Being pregnant for the first time is an intimidating thing. Your mommy instinct kicks in, and you tend to question every single thing. However, it is once in a lifetime experience to have your first child.

However, we have seen a trend where expecting mothers are concerned about consumption of honey during their pregnancy. We are here to allay any doubts regarding it. We would talk about every single thing regarding honey consumption, how it can affect you, and what can be done to avoid any complications. Therefore, by the end of this article, we hope that your doubts are clarified. On that note, let us dive right in!

The general consensus about honey:  

Honey is one of the most versatile gifts that mother nature has ever given to us humans. Honey is known to have potent medicinal properties due to its high antioxidants and amino acid contents. It is known to relieve gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. Consuming honey on a daily basis is also known to boost metabolism. Moreover, unlike most other ‘healthy’ things, honey actually tastes good and is not bitter or ‘funny.’ Therefore, honey is an all-time friend who got you in most situations.

Still, there are rare cases where honey is known to cause a rare disease called botulism which can, at times, be quite damaging to your body. Honey is known to contain certain bacterial spores called Clostridium botulinum. These spores can multiply pretty rapidly once they enter your gut. This, in turn, can formulate neurotoxins that result in botulism. The disease is known to ’cause weakness and paralysis in the arms, legs, abdominal area, and respiratory system’. Therefore, botulism is one of the primary concerns when it comes to consuming honey while pregnant.

Is it safe for my Baby?  

Is it safe for my Baby

Botulism is a disease that is known to have long-lasting effects. Therefore, it is understandable if you are concerned regarding this. According to Sandy Procter, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Kansas State University, “Children over age 1 and healthy adults—including pregnant women—can safely consume honey because their immune systems protect against any bacteria the honey might contain”.

In other terms, your baby would be safe if you consume honey while being pregnant. Even in rare cases where the mother did contract botulism, researchers did not find the child to demonstrate any signs or symptoms of the disease.

For a virus to affect your baby, it has to enter through the placenta. And subsequently, the botulinum toxin has a high molecular weight, which is why it cannot pass through your placenta to reach your baby. Still, you must remember that every pregnancy is different and that you need to consult a doctor for a more specified suggestion.

However, once the baby is born, it is not protected by the womb and is susceptible to the virus. Therefore, experts suggest that you should keep honey out of your child’s reach. Since babies have underdeveloped immune systems, you need to be wary of their dietary restrictions.

Benefits of Honey during pregnancy:  

Benefits of Honey during pregnancy

Even though honey is not a vitamin or a mineral-rich food. Still, there are certain benefits of honey that one should know before discrediting it completely.

  • Fertility: According to some doctors, consuming honey before conception can enhance the overall fertility of a female.
  • Respiratory health:  Using honey alone might not produce any results as such. However, when combined with Nigella sativa (black caraway) or celery seeds, the concoction is known to have positive results on pulmonary health.
  • Antioxidant properties: Variations of honey that are dark-colored usually contain antioxidants. This helps in improving the overall immunity and can resist harmful viruses.

Therefore, these are the benefits you should know about while wondering, “can I eat honey while pregnant.” Still, there are other deciding factors that you need to know about when thinking of consuming honey while pregnant. Let us look at some of them.

Side-effects of honey during pregnancy:  

Side-effects of honey during pregnancy

Honey does have its benefits when having it during pregnancy. However, in rare cases, it could backfire and produce not-so-desired results.

  • Before going ahead with anything, we would strongly suggest you to check yourself for gestational diabetes. It is very common during pregnancy, and many women experience it. Therefore, if you are somebody who has gestational diabetes, then consuming honey while pregnant can increase your blood sugar level.
  • Honey is known to improve gut health. However, in some cases, we can see over-consumption leads to gastrointestinal problems. Hence, moderation is the name of the game.

These factors are very important; however, they are avoidable. Choosing a higher grade or a ‘pure’ unprocessed honey can certainly make things easier. But they come with their own little cons that you should research about.

(FAQs)  Frequently Asked Question :-

Q. Can you have raw honey while pregnant?  

Ans. Before answering the question, we have to be clarified what raw honey means. Raw honey is unpasteurized; it retains all the elements that add to the goodness of honey. However, since it is unpasteurized, it also can contain harmful microbes that can cause a myriad of health problems. Thus, choosing a reliable source can certainly help you to avoid such complications.

Q. Can I have honey while pregnant if I am diagnosed with gestational diabetes? 

Ans. In pregnancies that are complicated by gestational diabetes, having any sweeteners (including honey) is not medically advisable. Even though honey has a lower glycemic index than the other sweeteners, it still can increase the overall blood sugar. Therefore, you must either avoid it or consume it in moderation. Still, consulting a doctor would help you to get a better idea of the situation.

Wrap up  

In summation, consuming honey while being pregnant would not affect your baby with any sort of disease or virus. The human body is made in such a way that prevents harmful microbes from traveling from the mother to the child. However, it does not mean that honey has no side effects. As explained, you need to consume honey in moderation to avoid gastrointestinal problems or rising blood-sugar levels. Both of these can have serious consequences on your body; therefore, consulting a doctor before doing anything would be advisable. Have a great day ahead!

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