Is Manuka Honey Safe During Pregnancy? A Detailed Look

Is Manuka Honey Safe During Pregnancy? A Detailed Look
Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

8 minutes

Manuka honey is a unique and nutrient-rich honey, but is it safe to consume during pregnancy? In this article, we explore the safety of Manuka honey for expectant mothers and provide practical tips for safe consumption.

  • Manuka honey is generally considered safe for pregnant women to consume
  • Honey should never be given to infants under one year of age due to the risk of botulism
  • Pregnant women with diabetes or gastrointestinal issues may need to limit or avoid honey consumption
  • Moderation is key when consuming Manuka honey during pregnancy due to its high sugar content
  • Always consult with your healthcare provider before making significant dietary changes during pregnancy

Manuka Honey During Pregnancy

Safe for Pregnant Women

Not Safe for Infants Under 1 Year

Generally considered safe

Risk of botulism

Provides nutrients and energy

Digestive and immune systems are not developed enough

Moderation is key

Wait until after the first birthday to introduce honey

Is Manuka honey safe to consume during pregnancy?

Manuka honey is generally considered safe for pregnant women to consume. However, it should never be given to infants under one year of age due to the risk of botulism. Pregnant women with diabetes or gastrointestinal issues may need to limit or avoid honey consumption. Moderation is key when enjoying Manuka honey during pregnancy due to its high sugar content. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making significant dietary changes during pregnancy to ensure the safety of both you and your unborn child.

Executive Summary:

  • Manuka honey is generally considered safe for pregnant women.
  • Honey should never be given to infants under one year of age.
  • Honey, in general, may not be suitable for pregnant women with diabetes or gastrointestinal issues.
  • If you have concerns, discuss your lifestyle or dietary options with your doctor, as they know you and your health situation the best.

 

Everything to Know About Manuka Honey During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative time in a woman’s life. However, during these nine months, there are many things to consider. 

One of the biggest considerations is what you eat, as this doesn’t only affect your well-being but also the health of your unborn child.

For instance, most of us know that folic acid is important during pregnancy to support proper brain and nervous system development. 

While Manuka honey is a staple in many individuals’ wellness routines, you might wonder, “Is it safe to indulge in this golden nectar during pregnancy?” 

In this article, we explore the answer to this question and other special considerations when it comes to enjoying Manuka honey during pregnancy.

What is Manuka Honey? 

Manuka honey is a unique type of honey, specifically made from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree in New Zealand. 

Surprisingly, the Manuka tea tree only blossoms for two to six weeks a year, leaving a very narrow window for the bees to get to work. 

At Manukora, we believe in letting nature do its thing. We allow the bees to go at their own pace. 

This means we only harvest what we need once the bees have completed the honey-making process. 

At the same time, we always ensure we leave the bees with more than enough honey to help them get through the winter. This also means we don’t heat the honey for dehydration purposes, which would deplete its precious nutrients.

This deliciously creamy and rich honey is famous for its impressive nutrient profile. 

In particular, Manuka honey contains a nutrient called methylglyoxal (MGO). 

This nutrient is unique to the Manuka tea tree and has powerful antibacterial properties. In fact, a higher MGO rating signifies higher antibacterial properties.

If you’re unsure what MGO rating is right for your needs, take the Manukora MGO quiz.

General Safety of Honey Consumption During Pregnancy 

While infants under one year of age should not consume honey, it’s considered entirely safe to consume Manuka honey during pregnancy. 

Honey can contain a type of bacteria called Clostridium, which can lead to a condition called infant botulism. 

Sadly, little ones' digestive and immune systems aren't quite strong enough yet to handle this bacteria safely. This is why it’s best to wait until after their first birthday to introduce honey, including Manuka honey.

So, why can pregnant women safely enjoy honey? The answer comes down to the fact that it’s unlikely that this bacteria would pass through the placenta to the baby.

With that said, moderation is key. While honey is a natural sweetener, and its nutrients offer some benefits, it’s still high in sugar. 

For pregnant women who are managing their weight or blood sugar levels, it's wise to consume honey in moderate amounts. 

It may also not be the best choice for those with type I, type II, or gestational diabetes or those with gastrointestinal issues.

At the end of the day, it’s always important to check with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet during pregnancy. Your doctor can give you the most personalized and accurate advice based on your specific health situation. 

