Can you eat lamb when breastfeeding?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat lamb when breastfeeding, what is a lamb, is it healthy to eat lamb when pregnant, what is the risk of eating lamb when breastfeeding, and how can you add lamb to your diet. 

Can you eat lamb when breastfeeding?

Yes, you can eat lamb when you are breastfeeding. Lamb is safe to eat as long as it has been thoroughly cooked. According to the NHS, all meats including lamb must be fully cooked when you are breastfeeding to prevent any food-borne illnesses. 

Food-borne illnesses are not as dangerous for breastfeeding women as for pregnant women. Bacteria do not pass through breast milk to the baby. 

What is a lamb?

Lamb or also called hogget or mutton refers to the meat of domesticated sheep. The sheep in their first year of life is called lamb while in their second year is hogget. When it is older, it is called mutton. 

  • Lamb: a young sheep under 12 months with no permanent incisor teeth in wear.
  • Hogget: a sheep with no more than two permanent incisors in wear.
  • Mutton: is the meat of the female or castrated male with two or more permanent incisors. 

Lamb is the most popular and expensive of the three types of meat. Lamb meat is taken from the animal between one month and one year old. It is tender meat and it can be sorted into three types of meat

  • Forequarter: it includes the neck, shoulder, front legs, and ribs up to the shoulder. It contains more connective tissue than some other cuts. 
  • Loin: includes the ribs 
  • Hindquarter: includes the rear legs and hip

The cuts of the lamb according to the UK, Canada, and Commonwealth countries include

  • Scrag end 
  • Middle neck
  • Best end
  • Loin
  • Chump
  • Leg
  • Shank
  • Shoulder
  • Breast

Lamb chops are cut from the rib, loin, and shoulder areas while the rib chops include a rib bone and the loin chop has only a chine bone.

Is it healthy to eat lamb when breastfeeding?

Lamb is a healthy protein to eat and to add to your diet when you are breastfeeding. 100 grams of lamb contains 258 calories, 25.6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 16.5 grams of fat. 

Lamb is primarily composed of protein and when cooked, is about 25% of lean protein. Protein is essential for the production of milk and to give the baby enough protein to support growth. Protein passes to the baby through breastmilk. 

Breastfeeding women require 25 more grams of protein than non-pregnant women. 

Fat content in lamb may vary depending on diet, age, gender, and feed but normally it contains about 20% of fat. 100 grams of roasted lamb contains 6.9 grams of saturated fat, 7 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 1.2 grams of polyunsaturated fat. 

Lamb is one of the proteins that contains more CLA compared to beef and veal. CLA is a linoleic acid that has a lot of health benefits. Also, lamb is high in vitamin b12, selenium, zinc, niacin, phosphorus, and iron. 

What is the risk of eating lamb when breastfeeding?

Lamb is a protein high in histamine so it might give allergic reactions in some people. 

Lamb must be eaten fully cooked. According to the FDA, it has to be cooked at least for 145 F or 63 C and let rest for about 3 minutes before eating it. This is to prevent food poisoning. 

The FSA says that lamb can be safely eaten but consumers need to be aware that if not fully cooked, harmful bacteria are not killed. The three main diseases you can contract if you eat undercooked meat are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis. It can cause respiratory tract symptoms, septicemia, and encephalitis. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year. It means that it’s very rare to get infected but there is a risk and you need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for breastfeeding women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 


Salmonella also causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there is bacteria in the blood and can be fatal to pregnant women. 

Symptoms of food poisoning include 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and fevers
  • Muscle pain

How can you add lamb to your diet?

Lamb can be added in many different ways to your diet. The most common methods to cook lamb are grilling, braising, and roasting. It depends on the cut you choose. These types of cooking methods help to reduce the content of fat. 

The leanest and healthiest cuts you can choose when eating lamb are lamb loin, lamb shank, and lamb leg. Follow this link for 32 lamb recipes that will make it your new favorite protein. 

Other FAQs about Lamb that you may be interested in.

Can you eat lamb shank when pregnant?

Can you eat lamb kofta when pregnant?

Can you eat lamb doner when pregnant?


This article answered can you eat lamb when breastfeeding? What is a lamb? Is it healthy to eat lamb when pregnant? What is the risk of eating lamb when breastfeeding, and how can you add lamb to your diet?” 

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