Can Breastfeeding Moms Eat Honey? Is It Safe?

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We all know that what breastfeeding moms consume can make its way into breastmilk. This includes foods, drinks, and medication.

Since babies are not supposed to have honey until they are a year old, it makes sense to ask whether breastfeeding moms can eat honey. If you’re wondering this, you’re definitely in the right place.

We’re going to go over honey and other foods so that you know what you can, and can’t safely eat while breastfeeding. 

Can You Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can. There are some concerns with giving babies honey if they are under a year old, however. The primary concern is that there is a risk of botulism.

Honey contains the bacteria that results in this potentially fatal condition. Infants under one year old do not have the ability to kill the bacteria when it enters their digestive tract, which is why feeding them honey is dangerous. 

When a mother eats or drinks something, it does not go straight into her breast milk. Instead, it goes through her body, and then trace elements are found in breastmilk.

If a breastfeeding mother eats honey, it will go through her digestive system first.

Her digestive system will kill the bacteria before trace amounts of honey make their way into the breast milk. This is why it’s safe for mothers to eat honey when they are breastfeeding. 

Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding

While most breastfeeding mothers can enjoy a lot of their favorite foods, and plenty of things are safe for your little one, there are quite a few things to keep in mind when breastfeeding.

Remember, the healthier you are, the healthier your baby is. Certain things will get passed on through breastmilk, so you should always keep that in mind. 

Fish High In Mercury

Fish that are high in mercury should be avoided while both pregnant and breastfeeding. For example, big-eyed tuna. If the fish are high in mercury, you can pass this on to your baby.

If the levels of mercury are high enough, you can give them mercury poisoning. Even if they are not high enough for mercury poisoning, you might still notice that your baby has some side effects of being exposed to mercury, such as: 

  • Developmental delays
  • Cognitive delays
  • Slow speech and language development

Because of this, it’s advised to avoid fish that are high in mercury. A brief list of fish to avoid include: 

  • Big-eyed tuna
  • Marlin
  • Shark
  • Orange roughy
  • Swordfish

For a more comprehensive guide to make sure that you can enjoy the benefits of seafood without putting your little one in danger, check out this article

Alcohol

Most physicians, and the CDC, recommend that breastfeeding moms avoid alcohol while breastfeeding.

However, it has been noted that most alcohol is only secreted through breastmilk for the first half-hour after the last drink. After this time period, though, alcohol can still be found in breastmilk until it is completely out of your system. 

Mothers that are dying for a night out on the town do have options if they don’t want to abstain for a weekend.

First, you’ll need to time your drinking just right to make sure that it is out of your system before it’s time to feed your baby again. Another option, which is better than trying to time your drinking while you’re drunk, is to pump milk beforehand.

If you’ve got plenty of breastmilk ready to go, and your little one doesn’t object to being fed breastmilk through a bottle, this is the preferred route.

It gives you plenty of time to make sure that the alcohol is out of your system before feeding your baby. 

High angle view of happy young mother breastfeeding baby

Avoid Eating Too Many Processed Foods While Breastfeeding

If you binge eat 20 chicken nuggets, nothing is going to happen to you or your little one. Neither of you is going to die of a rare yet fatal condition associated with fast food.

However, there are still some concerns with eating too many processed foods, especially while breastfeeding.

If your body cannot supply the appropriate nutrients through breastmilk, your little one won’t be getting them. Because of this, it’s important that you are as healthy as you can be while breastfeeding. 

Herbal Supplements

Using your normal spices in food and drinks is still a great idea as long as your baby does not refuse your breastmilk. Herbal supplements and herbal teas are not a great idea, though.

First of all, these are not regulated by the FDA so you could be ingesting something and not realize it. That alone is cause for concern.

Second, there are not a lot, if any, studies done on whether these are secreted through breastmilk. Your baby might be okay, but they might not be.

It’s not recommended to use herbal remedies on children under the age of five. A comprehensive explanation of common herbal supplements used, and study results can be found here. It does list most herbal supplements as unsafe to use. 

Focus On Nutrition

One of the most important things to remember while breastfeeding and your diet is to focus on nutrition. If you wouldn’t feed it to a small child, you shouldn’t consume it.

This applies to medications as well as other things, such as caffeine. When you focus on nutrition while you’re breastfeeding, you can’t go wrong with your diet. 

In Conclusion

It’s perfectly safe to eat honey while breastfeeding. Other foods that are known to cause allergies, like milk, eggs, and peanut butter, are also safe to consume.

Avoid eating fish that are high in mercury, consuming alcohol, eating too many processed foods and herbal remedies while breastfeeding, though!

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!

My name is Amber Dixon. I am a mother to three wonderful children, and recently welcomed a beautiful grandson into the world as well as into my home. I've learned a great deal about raising children through my own experiences as a mother, but also from several other places. While working at a daycare full time, I learned about childhood development, teaching children, and more. Through earning degrees in Social Work, I was educated about human development, including a great deal about children and childhood development. My education and experience combined have taught me a lot about children of every stage and age, and I hope that I can help you on your journey to becoming the best parent that you can be!