Special Considerations for Manuka Honey 

The surprising truth is that Manuka honey can provide ample nutrients that support your body throughout your pregnancy. Its powerful nutrients, such as MGO, prebiotics, and antioxidants, support digestive health, immunity, and overall wellness. 

Manuka honey is also a wonderful source of natural energy, giving you fuel that you might very much need.

As previously stated, it’s important to discuss your dietary options with your doctor before indulging in Manuka honey. 

Manuka honey is likely not suitable for those with diabetes or with gastrointestinal issues or conditions. 

Expert Opinions on Manuka Honey and Pregnancy

Some experts may deter pregnant women from eating Manuka honey. Instead, they may encourage you to consume pasteurized honey due to the lower risk of botulism. 

However, this may be specific to each person or case.

Generally, nutritionists seem to agree that Manuka honey is safe as long as it’s certified as pure and unadulterated. 

With Manukora honey, you can rest assured that our honey is as pure as it comes. Containing zero GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics, each Manukora Manuka Honey comes with a QR code. 

All you need to do is scan this code, and you’ll learn all about its source and even the beekeeper that tended to it.

Practical Tips for Safe Consumption of Manuka Honey During Pregnancy 

Enjoy your Manuka honey to the fullest with these safety tips:

  • When adding Manuka honey to hot beverages or food, wait until it's cooled down. This will help your food or beverage retain as many of the honey’s beneficial nutrients as possible.
  • Select honey that is traceable right to the source (like Manukora).
  • Avoid overindulging. Instead, enjoy a teaspoon or two a day on their own or added to your favorite foods or drinks.
  • Don’t give honey to any infant under one year of age. 

 

Manuka Honey: A Safe Choice During Pregnancy?

Contrary to the danger it poses to infants due to the risk of botulism, Manuka honey is generally considered safe for pregnant women. Nonetheless, moderation remains essential.

Understanding the balance is key, especially for pregnant women. While Manuka honey, like ours offers great health benefits, it's important to enjoy it in moderation due to its natural sugars.

For those who prefer convenience, our 10-Pack Stick Packets are an excellent way to manage portions. 

Seeking guidance on balancing wellness and flavor? Our ACV Manuka Wellness Guide offers insights.

To dispel any myths and get answers to common questions, explore the Manuka Honey Truth and our comprehensive Manuka Honey FAQs.

Although Manuka honey can be a great source of natural energy and nutritional benefits — supporting digestive health, immunity, and overall wellness — its high sugar content requires mindful consumption. 

This is especially true for pregnant women managing their weight, blood sugar levels, or specific health conditions like diabetes. 

Raw honey may also not be suitable for women with gastrointestinal conditions. If you’re unsure about whether Manuka honey is right for you, discuss the topic with your doctor; they know you and your health history best.

If you’re ready to experience the delicious world of this creamy, raw, and high-nutrient honey, try our Popular MGO 850+ product.

FAQs

Is it safe to consume Manuka honey during pregnancy?

Manuka honey is generally considered safe for pregnant women. However, it is essential to consume it in moderation and be mindful of any existing health conditions such as diabetes or gastrointestinal issues.

Why should infants under one year of age avoid honey, including Manuka honey?

Infants under one year should not consume honey because it can contain Clostridium bacteria, which may cause infant botulism. Their digestive and immune systems are not strong enough to handle this bacteria safely.

What are the unique benefits of Manuka honey for pregnant women?

Manuka honey provides nutrients like methylglyoxal (MGO), prebiotics, and antioxidants that support digestive health, immunity, and overall wellness. It is also a source of natural energy, which can be beneficial during pregnancy.

How should pregnant women incorporate Manuka honey into their diet safely?

Pregnant women should consume Manuka honey in moderation, ideally not more than a teaspoon or two a day. It's best to add it to foods or beverages that have cooled down to retain its beneficial nutrients.

Are there any specific types of honey that are safer or more recommended for pregnant women?

While Manuka honey is safe, some experts may recommend pasteurized honey to reduce the risk of botulism. It is important to ensure the honey is certified pure and unadulterated.

Should pregnant women with specific health conditions avoid Manuka honey?

Pregnant women with conditions like type I, type II, or gestational diabetes, or those with gastrointestinal issues, should be cautious with honey consumption. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial to make an informed decision.

Sources:

The Importance of Maternal Folate Status for Brain Development and Function of Offspring - PMC 

Food-borne illnesses during pregnancy - PMC 

7 Possible Health Benefits Of Eating Honey In Pregnancy 

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