Warning on Honey and Infant – Botulism Risk
You probably also have heard people warn about honey and infant while learning all the possible health benefits of honey.
Honey should not be given to infants under the age of 18 months (to be on the safer side, though some doctors would say 12 months) due to botulism risks. Some honey contains low count of naturally occurring bacterial botulinum spores, which bees collect together with the nectar. Unfortunately, these spores cannot be removed during honey processing and cannot be detected by consumers.
A baby’s immature digestive system is not yet acidic enough to inhibit the toxin from being produced, whereas the digestive system of an older baby and adults is. Hence, there is a potential for these organism to thrive and grow in the intestines of young infant’s intestines and produce toxin, possibly causing a serious form of food poisoning known as infant botulism.
The typical symptoms of this illness are constipation followed by general weakness and poor feeding ability, and in worst cases, they can lead to sudden death. One aspect that parents tend to forget is that are also processed foods with honey added as an ingredient, such as crackers, cereals, bread, etc. Infants should also be kept safe from these foods.
Honey for Pregnant Moms and Nursing Moms
And how about a pregnant mom or a nursing mom? Can she safely eat honey?
Yes, it is safe. The digestive tract of adults is able to fend off the botulism spores, render them harmless, and prevent them from growing. Since the spores would be killed in the gastrointestinal tract, no toxin will be produced to endanger the foetus of the pregnant mother. Similarly, for nursing mothers, these spores would not make it into your bloodstream and therefore cannot be present in their milk.
In fact milk with honey is good and safe for pregnant women who are desperate to get a good night’s sleep. Carbonated drinks, coffee and other caffeinated drinks should be restricted from their diet as much as possible.
Other Related Pages on Honey and Infant
1. For more information on honey remedies for pregnancy woes such as heartburns, colds and morning sickness, you might want to read: Woes in Pregnancy and Honey Remedies.
2. Honey is a natural sweetener that is used in many popular home remedies. But, can you consume it during pregnancy? Find out in: 5 Great Benefits of Eating Honey During Pregnancy
3. Learn the benefits of honey for you and your family in: 6 Replies to Why Is Honey Good For You?