Honey is one of the sweetest and healthiest delight that you can enjoy on an everyday basis. The goodness of honey is too much. It is one of the most popular replacements of sugar and is very effective in weight loss, while giving you glowing, radiant skin. But, can you eat honey while pregnant?  

At times, your pregnancy cravings might draw you towards the sweet and refreshing taste of honey. But with several complications that pregnancy brings to the table, women often get confused if they should at all enjoy this sweet treat.  

Unless you do not like the taste of honey, there is no reason for you to stay away from it during pregnancy. While it is suggested to keep kids under the age of one away from honey, and for deliberate reasons, pregnant mamas can still enjoy its taste and sweetness if they wish for it.  

However, as a new mama, it is important that you know all the minute details about eating honey while pregnant or giving it to your newborn infant.  

Can You Eat Honey While Pregnant?  

Certainly yes. In general terms, it is considered safe to consume honey during pregnancy. However, if you experience some hesitation towards it, we assure you you’re not the only one.  

In some very rare cases, honey contains bacteria that might lead to botulism, a chronic illness that attacks to poison the nervous system. But the good news is the defense system of an adult human body is top-notch and prevents the bacteria from multiplying as soon as it enters the body. Also, even if there is a rare chance that the mother does get botulism from having honey during pregnancy, the chances of it crossing the placenta and affecting the baby are highly unlikely.  

So, unless it is the taste that bothers you, you can safely enjoy this delicious treat during pregnancy.  

Can You Eat Raw Honey During Pregnancy?  

With the evolution of organic food, the demand for raw honey has increased substantially. When you visit the farmer’s market to fetch a jar of honey, you certainly find two main varieties of honey: raw and pasteurized.  

Raw honey is the purest form of honey that is taken straight from the honeycomb and put in the jar for consumption. Raw honey isn’t like regular pasteurized honey, which is rich in pathogens like E. coli and listeria, salmonella, etc.  

Can You Eat Raw Honey During Pregnancy

On the other hand, pasteurized honey experiences a process of high heat that destroys the natural yeast and every other bacteria. However, this vigorous process also removes a few of its nutritional elements, along with vitamins and minerals.  

With that being said, pasteurization also makes sure that the honey is smooth and clear, further reducing all other risks of botulism.  

So, can you deem raw honey safe for pregnancy? Well this topic is still up for debate. While it is preferred that pregnant women consume raw honey for its nutritional benefits, it is also preferred that pregnant women should stick to pasteurized honey to avoid any risks of botulism.  

How Much Honey Can You Eat During Pregnancy?  

Just because you are allowed to eat honey during pregnancy does not mean you will consume an outrageous amount of it every day. It is important to discuss the amount before you sit with the huge jar of honey on a Sunday afternoon.  

During pregnancy, it is important to eat moderate amounts of honey for the optimal health of the mother. Consuming one to two tablespoons of honey every day is a safe practice and a preferable quantity during pregnancy.  

How Much Honey Can You Eat During Pregnancy

Here is a simple breakdown of the quantity of honey that you can actually consume during pregnancy.  

  • Honey is a natural sweetener that offers a quick boost of energy. So, you can cut down on the consumption of any friend sugars from your every day diet.  
  • It is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals in your body, thus supporting your immune system.  
  • Honey is an excellent option for soothing your sore throat and reducing cough, which is one of the most common discomforts at the time of pregnancy.  

Well, now that you know that honey, indeed, is a green flag during pregnancy, here is how much you should consume while awaiting your baby:  

  • Every day limit: Is preferable to go for just one to two tablespoons of honey every day.  
  • Spread across the day: Distribute your honey intake throughout your meals rather than consuming everything all at once.  

It is important for pregnant mamas to understand that moderation is the key. While honey does have multiple benefits, it does not mean you will consume an unhealthy amount of it every day. A moderate amount of honey contributes to your everyday nutritional count during pregnancy.  

Benefits Of Honey During Pregnancy  

While you do know that honey is beneficial during pregnancy, do you really know about all the benefits that it caters to? Here is the list of all the benefits that honey offers to pregnant women:  

Benefits Of Honey During Pregnancy

Boosts Immune System  

Honey is famous for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. While pregnant, a woman’s immune system gets naturally compromised. Therefore, consuming honey during such a vulnerable time helps strengthen the defenses of your body, thus protecting it against common infections.  

Provides Energy  

Pregnancy can get physically demanding, and expecting mamas can often suffer from fatigue. Honey, being one of the most natural sources of carbohydrates, can offer a quick boost of energy and fight tiredness. 

Soothes Sore Throat And Cough  

Pregnant women are more vulnerable to respiratory infections. This might lead to a constant sore throat and cough throughout the pregnancy. The natural properties present in honey helps eliminate these symptoms thus providing relief.  

Aids Digestion  

Digestive issues are way more common during pregnancy than anything else because of the constant regulation of hormones. Indigestion and constipation are some of the most common problems that women complain of during pregnancy. Honey is a natural laxative and regulates bowel movement, thus influencing better digestion.  

Supports Skin Health  

Pregnant or not, honey is one of the best things for skin. Hormonal imbalances may cause acne or dryness, among many other skin issues during pregnancy. Honey’s antibacterial and moisturizing properties may help nourish your skin and prevent any such skin issues.  

