyster.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women avoid consuming seafood during pregnancy due to the risk of mercury poisoning. However, there isn’t enough evidence to say whether fish oil supplements are safe for pregnant mothers.

In addition, some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish might help reduce postpartum depression.

VIDEO: Are there foods I shouldn’t eat while I’m breastfeeding

Do Oysters Affect Breast Milk?

Shellfish can pass through breast milk, which could cause an adverse effect in your baby. Avoiding shellfish during pregnancy and breastfeeding will help protect against any potential side effects.

If you’re pregnant or nursing and are planning to consume oysters, read up on what it does to your body. Here’s everything you need to know about how oysters affect your health.

While there aren’t any studies showing that oysters affect breast milk production, experts recommend avoiding raw seafood until after delivery. Eating oysters while breastfeeding is fine, but avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant or nursing.

ACOG recommends pregnant women, women who might become pregnant and breastfeeding moms follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) revised advice to limit their exposure to mercury and other chemicals found in fish.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Eat 2-3 servings a week (8 to 12 ounces in total) of a variety of fish
  • Eat only 1 serving a week (no more than 6 ounces) of some fish, such as albacore (white) tuna and fish with similar mercury concentrations to albacore (white) tuna
  • Avoid fish with high mercury content (such as king mackerel, orange roughy, shark and swordfish, tilefish from the gulf of Mexico, Bigeye tuna etc).
  • If you’re eating fish caught from friends and family, check for advisories before eating them. If there aren’t any advisories, limit yourself to one serving per week. Don’t eat any other fish during that week.

Women who follow this dietary advice may experience the benefits associated with seafood consumption without experiencing an increased risk of mercury poisoning for themselves or their babies.

Health Benefits of Eating Oysters

if you’re looking for a healthy seafood option that’s also delicious, oysters are a great choice. They’re low in calories and high in nutrients, making them the perfect food to eat if you’re trying to stay healthy.

And with so many ways to prepare them, there’s something for everyone when it comes to enjoying oysters. In fact, oysters are considered a superfood because of their nutritional value.

VIDEO: Dr. Berg – Are oysters good for you?

List of Benefits of eating Oysters

  • Excellent source of nutrients and proteins: Oysters contain zinc, iron, vitamin B12, selenium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin and choline.
  • High in Omega-3: Oysters also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain development and aid in vision and hearing. 
  • Lower Cholesterol than meat: Oysters contain less cholesterol than meat products like beef or pork.
  • Lowers blood pressure: Oysters contain high amounts of potassium and magnesium which can help lower your blood pressure and improve circulation and blood oxygenation levels.
  • Improves digestion: Oysters contain a lot of fiber and healthy fats which can help to improve digestion.
  • Reduces inflammation: Oysters contain zinc which is immune-boosting and is an antioxidant protects the body from inflamation damage.
  • Improves thyroid function: Oysters contain small amounts of iodine, which is important for thyroid function.

Safer Seafood Choices While Breastfeeding

It’s generally safe to eat most types of seafood while breastfeeding, with a few exceptions. Seafood is a great source of protein and other nutrients and can be a part of your healthy diet while you’re nursing.

Seafood is generally considered safe to eat while breastfeeding. This is because most of the contaminants and toxins found in seafood are not passed into breastmilk. However, there are a few exceptions and things to keep in mind.

Mercury is the main concern when it comes to eating seafood while breastfeeding. Some seafood and fish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to both mother and baby. However, the amount of mercury that is transferred into breastmilk is minuscule compared to what a child would be exposed to if they ate the same type of fish.

For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pregnant women limit their intake of fish. And avoid fish that are known to be high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel.

Avoid raw fish and stick to lower-mercury options like salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna (not albacore or white), pollock, and catfish.

If you are concerned about eating seafood while breastfeeding, please speak with your healthcare provider.

Wrapping it Up – Eating Oysters While Breastfeeding

So, can you eat oysters while breastfeeding? Yes and no. You should avoid eating oysters during your pregnancy, but cooked oysters are generally safe to eat while breastfeeding.

In fact, they’re actually quite nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals. They contain zinc, which helps boost milk production; iron, which helps keep your baby’s blood healthy; and iodine, which aids digestion.

However, it’s best to limit your intake of all seafood to 12 ounces per week since some types of seafood contain high levels of mercury. If you’re looking for other safe seafood options during breastfeeding, consider trout, salmon, shrimp, or scallops.

Breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t worry too much about what they’re eating while breastfeeding—but it is important to be aware of foods that, when eaten in large quantities, can harm their babies’ health and impact their milk supply.

Thanks for reading!

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