Honey is the only food in this world that has no expiry date. Even if it stays inside your fridge for a long time, you can take it out and eat it without any problems. Honey is one of the best medicines for sore throat and is recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Since honey has no side effects, you can eat honey while breastfeeding. However, be careful not to feed your baby with honey as newborns are quite fragile, and they might vomit the honey instantly.
After three or four months, when your baby starts eating something other than breastmilk, you can feed them a little bit of honey. On the other hand, you can also eat baked stuff that contains honey. While it is not harmful, we recommend not using a high amount of honey in the first two to three months. The only reason for that is safety, despite toxins not entering the breastmilk.
Honey contains botulism, a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death. Honey has a meager amount of this compound which is not harmful to people but quite dangerous for the baby. However, if a person eats lots of honey daily, this toxin has a high chance of causing infection.
Let’s go ahead and look at some benefits of honey while breastfeeding and what issues it can cause. Moreover, when babies can start eating honey and what honey-made things you should avoid during breastfeeding.
Eating Honey While Breastfeeding
A mommy goes through many phases while breastfeeding and experience many issues like coughing, sore throat, or low sugar levels. Many people think that taking medicines is a better option, which it is, but in some cases, mothers cannot take medicines without affecting their child’s health. So for small problems, you can eat pasteurized honey. Avoid taking raw honey as it contains a high amount of Clostridium botulinum.
Here is another thing for you that might clear your confusion. Clostridium botulinum are spores that are killed by the human gastrointestinal tract and won’t enter the bloodstream. On the other hand, these spores are too big to enter a women’s breast and go through the milk. So, even if you eat honey during breastfeeding, your child is safe from harmful effects. However, do not feed honey to your child, as it is deadly for infants.
It would be better to wait six months before allowing your baby to eat honey. Moreover, if you are feeding them something besides breastmilk, it is better to avoid giving anything that contains honey. As far as honey and breastmilk are concerned, rest assured that your baby is completely safe.
You might also like: Can You Take Chlorophyll While Breastfeeding
Benefits of Honey for a Mother
Raw honey might not have as many benefits, but pasteurized honey is quite beneficial for a mother. Pasteurized honey is made by killing the yeast inside it at higher temperatures. It extends the shelf life of honey and makes it smoother and safe to eat. Most honey bottles at home are pasteurized honey, which is why they are safe to eat since they don’t contain yeast to make them toxic. Here are some benefits a mother can enjoy while eating honey during breastfeeding.
- Honey is a healthy sweetener.
- Honey contains iron and small amounts of calcium, folate, and vitamins C and B.
- Locally made honey may even help boost a mother’s immune system.
- It helps treat wounds, diabetic ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
- It can treat colitis, cold symptoms, and sore throat.
- To some extent, honey can help prevent cancer and heart diseases.
Precautions to Take During Breastfeeding if You Want to Eat Honey
While it is safe to eat honey during breastfeeding, you must consider some precautions to ensure your baby’s safety. These precautions are extremely necessary if you habitually take honey daily. We won’t stop you from taking honey, but here is some stuff you must be careful about.
- Make it a practice to wash your hands thoroughly to rule out the chance of botulism spores possibly stuck on your hands and fingers to avoid passing them on to the baby.
- Check the manufacturing and expiry dates before you buy a bottle of honey.
- Choose good quality honey that is well-processed and pasteurized.
- Consume honey in moderate amounts.
- Discuss with your doctor the honey types and the one that best suits you.
- Keep honey away from the baby. The bottle of honey should not be on the bed or sofa. Babies tend to hit things without care; they might knock down the bottle and taste a bit or lots of honey.
- Tell your family not to give honey to your child. Some grannies might not consider the dangers of honey for the baby, and they might give it to them. Nothing matter more than your kid’s health, so even if you have to be strict for the first six months, do it.
When to Avoid Honey
Normally, it is okay for a nursing mom to eat honey; however, there are times when you should avoid it. During nursing, your body is undergoing changes and is sensitive to many things that you were fine using before. You might be okay using honey before, but if your body reacts differently, it is time to stop using honey for a couple of months.
Typically, your body will get back to normal or even stronger after three to four months; then, you can eat honey as you like. Moreover, it is better to consult your doctor as not every honey is useful for the body. Some contain toxins that are useful for medications but not for regular usage.
Can I Eat Honey if I’m Breastfeeding? Yes, you can, but avoid using raw honey as it contains toxins that are not useful for the human body. This might not be a problem for you, but it might be dangerous if your baby accidentally eats even a bit of raw honey. However, you can eat baked goods that contain honey only in small amounts.