Can I Eat Honey While Breastfeeding My Newborn?

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Can I eat honey while breastfeeding a newborn
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Tuesday February 21, 2023

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Breastfeeding poses many questions for first-time moms that often don’t have definitive answers. You may find conflicting information that causes you to miss out on snacks that have fabulous benefits for your body. 

Can you eat honey while breastfeeding? It isn’t safe for babies under 1 year to have, so this is a concern for most moms. Surprisingly, you can eat honey while breastfeeding your newborn. Here’s how to keep your baby safe while enjoying the natural goodness in your tea or other treats while breastfeeding. 

Benefits of Honey While Breastfeeding  

There aren’t any explicit benefits of honey while breastfeeding besides the goodness it provides everyone. However, it has loads of perks for your body because it’s rich in antioxidants and contains various nutrients

Honey is also excellent for healing and promotes good heart health and function since it lowers blood pressure and can help regulate your heartbeat. Boosting your well-being is essential when you’re breastfeeding, as you want to maintain optimal health for the sake of your newborn. Honey is a healthy alternative to cough and cold medications and artificial sweeteners. 

Honey is a natural cough suppressant, making it safer for moms to consume than taking over-the-counter medicine to treat flu or cold symptoms while breastfeeding. Its antibacterial properties can facilitate healing and aid a sore throat when you add it to tea. Plus, honey has myriad other benefits, like improving blood sugar regulation. 

Can You Eat Honey While Breastfeeding? 

Your body is different when you’re pregnant, making it unsafe to eat what could be some of your favorite foods. Most of this changes after you have the baby and your immune system bounces back. After giving birth, you might be craving a luxury that you had to withhold during pregnancy, like a big cup of coffee with your breakfast. If you want to use honey to sweeten your coffee, you might wonder if you can eat honey while you’re breastfeeding. 

If your baby can’t have it and you’re breastfeeding, how can you? While this can be confusing, you can eat honey while breastfeeding. You just can’t let your baby have any until they are at least 1 year old because it’s dangerous for them to consume.

Babies tend to reach and grab for things as they grow and develop motor skills. Ensure you keep foods that contain honey out of your baby’s reach, and be diligent about washing your hands after handling it. You should also avoid using honey for topical reasons while breastfeeding to prevent your baby from coming into contact with it. You can use it to heal burns and cuts, but you should opt for topical ointments that are safer for your baby until they get a little older. 

Can I Have Honey While Breastfeeding?

Unlike babies, your digestive system is more capable of handling toxins. That’s why eating honey doesn’t pose a risk to older kids and adults. A mature digestive system can process toxins before they have a chance to harm you. Babies’ immune systems can’t handle bacteria like that, which makes them more susceptible to infections and diseases. 

How Honey Affects Breast Milk Supply

The toxins associated with infant botulism aren’t present in breast milk, so ingesting honey poses no harm to you or your milk supply. It doesn’t affect how much milk you produce. Your body keeps dangerous bacteria out of your breast milk, preventing you from passing anything to the baby. However, this doesn’t work for everything. You should still avoid some foods and drinks while you’re nursing. 

Why Can’t Babies Have Honey? 

Moms who consume honey should take extra precautions around their newborns. Moms who consume honey should take extra precautions around their newborns because it’s not safe for them. Babies under the age of 1 are more susceptible to infections from bacteria. 

Clostridium botulinum bacteria live in the soil and can contaminate honey, causing infant botulism in babies. This condition is rare but dangerous, which makes it not worth the risk. If your baby comes in contact with honey and displays symptoms like poor sucking or a weak cry, seek immediate health care. Doctors use an antitoxin to help them recover, typically in the intensive care unit. 

Can I Eat Unpasteurized Honey While Breastfeeding?

Unpasteurized honey is safe to eat while breastfeeding. It undergoes slight heat while processing, whereas pasteurized honey uses high heat. This helps it retain its natural properties and benefits. Pasteurization extends the shelf life of honey and removes impurities and yeast tolerant to sugar.  

Can I Eat Raw Honey While Breastfeeding?

