The Guide to Consuming Bird's Nest During Pregnancy 2023

Pregnant Women with baby bearWhen should I eat? What should I eat? What should I avoid? When it involves having Bird's Nest, these questions are constantly spiraling in your head, and there's probably more. It is perfectly normal to have these concerns since we believe that a healthy pregnancy diet is essential for both mom and baby, especially when the mom's diet is the baby's primary source of nourishment.

If you are looking for more information or planning to have Bird's Nest during Pregnancy in 2023, you will love this guide! Here, we will cover essential questions about consuming Bird's Nest during Pregnancy and answering these commonly asked questions.

Ever wondered about the age-old tradition of buying Bird's Nest to double-boil for pregnant mothers? Let's delve deeper into Bird's Nest consumption benefits for pregnant women and their babies. 

Is it safe to have Bird's Nest during Pregnancy?

Having Bird's Nest during Pregnancy is considered safe. In fact, it has been a common practice in most Asian cultures for decades to have Bird's Nest during Pregnancy for its nourishing properties for both the mother and the developing fetus.

Nevertheless, it is also essential for pregnant women to consult with their healthcare provider before consuming Bird's Nest since there is a slight possibility that they are allergic to it.

Why is Bird's Nest good for Pregnancy?

During Pregnancy, your baby gets all essential nutrients from you, and you may need more during Pregnancy than you did before Pregnancy. So let us understand how Bird's Nest can be beneficial to you and the baby.

  1. Promotes Intellectual Development & Memory Boost.

Intellectual Boy

Medical circles have proven Sialic acid to be a major carbohydrate found in Edible Bird's NestModern medical research abroad has found that Bird's Nest acid is an essential nutrient for the human body. It is also the main biologically active ingredient in breast milk necessary to provide healthy growth and development of the baby.

It participates in a variety of physiological functions on the cell surface and plays a vital role in regulating the physiological and biochemical processes of the human body. It helps children develop their brains during their growth period, improving their memory and making them think actively. 

  1. Improve Red Blood Cells Production & Prevent Iron Deficiency.
Daily Iron Requirements Table

Another essential trace element that Bird's Nest contains is Iron. Iron is a mineral you'll need twice as much during pregnancy than before. Your body needs iron to make more blood so it can carry oxygen to your baby.

Most studies show that you'll need 27 milligrams of Iron each day during pregnancy. Apart from Bird's Nest, you can get Iron from the food listed below:

  • Red meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Beans, peas, raisins, and dried fruit

On top of it, consuming fruits rich in Vitamin C like oranges and tomatoes can also increase the amount of iron your body absorbs. Being pregnant puts you at a higher risk of iron deficiency which is a condition that happens when you don't have enough healthy red blood cells.

Iron deficiency could potentially cause you to experience the following symptoms: 

  • Infections
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Headache
  • Cold hands and feet

recent study on the prevalence of anemia and iron deficiency anemia in Chinese Pregnant women indicates that 19.8% of women were diagnosed with anemia, and 13.9% were diagnosed with IDA of the 12,403 pregnant women who enrolled.

  1. Prevents Osteoporosis and Supports growth in baby's bone and muscles

Bird's Nest is a natural supplement that is easily absorbed by the body. It also contains Calcium, a mineral that helps your baby's bones, teeth, heart, muscles, and nerves develop during their growth period.     

During Pregnancy, you need 1,000 milligrams of Calcium daily. Other sources of prenatal vitamin and food that is high in calcium includes: 

  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Broccoli and kale

If you don't get enough calcium during pregnancy, your body takes it from your bones and gives it to your baby, which can cause severe health conditions, such as osteoporosis, later in life. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, and a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.

  1. Repair Damaged Skin, Improve Hydration & Reduce Pigmentation.

Women with nice skin

Bird's Nest is rich in Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF). EGF plays a vital role in promoting anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing activities in our bodies. A recent study by a Korean researcher showed that Bird's Nest might repair UVB-induced skin photoaging and inflammation as well as wound injuries, resulting in rapid healing effects. 

EGF plays an essential role during pregnancy as your skin changes due to the shifts in your physique, hormones, and blood flow. Below are the common skin changes: 

  •     Pigmentation changes. The area that tends to darken is around your nipples, the skin on your inner thighs, and genitals. Dark patches might also develop on your face (chloasma). 
  •     Outbreak/Acne. Due to increased hormones, some women have trouble with acne during the first and second trimesters. They might experience more clogged pores that lead to bacteria, inflammation, and outbreaks during the process.
  •     Stretch marks. Stretch marks appear in 9 out of 10 pregnancies. They are caused by the rapid skin stretching during the second and third trimesters when your body is actively developing. 

With all the rapid skin changes in your body, it is crucial to supplement EGF or even include it in your nutrition plan to accelerate wound healing and for better skin.  

   5. Regulate Morning Sickness & Combat Fatigue

Morning Sickness or fatigue usually occurs during the first trimester of Pregnancy due to the rapid increase in both HCG & estrogen hormone levels. Pregnant women who experience severe morning sickness tend to have higher HCG, are stressed out, or are overtired. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) practitioners suggest having Bird's Nest in the first trimester as it contains amino acids & essential minerals to nourish the body for daily tasks and even reduce the possibility of vomiting. 

