Last updated on February 28th, 2023 at 10:45 am
This article is all about honey and pregnancy. It discusses the benefits, recommendations, safety, and potential side effects of eating honey during pregnancy.
Pregnant women continuously look for healthy substitutes for their favorite meals. And because honey is widely known as a better alternative to conventional sugar, they wonder if they can eat it during pregnancy. Is honey safe for pregnant women?
Why would pregnant women even think about this if honey is so healthy? Because we all know we shouldn’t give honey to babies under one year old. So, naturally, many pregnant women wonder whether honey can also affect the baby in the womb, making them unsure if they can eat it during pregnancy.
Why would pregnant women even consider this since honey is otherwise healthy? Because we all know that babies under the age of one should not eat honey. As a result, many pregnant women fear whether honey might harm the baby in the womb, leaving them unsure if they can eat it while pregnant.
So, let’s look at the facts about eating honey during pregnancy.
Is it safe to eat honey during pregnancy?
It is generally safe to eat honey during pregnancy!
While it’s unsafe to give it to babies under a year old, eating honey when pregnant won’t harm you or your unborn child.
You shouldn’t be giving raw honey to babies because of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum that can be present in raw honey. This bacteria may cause a dangerous condition called botulism.
However, people often forget this applies only to non-pasteurized, raw honey! Also, these bacteria are very rare in raw honey.
And the most important fact for you as a pregnant woman. Your stomach can kill the harmful bacteria that may cause botulism in babies who consume raw honey.
Pregnant women can safely eat pasteurized honey! But raw, unpasteurized honey is generally not recommended anyway! Better be safe than sorry!
Yet another fact. A chemical must have a low molecular weight to cross the placenta and harm your unborn baby. The Clostridium botulinum bacteria has a high molecular weight! So, it is unlikely to pass through your placenta and reach your baby.
This means your baby should be protected even if you eat raw honey that contains botulism bacteria. However, scientific research on pregnant women hasn’t been done yet, so I would rather opt for pasteurized honey during pregnancy!
CONCLUSION: The risk of botulism when eating RAW honey during pregnancy is low but still present. Pasteurization, a process of heating to a high temperature, kills the botulism spores, making the honey safe to consume while pregnant!
Pregnant women can eat PASTEURIZED HONEY safely!
Recommendations for eating honey during pregnancy
There are only recommendations on the type of honey but no guidelines on how much honey you can consume during pregnancy.
Recommendations for consuming honey during pregnancy:
- Consume only pasteurized honey! It was heated to a high temperature to kill any botulism spores that may have been present in the honey.
- Buy honey from reputable sources, and check the label to ensure it has been pasteurized.
As always, it’s best to consult your doctor or obstetrician for personalized advice, as there may be other considerations specific to your situation.
They may advise you to avoid certain types of honey or suggest an alternative if they believe consuming it may put you or your baby at risk.
Benefits of eating honey during pregnancy
Honey has a variety of potential benefits when consumed during pregnancy.
The best honey benefits for pregnant women are:
1. Honey can help you not get sick during pregnancy:
Antioxidants in honey can help protect cells from damage and thus lower the risk of various diseases. Certain types of honey, such as Manuka*, also contain other antibacterial properties that may help reduce the risk of illness.
2. Soothing sore throat:
Honey has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe a sore throat.
3. Energy boost:
Honey is a natural sweetener that can quickly boost energy.
4. Help with digestion:
Honey can help regulate gut bacteria and improve digestion.
5. Wound healing:
Honey has antibacterial properties, so you can apply it to the wound to help it heal.
It’s important to note that these benefits are the potential benefits of consuming pasteurized honey, not raw or unpasteurized honey!
Potential risks of eating honey during pregnancy
The potential risks of eating honey during pregnancy include:
- Botulism spores: Raw or unpasteurized honey can contain botulism spores, so use only pasteurized honey. Pasteurization kills the spores, making the honey safe to consume.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to honey or pollen, and consuming it could cause an allergic reaction.
- High sugar content: Honey is a natural sweetener with high sugar content. Consuming too much of it can contribute to weight gain and gestational diabetes.
- Interference with medication: Honey may interact with certain medications, making them less effective. It’s best to consult your doctor before consuming it if you take any medications.
- Pesticides: Honey can be contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals. It’s important to buy honey from reputable sources.