Can Women Eat Honey While Pregnant?

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Can Women Eat Honey While Pregnant?

It is common knowledge that babies and infants younger than 1-year-old should not consume raw honey because ingestion of raw honey can lead to botulism. Babies can get botulism from honey if it contains certain bacteria. In this article of, we will discuss can women eat honey while pregnant? Let’s Start

Also, babies under 1 don’t have a fully developed digestive system, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise against consuming raw honey before their first birthday. [1]

Parents may wonder, though, is it the same for unborn babies if they cannot eat honey? Honey can be harmful to an unborn baby if consumed by a pregnant woman. Is honey safe to eat?

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What Makes Honey Dangerous For a Pregnant Woman?

What Makes Honey Dangerous For a Pregnant Woman?
Honey During Pregnancy | Images|

Honey is considered to be a risk food item because it is raw food, thus containing bacteria that might cause botulism. A strain of bacterial spore called Clostridium botulinum produces neurotoxins that cause botulism, a disease that causes paralysis in the body.

The bacteria produce the botulinum neurotoxin as soon as they enter the body. This substance is dangerous for humans and causes paralysis in their bodies. Bacteria that cause botulism can be found in soil and dust, so it’s around us all the time. There is some residue on nearly every surface in a home, including carpets and countertops.

However, the botulism bacteria usually has no harmful effects on healthy children and adults and does not cause the development of symptoms of the disease.

Children and adults, however, differ from infants in many ways. Following spore ingestion, CDC notes that some infants are more susceptible to botulism than others.

The Baby’s digestive system is directly exposed to Clostridium spores through eating honey. That is why honey poses the risk because it is known to contain some Clostridium spores.

CDC recommends that infants under 1 do not consume honey to ensure their well-being. Exactly why some infants become botulism and others do isn’t understood.

In an infant’s gut, there are fewer “good” bacteria to prevent infections from developing, and fewer immune-functioning bacteria to keep the infection from spreading.

During the first few days after delivery, a baby’s digestive tract is more likely to harbor botulism spores as they grow and produce the toxin that causes the symptoms.

What are the safety concerns with pregnant women eating honey?

What are the safety concerns with pregnant women eating honey?
Safety concerns with pregnant women eating honey | Images|

You’ve likely heard a lot about what women can eat during pregnancy if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant shortly.

A doctor and medical expert may offer advice on what foods are most beneficial for mom and baby during pregnancy, while warning of foods that may harm the fetus can also be offered. Family and friends may also offer suggestions.

It’s confusing to learn what to eat and what not to eat as a first-time mom, especially with the myriad of advice out there. There’s a feeling that the “rules” about nutrition and what’s best for your baby are constantly changing, even for moms who have been through pregnancy before.

It’s good news, however, that pregnant women can consume honey safely during pregnancy if they choose to.

It is safe for pregnant women to consume honey. Honey is not on the list of foods that pregnant women should avoid according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Honey is safe to consume while pregnant for two different reasons.

Related: Is it advisable to take cinnamon during pregnancy?

The GI system of mom can handle the toxin

Due to the well-established digestive microbiome of adults, the gut is more likely to be able to prevent Clostridium spores from colonizing the gut.

In the gut of an adult, a protective flora prevents the spores from growing to prevent botulism from occurring.

Additionally, fewer bacteria can grow due to more protective flora. A lack of space at the inn is a good thing in this case. An intact digestive tract is usually too healthy for botulism to grow. [2]

While it is true that a pregnant woman’s immune system is weakened, there is no evidence that the digestive flora of a woman in a healthy pregnancy changes in a way that would increase the risk of botulism.

Related: How to diet in pregnancy

Baby Isn’t Likely to Be Affected By the Toxin

According to a 2010 article in the Canadian Family Physician, botulinum toxin is not likely to cross the placenta and reach the child due to its high molecular weight. [3]

In other words, even if the mother eats honey and has botulism spores in her body, the spores won’t reach the baby.

In addition to its rarity, botulism is also uncommon during pregnancy, so it has been challenging for doctors to understand how the bacteria may affect pregnant women and their babies.

However, the fact that botulism toxins cannot pass through the placenta also means that some reports have reported no negative effects on a baby when a pregnant woman acquires botulism.

No evidence of birth defects or infantile botulism was detected in the cases in which a pregnant woman contracted botulism. [4]

Read Also: Pregnancy and overweight = compulsory diet?

Please read this safety note

The use of honey during pregnancy is generally safe, but women with gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcerative colitis (UC), may want to take extra precautions when using honey.

Ask your doctor whether you’re at increased risk of botulism toxin infection when eating honey while you are pregnant.

A pregnant woman is more likely to develop botulism if the digestive tract or the flora do not function normally, whether from an immune dysfunction or a structural disturbance.

As well, if you eat a lot of honey as part of your regular diet and have recently taken antibiotics or will need to take antibiotics shortly, it would be prudent to consult your doctor. By changing the flora in the gut, antibiotics have the potential to cause all kinds of infections.

You may also want to consider purchasing pasteurized and certified honey during your pregnancy if you plan to consume honey. It’s smart to make sure your food is from a source that is safe and inspected during pregnancy even if raw honey is considered safe.

Additionally, if you are watching your weight, we’re told to limit your sugar consumption or have gestational diabetes, you should limit your sugar consumption while pregnant. Honey is primarily composed of sugar, so if you are watching your weight or have gestational diabetes, limit your sugar consumption.

Related: Can Sesame Seeds (Til) Cause Miscarriage During Pregnancy?

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Eating Honey For Pregnant Woman?

It may be tempting to conclude that honey and botulism are not even worth the risk of consumption. How healthy is honey? Should you eat it or stay away from it?

Several health benefits are associated with honey consumption. While honey is generally not considered a particularly vitamin- or mineral-rich food, it still contains some nutritional benefits.

Researchers have found that honey may help treat certain conditions, have some benefits for wound healing, and may be beneficial in treating coughs and sore throats.

A honey’s flavor can vary following the types of plants and bees from which it is made. Because of that, it’s commonly used to sweeten desserts and treats in baking.

Read Also: Headaches During Pregnancy: Causes And Treatment

A Word From Kids Rush

There is no reason for you to stop consuming honey during your pregnancy, even though being aware of your diet as a pregnant woman and ensuring proper nutrition is important.

While you should be aware of the risks of eating raw foods during pregnancy, raw honey is not associated with the same risks. Raw honey does not contain harmful bacteria.

The consumption of honey during pregnancy poses no risk to the pregnant woman or her unborn baby. So if you like the taste of honey in your tea, to sweeten up your baked goods, or even to soothe a sore throat, you can safely consume honey while pregnant.

During your pregnancy, if you do decide to enjoy the taste of honey, make sure you choose pasteurized versions that have been tested for other contaminants so that you can be confident it is safe.

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