Can pregnant women eat honey?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can pregnant women eat honey?” Also, we’ll explore how pregnant women can eat honey, what are the effects on a pregnant woman if she eats honey, and when may honey be contraindicated for pregnant women? 

Can pregnant women eat honey? 

Yes, honey is safe for pregnant women to eat at any stage during their pregnancy. 

While the same cannot be said for newborn babies and children under one year old, a pregnant woman may consume honey without worrying about any foodborne microbes. 

Pregnant women can reap the benefits of honey such as its antioxidant content, vitamins, and energy content. 

However, users should be wary of where their honey is sourced from and verify that it crystallizes–this is indicative of its purity, as watered-down honey will always remain liquid and never crystalize. Alternatively, they can purchase pasteurized honey, which will not crystalize. 

Additionally, watered-down honey has a lower concentration of sugars and less viscosity, meaning that it may contain microbes that can cause illness. 

How can pregnant women eat honey? 

Pregnant women may consume honey in recipes, as a topping on pastries, as a sweetener, as a spread, or in any other way they see fit. 

However, they should practice moderation, as honey is rich in sugars and its excessive consumption may lead to gestational diabetes. 

Also, pregnant women are advised to consume pasteurized, store-bought honey as a precaution, despite the very low risk of spoilage that comes with eating “raw” honey. 

What are the effects on a pregnant woman if she eats honey? 

The effects on a pregnant woman after eating honey may vary from individual to individual. Generalizing, they may feel energized, thanks in no small part to its caloric content. 

Pregnant women may also reap some vitamins from honey, albeit in modest concentrations. 

Raw honey carries a risk of being contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, but the risk of these spores causing an infection to a pregnant woman is reputedly quite low. 

Additionally, botulism toxins present a high molecular weight, which doesn’t allow them to pass through a placenta and endanger a baby. 

A pregnant woman’s immune system, despite being slightly lowered, is also more than capable of combating any microbes present in honey. 

Additionally, the microbes one could ingest from raw honey will not have proliferated, due to honey’s low oxygen concentration, viscosity, and even hostile sugar concentration. 

When may honey be contraindicated for pregnant women? 

Honey is contraindicated for pregnant women who show signs of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is characterized by constantly being thirsty, frequent urination, yeast infections, fatigue, blurred vision, and constant hunger. 

The exact cause behind gestational diabetes has yet to be discerned, though researchers theorize that varying hormone levels can make a woman’s body insulin-resistant, leading to the accumulation of sugar in her bloodstream. 

The following list is associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes, and therefore, the consumption of honey is contraindicated in pregnant women with the following conditions: 

  • Women who were overweight before they became pregnant
  • Women with preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
  • Were pregnant before and had gestational diabetes
  • Are pregnant with more than one child
  • Women with diabetic patients in their family
  • Have been prescribed steroid medications
  • Women who’ve gained a generous amount of weight during their pregnancy
  • Women that have been diagnosed with conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as fatty liver disease, etc.
  • Have previously birthed a baby that weighed more than 4 kilograms

If any pregnant readers present one or more symptoms or conditions of the above-listed and suspect they may have gestational diabetes, we advise them to consult with their obstetrician, who may provide tailored guidance and nutritional advice for them to carry on their pregnancy in a healthy, low-risk manner. 

Depending on its class, gestational diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise, or alternatively, a doctor may need to prescribe medication such as insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. 

A healthy diet that is stringent in carbohydrates such as sugars, and added fats is key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.  

We encourage our pregnant readers to schedule regular appointments with their obstetricians, request monitoring and tests, and freely discuss any doubts they may harbor regarding their health.  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can pregnant women eat honey?” Also, we’ve explored how pregnant women can eat honey, what are the effects on a pregnant woman if she eats honey, and when may honey be contraindicated for pregnant women? 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-honey#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10

https://www.healthline.com/health/gestational-diabetes#diet

https://brightland.co/blogs/field-notes/is-raw-honey-safe-during-pregnancy#:~:text=The%20short%20answer%20is%20yes,eat%20raw%20honey%20during%20pregnancy.

https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/diet-and-fitness/is-it-safe-to-eat-honey-during-pregnancy_10305372

https://www.verywellfamily.com/is-it-safe-to-eat-honey-while-pregnant-4176977#:~:text=Eating%20Honey%20During%20Pregnancy&text=%22Children%20over%20age%201%20and,nutrition%20at%20Kansas%20State%20University.

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