Side Effects Of Honey During Pregnancy  

While there are many benefits of honey during pregnancy, it is important that you keep an eye out for its side effects. Because your immune system naturally stays down during pregnancy, there is a chance for you to be more vulnerable to these side effects that would otherwise not be a problem.  

Side Effects Of Honey During Pregnancy

Allergic Reactions  

Some women tend to experience allergies to honey or any bee products. If you also come across some breathing difficulties after consuming honey, it is better to seek medical help as soon as possible. 

Here are some of the most prominent signs that you are developing an allergy to honey: 

  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Hives  
  • Itching  
  • Redness  
  • Sneezing  

Gestational Diabetes  

Pregnant women who have tested positive for gestational diabetes need to very carefully monitor how much sugar they are consuming every day. While honey in itself is a natural sweetener, it still has sugar in it. Therefore, it should only be consumed in moderate amounts to prevent blood sugar spikes during pregnancy.  

Weight Gain  

Excessive consumption of honey, like every other sweetener, can majorly contribute to weight gain during pregnancy. It is important that you maintain balanced food habits and consume honey only as a part of it. Do not rely on it as your primary source of calories during pregnancy.  

Risk Of Foodborne Illnesses  

As mentioned before, honey contains a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum, which results in infant botulism. To reduce the risk, it is advised to avoid not giving honey to babies under the age of one.  

Tips To Eat Honey During Pregnancy  

Because honey comes with both benefits and side effects, it is important that you keep in mind both sides and include them accordingly in your diet.  

Tips To Eat Honey During Pregnancy

Here are some tips to maximize honey’s benefits during pregnancy and cancel out its side effects:  

Choose Organic, Raw Honey  

While the topic is still on for a debate, it is always preferable to choose honey that has not been pasteurized or processed. This makes sure that the honey has all its beneficial enzymes and natural nutrients. 

Mix Honey With Other Ingredients  

You may add honey in your every day diet by using it in your oatmeal, yogurt, or other smoothies. This way, you get to enjoy its sweetness while also getting the benefit of other nutritive ingredients.  

Check The Source Of Honey  

Make sure that the honey you purchase on a regular basis is sourced from reputable beekeepers who practice sustainable methods. This makes sure that you get the best quality, pure honey.  

Talk With Your Doctor  

If you have any question or concerns about eating honey during pregnancy, it is always the best option to talk with your doctor first. They can give you personalized advice depending on your very specific preferences.  

Who Should Not Eat Honey During Pregnancy?  

While honey serves major nutritional benefits, there are some women who need to stay away from honey during their pregnancy months.  

Who Should Not Eat Honey During Pregnancy

It is especially important for women suffering from gestational diabetes who need to have stern control over their sugar and carbohydrate intake every day, which also includes honey. As per UCSF Health, having too much carbohydrates or sugar can push the glucose levels out of the normal range, leading to major blood sugar problems for women already suffering from gestational diabetes.  

Also, women suffering from gastrointestinal problems like indigestion or acid reflux also need to be more cautious with honey. Honey might worsen the symptoms of GI, causing complications during pregnancy.  

Can Babies Eat Honey?  

This is where the consumption of honey becomes a bit serious. It is suggested not to give honey to babies before the age of one. This is because the bacteria present in honey might germinate in the infant’s gut, resulting in infant botulism. It is a rare disease that might lead to paralysis and is potentially deadly.  

Can Babies Eat Honey

Babies do not have a mature intestine that can destroy the bacteria. So, you need to keep that jar of honey as far as you can from your little one.  

It is better to at least wait for the baby’s first birthday to introduce them to honey. This is actually the time when their immune system is strong enough to fight against the botulism bacteria.  

With that being said, it is also safe to consume honey while you are breastfeeding your baby under one year of age.  

Frequently Asked Questions  

Is it safe to consume honey during pregnancy in the first trimester? 

Yes, it is certainly safe to eat honey during your first trimester of pregnancy. However, it is important to make sure that the honey is organic and raw, and that you only consume moderate amounts of it.  

Can we eat honey with warm water during pregnancy?

While having honey with lukewarm water is a very general practice for multiple health benefits, it is better to avoid consuming it with water while you are pregnant. Hot water can possibly destroy some of the beneficial nutrients present in honey. So, it is best to consume it at room temperature or add it to beverages only after they have cooled down. 

What are some easy ways to include honey in my diet during pregnancy?

Adding honey in your pregnancy diet can be amazing. You can either spread it on whole grain toast, mix it with your oatmeal or yogurt. Or just add it to your tea as a replacement for refined sugar. You can also get a bit more creative and make tasty dressing for your salads or add it to your everyday dishes to elevate their overall taste.  

Final Words  

So, if you are still wondering – “can you eat honey during pregnancy?” You can. Honey can be quite beneficial if you add it in your every day diet.  

However, it is important to consume it in moderate amounts and choose only the best quality honey, especially during pregnancy. Also, you need to be aware of the side effects, which may vary from one woman to another.  

By keeping these guidelines in mind and consulting with your doctor, you can conveniently enjoy the goodness and sweetness of honey during the tough pregnancy months.


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Shahnawaz Alam
Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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