In our section «Ask an expert a question», reader Ann asks:
«In the last months before pregnancy, I tried to replace sugar with honey. I’m in my first trimester now. I continue to eat honey. Moreover, I noticed that it helps with nausea. And recently I heard that it is undesirable for pregnant women to eat honey. Is it true?»
Pregnant women can eat honey, but you need to consider a few comments. This sweet product has many useful properties:
In the first trimester, honey is able to reduce the signs of toxicosis.
It is useful in the early stages of pregnancy, when the immune system is weakened.
Helps to cope with the tone of the uterus.
Activates lymph flow, thereby reducing swelling.
Improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, helping with constipation.
Helps to normalize the functions of hematopoiesis.
Nourishes the skin with external use.
How much honey can a pregnant woman eat?
WHO recommends no more than 50 grams of sweets per day (2 tablespoons), provided that you do not consume glucose anymore. Honey has 50 fewer calories than sugar. But it definitely cannot be called dietary, so you should not lean on honey if there is a tendency to overweight.
When honey is dangerous?
It is important what kind of honey and in what quantity to eat. Unpasteurized (not passed the heating stage) may contain spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which cause severe food intoxication — botulism. But in an adult, the acidity of the stomach is quite high, so during the digestion of «raw» honey, spores and bacteria are easily destroyed and do not pose any danger.
Honey is ten times sweeter than sugar and is able to increase blood glucose levels. Therefore, honey is contraindicated for women with diabetes mellitus, including gestational diabetes (diabetes of pregnant women).
Honey is a strong allergen. In addition, it may contain plant pollen, medicines and chemicals that bees and the hive were treated with.
Allergy symptoms are often similar to pollinosis, and may manifest as urticaria. An allergy, even if it happened to a mother, is not dangerous for a child in the womb. The IgE produced in the event of an allergic reaction, due to their large size, are not able to penetrate the placental barrier, thus they cannot have any effect on the child.
However, allergy medications for mom can worsen the process of fetal blood flow supply.
Therefore, if a pregnant woman is prone to food allergies, pollinosis, allergies to medicines and chemicals, it is worth refraining from eating sweets at least for the period of carrying a child.