Can Pregnant Women Eat Honey?

Can Pregnant Women Eat Honey?

As expecting parents, we do everything in our power to keep our unborn child safe and sound as they continue to grow in utero. This includes things like cutting out alcohol, avoiding the cat litter box, and watching what we eat.

(1) With so many do’s and don'ts of pregnancy, it can be hard to know every single thing that you’re not supposed to do- or even remember those things that you have heard about. (Hello, pregnancy brain.)

One of those things that may fall into the “who knew” category: whether or not honey is safe during pregnancy. Read on to learn the sweet truth about whether or not pregnant women can eat honey. 

Is Honey Safe During Pregnancy?

You may have heard that honey consumption poses a risk to infants under the age of 1.

This is due to the fact that the sweet, gooey, goodness is actually host to a bacteria, called Clostridium, that could cause infant botulism. Infant botulism can cause lethargy, weakness, constipation, and more.

As infants get older, their digestive systems mature and Clostridium is easily moved through the body with no-harm done. So, what does this mean for pregnant women?

Honey is safe for pregnant women to eat since it is their digestive system that will be processing the sugary substance. (3) Speaking of sugar, although honey is safe for consumption during pregnancy, sugar intake should be limited. Moderation is key. (2) 


What are the Benefits of Honey During Pregnancy?

Not only is honey, when consumed in moderation, safe for pregnant mothers - it actually has some benefits! When honey is eaten “raw”, or unpasteurized, its benefits are impressive to say the least. 

 

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases antioxidant activity
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Nature’s cough medicine
  • Speeds wound healing
  • Soothes digestive problems

Honey can also be used to boost energy levels! We all know (all too well) that pregnancy fatigue is real. Next time it hits hard, try a small spoonful of honey in your tea. 


While honey is nutritionally dense in its raw state, packed with vitamins and minerals, pasteurization can kill off some of these nutrient components. There is some debate present whether pasteurized or raw honey is better for pregnant women, but according to the Mayo Clinic, honey in its purest form does not contain the foodborne pathogens that pasteurization typically aims to kill off.

However, unpasteurized cheeses and juices should be avoided during pregnancy because they do contain foodborne pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. (3)


How Much Honey Is Safe During Pregnancy?

As we mentioned, moderation is key. As is the case with any other sugar, it may not be healthy to overindulge. It is recommended to not exceed 2 tablespoons of honey per day. Excessive consumption of honey can have an impact on weight gain during pregnancy, unhealthy glucose level, and other potential health issues. 


Who Shouldn’t Eat Honey During Pregnancy?

While a spoonful of honey here and there is perfectly safe for most pregnant women, there are some groups of pregnant mothers who may need to limit honey consumption even further - or avoid it all together. For example, those with gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women need to limit sugar and carbohydrate intake and it affects up to 10% of expecting mothers. (4) Honey may cause spikes in blood sugar that could be harmful to an unborn baby. However, some research indicates that honey may be better tolerated than simple white sugar for some people with gestational diabetes, but this is not the case for all individuals.

(5) Expecting mothers who struggle with acid reflux and indigestion may also want to avoid honey. While it does have the potential to soothe some gastrointestinal issues, it could make them worse for some pregnant women. (3) 


Can You Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

Honey while pregnant = green light. What about when you’re breastfeeding? Also perfectly safe. There is virtually no risk that bacteria present in honey would transfer to your baby via breast milk. The same is true for many foods that were off-the-menu while pregnant! Raw fish, unpasteurized cheese, and undercooked meat no longer pose a risk of harming your baby if consumed, even while breastfeeding.

So put some honey on your goat cheese and grab some sushi mama! Eating honey while breastfeeding is not only safe, but has many benefits! We discussed some of the benefits of honey earlier, but what we didn’t mention was its neurological benefits. Honey can actually help fight off those baby blues, if you have them.

(Which is super normal by the way.)

Plus, the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals present in honey are more important than ever for your breastfeeding body, it is working hard to produce that liquid gold after all. (6)

Conclusion

As a Mom-founded company, we truly understand the importance of keeping your baby safe. When they’re in utero, it’s up to you to study the do’s and don'ts of pregnancy list and protect your unborn baby. Once they’re born, you can trust us to help keep them safe while they sleep. With safety in design at the forefront of our creative process, you can trust Dreamland Baby sleep solutions for your baby.

We've enlisted the help of medical professionals in the field of sleep, medicine, infant care, and occupational therapy to provide us with their expert guidance and ensure that we continue to deliver safe, effective products that meet the highest quality standards! Knowing that your baby is sound asleep, safely, allows you to get the rest you (desperately) need as well.

Our patented CoverCalm® Technology in our Sleep Sacks, Swaddles, and Transition Swaddles provides gentle, evenly distributed weight to naturally reduce stress and improve relaxation through deep touch stimulation. This helps your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer

Sources:

  1. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/things-to-avoid-during-pregnancy 
  2. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/honey-botulism.html#:~:text=Babies%20younger%20than%201%20year,decreased%20muscle%20tone%20(floppiness)
  3. https://www.thebump.com/a/honey-pregnant 
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%202%25%20to%2010,pregnancy%20and%20a%20healthy%20baby.
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5817209/ 
  6. https://www.babycenter.com/baby/breastfeeding/is-it-safe-for-a-breastfeeding-mom-to-eat-honey_10370335 

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