Nutrition during pregnancy

Egg Taboos; Should I eat eggs during pregnancy?

Egg and food taboos for pregnant women exist in many societies. Some of the traditional beliefs agree with modern science. But some don’t and may deny pregnant women the nutrients they need. Many communities in Kenya have Egg taboos during pregnancy. Let us look at some of the reasons behind egg taboos in Kenya.

Results in large babies and complications during delivery

Proteins are needed for muscle and tissue growth. During pregnancy, your protein needs increase. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein. Therefore including eggs in your diet increases your chances for good nutrition. However, consuming a lot of eggs will provide excess proteins and may cause the baby to grow big.

Also, the idea that a pregnant woman must eat for two is a lie. Maternal calorie intake determines the birth weight of the baby. Consuming a lot of food delivers excess nutrients to the baby. This causes the baby to grow faster and larger than usual. This may also cause their baby to be big.

Causes heart and breathing problems for both mother and infant

Heart and breathing problems in pregnant women and infants could be associated with the high cholesterol levels in eggs. The body needs cholesterol to manufacture maternal hormones. The liver controls the production of cholesterol in the body. When we eat cholesterol, the liver will produce less cholesterol to balance.

During pregnancy, it is important to check your cholesterol levels. For those with normal levels, eating 3-4 eggs in a week is acceptable. And will not interfere with your cholesterol levels. However, for women with high blood cholesterol, it is better to avoid eating eggs. This is also applicable to those with diabetes. Since eating eggs may put you at risk of getting heart disease or stroke.

Causes allergy

During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes. As a result, you may develop an allergy. If you develop an egg allergy, it may be helpful to limit your intake of eggs. Remember such allergies may not last throughout the pregnancy.

In the past, pregnant women were encouraged to avoid allergenic foods like eggs. This was thought to protect the baby from developing allergy. However, research now says that chances of a child developing allergy is lowered if the mother eats the allergenic foods. Therefore, unless a pregnant woman has allergy, they should eat eggs without fear.

Child may be dumb or have delayed speech

Eggs are rich in choline which enhances brain development and memory in the fetus. Eggs also have omega 3 which is important in brain development. Which may make your baby smarter.

There is also no scientific association of egg with the inability to speak or speech delay in children

Too much weight in pregnant mother

Weight gain in pregnancy is a factor of calorie intake just as in non-pregnancy. The body uses proteins to build tissues and not for energy. Therefore the risk for gaining excess weight in pregnancy would be in excessive eating.  And not as a result of eating eggs. Unless you are out feasting on eggs. Which will put your body in ketosis.

What other reasons or food taboos during pregnancy do you know about? We would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.