Is It Safe For A Breastfeeding Mom To Eat Honey?

honey during breastfeeding

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If you are thinking of eating honey when breastfeeding, you are probably wondering if it is safe. Well, we have endeavored to clear your doubts in this article.

In general, if you’re an expecting mom, it is better to avoid any sort of food that may have side effects. Since, your body is already under considerable pressure and strain at this time, consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.

Is It Safe To Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

But what about honey, you may ask? If you are breastfeeding, it is advisable you stay away from raw honey. Here are stated the reasons why:

  • Raw honey is said to contain a type of bacteria called clostridium botulinum.
  • While your digestive system may be completely prepared to digest and destroy these spores, the digestive system of your newborn may not be able to digest it and develop a condition known as botulism.
  • Botulism can be very severe and result in death as well. You can find these spores in household dust that can a
    lso cause botulism in newborns.

So, if you cannot avoid eating honey while breastfeeding, make sure to ask about the different available types of honey to your doctor. This way you can consume the one that is best suited to your needs.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding ]

Infant Botulism:

Honey is known to contain bacteria that cause botulism in infants. This condition can be frightening as it affects the muscles and may lead to breathing troubles as well.

  • However, the good news is it is very rare and there are less than 100 cases of newborns suffering from botulism in US. Even if your baby suffers from this disease, he or she will soon recover.
  • Botulism can be treated, but you need to be aware of the symptoms to understand the severity of the disease.
  • Thus, if you are breast feeding it is better to avoid honey until your baby turns a year old.

[ Read: Alcohol During Breastfeeding ]

Symptoms Of Botulism:

The symptoms are generally visible from the 3rd to the 30th day of consumption of the spores contained in raw honey.

  • The first symptom of botulism in your baby shall be constipation.
  • You need to inform the doctor if there are no bowel movements in 3 days.

There are other symptoms that you should be aware of. These are as follows:

  • Difficulty in swallowing with too much of drooling
  • A weakness while crying
  • Decrease in movements
  • Weak sucking
  • Poor feeding
  • Flat facial expressions

Infant botulism can be treated, but you should seek medical intervention as early as possible. You must inform your doctor the moment you see these symptoms. You must also stop taking honey.

[ Read: Cold During Breastfeeding ]

Preventive Measures You Can Take:

To reduce the chances of botulism in your baby, you can follow some simple precautionary measures. Here are discussed some of them:

  • When you are breast feeding, it is better to avoid honey and processed food containing honey till your baby reaches his or her first birthday.
  • Even if you can’t stay away from honey, make sure it is well pasteurized.
  • Also check the expiry date, manufacturing date and read the label to avoid taking toxic honey that might pass into your breast milk.
  • As with any other food, take honey in moderation, since everything you eat passes on to your baby through your milk.
  • Keep your home environment clean and free from dirt and dust. Polluted air also results in botulism in some babies.
  • Consume pasteurized honey in moderate amounts.

Honey has plenty of health benefits and boosts up your immune system. It is also a natural remedy for different ailments. But the health of your baby lies in your hands, so make sure you do nothing that affects his well-being.

Moms, share with us if your baby had any problems while you consumed honey during breast feeding.

References : 1

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