Pregnancy is an exciting phase in a woman's life. The expectant mother takes all the necessary steps to make sure that her baby receives optimum nutrition while in her womb. At the same time, she is extra careful about consuming anything during this period as it might affect the baby. Honey is a natural sweetener that is used in many popular home remedies. But, can you consume it during pregnancy? Let's find out.
The most significant cause for concern when it comes to consuming honey is that newborn babies up to the age of 12 months are at risk of contracting botulism. This is a rare but fatal disease that spreads from contaminated honey that contains Clostridia spores. Newborn babies do not yet have a fully developed immune system that is strong enough to fight off the infection from this disease. However, the immune system in adults (including pregnant women) can protect their body against this infection. Also, during pregnancy, the placenta works as an effective barrier, keeping the toxins from affecting the fetus. Hence, pregnant women can safely consume honey and enjoy all its health benefits, which include:
Honey works wonders in building your resistance and protecting you from seasonal allergies. Honey is rich in antibacterial and antioxidant compounds that strengthen your immune system to prevent complications and dangerous infections. When taken daily, the pollen in honey helps build immunity to dust and other allergies.
Honey has antiviral properties that help the body fight the flu and common cold viruses. If you want to avoid heavy medication or antibiotics during pregnancy, honey can be your go-to medicine. It works as a good cough pacifier and soothes a sore throat when taken with ginger or lukewarm lemon water. You can also use honey to clear mucus and get some relief without worrying about the side effects of antibiotics.
Gastritis is a common issue during pregnancy. This condition usually causes stomach ulcers that are located close to the womb and can be dangerous. Honey can be very effective in fighting these ulcers created by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Some women experience frequent stomach upsets during pregnancy. Honey is anti-inflammatory and can help in alleviating gastroenteritis and diarrhea.
A spoonful of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk and taken before bedtime can help you get a good night's sleep. Pregnant women struggling with stress and insomnia can use this all-natural remedy for some much-needed rest and calm.
The third trimester of pregnancy is a tough time as most women experience indigestion and heartburn. The growing uterus causes this as it puts pressure on the stomach and intestines. Having a glass of warm milk with a tablespoon of honey helps in soothing the discomfort.
The benefits of honey are plenty, and you may be tempted to consume it regularly. With the exception of those who are allergic to bee products, honey generally is safe to eat and has no known side effects. However, pregnancy demands that women be extra cautious with their food intake. Know how much honey is right for you and the optimum amount that you can take without affecting your blood sugar or your baby's health. Also, pregnant women should get themselves examined for gestational diabetes - a condition that requires them to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. Honey contains glucose; hence such patients ought to be cautious. Overconsumption slows down digestion and causes stomach cramps, constipation, and bloating. Women with gastrointestinal abnormalities or other chronic digestive disorders should consult with their doctor regarding consuming honey.
Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, Vineetha has also begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like StyleCraze.com. She strongly believes that the ingredients you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health.
1. Learn how to use honey for relieving pains such as heartburns, colds and morning sickness during pregnancy: Woes in Pregnancy and Honey Remedies.
2. Find out why honey should not be given to infants under the age of 18 months: Warning on Honey and Infant.