In addition, TCM believes that women who develop extreme fatigue in the early stages of Pregnancy are likely due to "Yin" and "Qi" deficiency which makes Bird's Nest the ideal choice to replenish both. Besides having Bird's Nest, here are some tips for managing morning sickness,

  • Have plenty of rest (everything feels worse when you are tired)
  • Have a light bite before you get out of bed.
  • Eat small, frequent meals of plain foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat (such as bread, and rice)
  • Drink plenty of fluids, such as water (sipping them little and often may help prevent vomiting)
  • Eat foods or drinks containing ginger – there's some evidence ginger may help reduce nausea and vomiting (check with your healthcare provider before taking ginger supplements during Pregnancy)

   6. Stimulates appetite

Nausea, vomiting, and hormonal changes are common, especially during the first trimester of Pregnancy, and they could significantly affect a pregnant woman's food intake and appetite.

At this point, Bird's Nest might be a perfect choice since it is easy to ingest & it has the essential minerals & protein as well. Also, TCM believes that having Bird's Nest can ease the woes of poor appetite because it can promote blood circulation, stomach digestion & intestinal absorption.

How to cook Bird's Nest soup for Pregnancy?


  • 1 whole Dried Bird's Nest Cup (Yanzhan)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of rock sugar
  • 2 cups of diced ginger
  • 1/2 cup of goji berries (optional)


  1. Soak the bird's nest cup in a bowl of hot water (90°C) for 30 mins. As it softens, pour away the water and gently tear it into strips.

  2. Again, add hot water (90°C) into the bowl with the Bird Nest strips and soak for another 10 mins to rinse any remaining debris and impurities.

  3. Drain the water, transfer the Bird's Nest into a Double Boiler, and add 200ml of hot water - simmer for 2hrs

  4. When you're left with half an hour to go (30mins), reduce the heat to low and add in the condiments!

  5. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the bird's nest is soft and has absorbed the flavors from the other ingredients.

  6. Serve hot.

*Apart from the traditional recipe, feel free to experience different ways of eating this delicacy; in chicken soup, with fish maw, or even abalone.

Ingredients to avoid during Pregnancy

During Pregnancy, pay close attention to the foods you eat and avoid certain items that may harm you or your growing fetus. Here is a list of ingredients that you should avoid when making Bird's Nest soup:

  1. Artificial sweeteners & additivesStudies have shown that artificial sweeteners & additives, such as aspartame, have been linked to potential health concerns during Pregnancy, and limiting their consumption is best.

  2. Black & fungus (黑木耳), Safflower(红花), Sanleng(三棱): These herbs assist in blood circulation and stimulate menstruation which is specifically not conducive to the stability and growth of the embryo during Pregnancy.

  3. Ginseng, Longan & Lychee: Ginseng is a traditional supplement used to fight fatigue & strengthen immunity. However, it is also said that Ginseng, Longan & Lychee is too "heaty" for Pregnancy which might cause morning sickness, abdominal pain & hypertension.

  4. Aloe Vera, Barley, Hawthorn (山楂): It is best to avoid these ingredients during Pregnancy due to their link with increased risk of uterine contraction, which may cause miscarriage or premature birth.

It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before making any dietary changes during Pregnancy, as individual needs may vary, and some restrictions may be more strict depending on the Pregnancy.

Who should avoid having Bird's Nest?  

Individuals allergic to avian proteins (e.g., eggs) should avoid consuming Bird's Nest. Pregnant women diagnosed with weak immune systems should also consult a doctor before consuming it.

Also, Bird's Nest might contain tiny feathers & debris when they are harvested from the natural caves or erected swiftlet houses. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned & processed correctly before consuming them to prevent complications or allergies.

Zhen's Bird's Nest is cleaned using the Traditional method of Hand-picking. Although time-consuming & labor-intensive, it is our commitment to our customers that we deliver only Natural Bird's Nest. Furthermore, every batch of our Harvest undergoes lab testing to ensure they are safe to consume. To support our credibility, we are accredited with HACCP, ISO & SFA for compliance with food safety measures. 

Best time to Consume Bird's Nest during Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy 

Bird's Nest is best consumed on an empty stomach, about an hour before a meal or 2 hours after, so you can effectively absorb all the goodness and nutrients it offers. If you are on medication, taking Bird's Nest two hours after taking your medicine is advisable.

The rationale behind this practice could be similar to taking medicines/ supplements, where you either take it "before food" or "on an empty stomach. This is because food or drinks can affect how these medicines work. For example, taking some medication simultaneously while eating may prevent your stomach and intestines from absorbing the drug, making it less effective.  

How Often should you Consume Bird's Nest during Pregnancy?

Bird's Nest is a superior tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Its nourishing nature is relatively mild and not overpowering, making it very suitable for pregnant women to eat when supplementing nutrition to them & the fetus.

How often an individual pregnant mother consumes Bird's Nest would depend on the stage of Pregnancy she is going through. Read on to find out!

