Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Honey and Breastfeeding – Can I Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

You may know that local raw honey is a wonderful supplement to help combat allergies, and you may also know that you should not give honey to infants under the age of 1. Since baby should not eat honey, should you? Is eating honey and breastfeeding a safe combination?

Honey and Breastfeeding - Can I Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

Are honey and breastfeeding compatible?

The answer is yes, you can safely eat honey while breastfeeding. The concern with honey and infants is botulism. According to Infant, honey is occasionally known to contain spores of a bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. If a baby happened to ingest raw honey that contained these spores, the spores could potentially colonize the baby’s large intestine and produce the botulinum toxin. Botulism causes muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone.

Botulism is not transmitted in breast milk. Even if a nursing mother eats honey that contains botulism spores, the spores are too big to pass through the mother’s body and into her milk. Botulinum toxin also does not pass into breast milk. The gut flora of older children and adults can kill botulism spores and render them harmless (see this post on the benefits of breast milk for a baby’s gut flora!). Because the spores are killed in the gastrointestinal tract, they will never make it to a mother’s milk. You can safely consume honey without fear of transmitting botulism to your baby.

How Do I Protect My Baby From Botulism?

If you regularly consume honey, make sure to practice thorough hand washing just to rule out the chance that botulism spores may end up on surfaces that could come into contact with your baby’s mouth.

Also, do not offer honey to your baby until he turns 1. Another potential source of botulism is home-canned food. The Mayo Clinic suggests considering boiling home canned foods for 10 minutes before serving. Discard spoiled food and any food from cans that are bulging. The first sign of infant botulism is usually constipation followed by floppy movements and trouble feeding. If you suspect your baby may have botulism, get help right away. There are treatments available.

Go ahead and eat your favorite honey and peanut butter sandwich, use honey to sweeten your tea, or take a dose for your sore throat. To be safe, just do not offer honey to your baby until after he turns 1.

Have you ever wondered if honey and breastfeeding were safe?

Joanie Boeckman is an Army Reserve wife and homeschooling mama to three (soon to be four!) beautiful children. She is passionate about living a simpler life, attachment parenting, homemaking, and homeschooling. You can find her blogging at Simple Living Mama where her mission is to empower women in their roles as homemakers, mothers, and homeschool teachers.

Speak Your Mind