You can safely eat raw honey while breastfeeding a newborn. Honey has many benefits that can help you post-baby, like reducing nausea and stomach bloating. Raw honey is the best choice since processed honey can remove enzymes that break down starch proteins and sucrose. Honey can improve sleep and deliver vitamins and minerals to breastfeeding mamas. Raw honey has no added ingredients, making it the highest-quality version on the market. 

What Foods Should Be Avoided While Breastfeeding? 

Breastfeeding demands nutrients from your body, so you want to provide a healthy and balanced diet for your baby to get what they need. Like during pregnancy, you should avoid some foods while breastfeeding to ensure your baby’s safety. 

Some foods you should avoid include any fish high in mercury, like swordfish, king mackerel and bigeye tuna. You should also avoid highly processed foods since they’re low in vitamins and minerals and have added sugars and unhealthy fats. You should also avoid drinking high amounts of alcohol and caffeine while nursing so they don’t affect your baby.

Which Fruits Increase Breast Milk? 

You can eat some fruits to help you increase your breast milk when experiencing a low supply. Prolactin is the hormone that promotes lactation and can increase your breast milk. It naturally elevates when women become pregnant or are nursing. Some fruits like dates and apricots can increase prolactin, thus increasing your breast milk. These fruits also contain fiber and calcium, which are excellent for you and your baby. 

What Foods Are Good for Breastfeeding? 

Breast milk is likely your baby’s sole diet, so you want to give them what they need. What you eat or drink matters while you’re breastfeeding. 

Your body does an excellent job of filtering potentially harmful bacteria from your breast milk, but some vitamins and nutrients you eat are delivered to your baby through your milk. Some superfoods that are excellent for you to consume while you’re nursing are eggs, beef, whole grains and salmon. 

Apricots, nuts, seeds, yogurt, sweet potatoes and leafy greens are also healthy sources to incorporate into your diet. Greek yogurt contains more protein since it isn’t as processed as other options, making it the best choice for your breastfeeding needs. 

Does Drinking Water Increase Breast Milk?

Hydration is essential to your daily diet whether you’re nursing or not, but it’s vital for breastfeeding moms. Staying adequately hydrated can increase breast milk. Nursing moms need around 16 cups of water daily to compensate for the milk they’re producing. 

Not getting enough water can significantly affect how much breast milk you make. You can incorporate foods high in water to ensure adequate hydration in your diet. Foods with high water content are watermelon, lettuce, cucumber, celery, broccoli, peaches, oranges, squash, pineapple and strawberries. 

How Can I Rebuild My Milk Supply? 

Low milk supply happens for many reasons, but there are ways to increase your milk production. Ensure you stay hydrated and get adequate rest to maintain your health through the sleepless nights that come with having a newborn. 

Eat a balanced diet to ensure your body gets what it needs to produce enough milk for your baby. Try to breastfeed when your baby is hungry and improve their latching technique, which can improve milk flow. You can also try to empty your breasts each time you feed by using a pump or switching breasts during feeding. 

Newborn Breastfeeding Challenges

Breastfeeding has a unique set of challenges that can be difficult to navigate and understand. It’s natural to wonder what you should or shouldn’t eat or drink when breastfeeding your newborn.

Take solace in knowing that honey won’t affect your baby while breastfeeding. As long as you keep it out of their reach, they’re safe from toxins honey could contain. Many obstacles can arise when learning the ropes of breastfeeding. Understanding potential issues can help you prepare and conquer them with grace. The first few weeks are typically the hardest, so keep in mind that it will get better. 

Common breastfeeding challenges that moms of newborns often experience are low or oversupply of milk, swelling and tenderness, plugged milk ducts and fungal infections. Expect to have sore nipples when you begin breastfeeding. You can use fresh breast milk to promote healing. Alternate cold and warm compresses to alleviate pain and pressure in engorged breasts, especially during the first week of breastfeeding your newborn. You can use chilled cabbage leaves if you don’t have a compress. 

Honey While Breastfeeding a Newborn

Can you have honey while breastfeeding? Absolutely. You don’t have to worry about consuming honey — all kinds are safe when feeding your new bundle of joy. If breastfeeding a newborn, know that you aren’t alone — you’ve got this, mama! If symptoms don’t improve or you have concerns, contact a lactation consultant or your primary doctor.

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