First Trimester (3-5 grams)

The first trimester (i.e., 0-13 weeks) is the earliest phase of Pregnancy. This is an important period as your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. Nutritional supplementation is critical for the baby's healthy growth. At this stage, we recommend consuming 3-5 grams of Bird's Nest every day or every other day. 

Second Trimester (5 grams)

The second trimester of your Pregnancy lasts from weeks 13 to 28. This is the period when both the mother and the baby are most stable. During this period, your baby grows up to 3 pounds and up to 16 inches in length. Their brain and lungs will develop a great deal as well.

During this time, we recommend eating more Bird's Nest since the high content of unique sialic acid in Bird's Nest can promote a baby's brain development and strengthen the immunity of pregnant women. We recommend consuming 5 grams of Bird's Nest every day or every other day.

Based on the TCM principles of pregnancy health, it is necessary to pay attention to the gradual & constant process of taking Bird's Nest throughout Pregnancy. Persistence & perseverance will undoubtedly yield results!

Choosing the type of Bird's Nest to Consume

The following would act as a guide as you decide to consume Bird's Nest during your pregnancy or purchase Bird's Nest for someone dear to you. Choosing the right type and the best quality of Bird's Nest is vital as we always want the best for the mother and the baby. Here, we break down the choosing process into steps so it's easier to follow and understand.

Bottled Bird's Nest or Raw/Dry Bird's Nest?

Many might agree that Dry Bird's Nest is always better because it is often perceived as natural and not processed, and they can decide the cooking method. It also allows the flexibility to control taste and texture, just like how you want your steak done. 

Some prefer Bottled Bird's Nest because it is convenient to consume, skipping the hassle of cooking Dry Bird's Nest, and is usually more price effective. Both ways are viable, but these are things to look out for when deciding between Bottled Bird's Nest or Dry Bird's Nest.

Bottled Bird's Nest 


These are some certifications that are considered essentials and labeled on the product in the food industry to ensure that the product is safe for consumption. If the product certificates are not present, it could mean that no third-party food safety organization has ever verified the product for its genuineness & safety.


ISO 22000 is a global food safety standard that ensures that the food producer/manufacturer is responsible for managing the safety of their products for consumption.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)

HACCP is another global food safety standard that ensures the product is free of biological, chemical, or physical hazards that could potentially bring harm to you.

Suppose the Bottled Bird's Nest does not have these certifications. They might have yet to be produced with safety standards in place. In that case, manufacturers are not held responsible, and products might not be safe to consume.

Preservatives Free

Preservatives, natural or artificial, are added to products to increase their shelf life. Unfortunately, most preservatives used today are primarily artificial rather than natural and potentially harmful.

Some are safe to consume, and some are unhealthy to consume that may cause serious health hazards. A research was done to increase awareness of consuming preservatives and the health risk that comes with them.

Bird's Nest Substitutes Free 

Bird's Nest, known as "Caviar of the East," is undoubtedly a luxury commodity. The prices vary according to the Bird's Nest's grade, origin, and color. The commonly retailed white swiftlet Dried Bird's Nest ranges from SGD$6,000/kg - SGD$8,000/kg or SGD$6.00/g - SGD$8.00/g. 

However, it is common for retailers to meet consumers' demand for competitive prices by adding Bird's Nest Substitutes, commonly seaweed or white fungus, which has a somewhat similar texture to the original Bird's Nest. Doing so makes the Bottled Bird's Nest more affordable and seemingly thick to consumers.

Therefore, if it costs you less than $8.00 per bottle, chances are that the bottle has less than a gram of authentic Bird's Nest, which is not enough to supplement you during Pregnancy.

Raw/Dried Bird's Nest

Identifying a fake Bird's Nest

The bird's nest industry globally is an estimated US$ 5 billion reported by Bloomberg News in 2014 when Hong Kong and the United States were the largest importers of nests then. Currently, China is the biggest importer of Bird's Nest, and the estimated figures could be way higher. Alike making purchases in any other lucrative industry, one must always pay extra care when buying Bird's Nest.

Step 1: Always buy from a reputable source or an established retailer. There might be a lot of good deals on numerous e-commerce platforms, but are they credible or accountable? Give yourself peace of mind by purchasing from someone with good track records or a physical presence in Singapore.

Step 2: Conduct a short physical appearance test. Like our fingerprints, Bird's Nest comes in different shapes and sizes. No two are 100% identical. 

Step 3: Like how you can bleach your teeth to make them look white and clean, coloring might also be added to Bird's Nest to make it look desirable. In contrast to the traditional method of cleaning Bird's Nest, which is expensive and time-consuming, unethical sellers would rather bleach them because it is a cheaper and faster alternative. Therefore, to verify if the Bird's Nest has undergone artificial coloring or bleaching, soak it in water, and it should be semi-transparent.   


Bird's Nest is an excellent choice during Pregnancy as it brings many health benefits for the fetus and the mother. At the same time, avoiding certain ingredients when cooking the Bird's Nest soup is vital as they might cause unwanted harm. Lastly, always purchase your Bird's Nest from a trustworthy source with track records & food safety credentials. If you have questions about Bird's Nest & Pregnancy, please feel free to comment or share this article if you have enjoyed it!

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