Is Honey Safe to Eat While Breastfeeding?
Answering your Most Searched Questions about Manuka Honey!
In this edition, we celebrate World Breastfeeding Month and answer the question: Is honey safe to eat while breastfeeding?
The short answer is: yes, you can eat as much honey as you wish. In fact, it is considered a galactagogue, (5) meaning a food (or herb) that aids in milk production.
Many ask this question since there is a concern about botulism in babies until 1 year old. At this age their digestive system lacks enough acidity in the stomach to kill botulism causing bacteria. Symptoms may begin as early as a few hours or 12-36 hours after consumption. Symptoms in infant botulism include constipation, blurred vision and muscle weakness. (1)
However, you cannot transmit botulism via your milk so you just need to ensure that any babies under the age of 1 don't have direct access, so it's best not to use it directly on your skin and to wash your hands after consuming.
There are actually many benefits to taking manuka honey while breastfeeding besides supporting milk production. Due to manuka's unique benefits like providing both a natural energy boost without the crash AND more restful sleep (4) depending on when you take it, supporting your immune system (3), and much more.
It can also be a great help if you have a sore throat, cold, or flu since many OTC medicines often contain ingredients that are contraindicated while breastfeeding. Additionally manuka honey has been found more effective against these symptoms than OTC medicines! (6) (7)