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Is Honey Safe During Pregnancy?

Here's the sticking point—and how to get around it.
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Updated
April 14, 2017
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You’re probably paranoid about honey because you know that the sweet, sticky stuff is a no-no for babies until after their first birthday. That’s because honey can contain bacterial spores, which can be toxic to a baby’s tiny, underdeveloped digestive system. Contamination is rare, but it happens. Thankfully, it turns out that if you’re pregnant and honey is your cup of tea (or a necessary part of it), it’s perfectly safe to indulge, as long as the honey is pasteurized.

Pasteurization is your best friend during pregnancy—the process kills disease-causing bacteria that can be dangerous to you and even more so to your unborn baby. (You should also avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese and juices.) Most commercially available honeys have gone through this process, but avoid raw honey, and triple-check labels when you’re shopping at a farmers market or farm stand. If there’s any question as to how the honey was processed, go ahead and pass.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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