Can You Eat Honey While Breastfeeding Or Will It Harm Your Baby?

  • Know why you should worry about eating honey when breastfeeding
  •  Understand why it is generally safe to have honey while nursing
  •  Learn what to do to keep baby safe from possibly harmful honey
  •  Bonus video: Can You Eat Honey While Breastfeeding?

Are you a new mom or are you expecting a baby soon?

Are you currently breastfeeding or planning to start breastfeeding?

Do you find yourself wondering which foods are safe for you to ingest while you’re nursing your little one?

If you’re worried about the foods you eat while you’re breastfeeding, that’s a good thing. That means you’re already thinking about how to take care of your child and how to potentially avoid any problem areas that might arise from nursing after eating something that could be harmful to your baby.

But what about honey? If you’re a big fan of honey, you probably want to keep enjoying it while you’re nursing. But can you eat honey while breastfeeding?

In this article, you’ll learn about whether or not it’s safe to eat honey while nursing your baby and what you can do to keep your child safe if you do plan to ingest honey while breastfeeding.

Let’s get started!

Why would anyone be worried about honey when breastfeeding?

You may be wondering why honey should even be a concern for a breastfeeding mother. If you’ve heard another mom worrying about it or have been cautioned by someone else to avoid eating honey while you’re nursing your baby, you may feel a little bit confused as to why. Honey is an all-natural food that’s generally recommended as something healthy and enjoyable for most adults to eat. But why are so many nursing moms concerned about it?

  • Honey has a very high risk of containing botulism spores. Although not all honey has botulism, it’s very common, and therefore poses a risk to anyone who may have a compromised immune system.

  • Babies under one year of age don’t have a very sturdy immune system yet and also haven’t developed enough acidity in their stomachs to neutralize the effects of botulism spores. This is why babies under 12 months should never be given honey of any variety (or maple syrup, for that matter).

  • Many nursing moms worry that this avoidance of honey should carry over to them as well. They may not understand whether or not it’s possible for botulism in honey to be transmitted to their nursing children.

Can I eat honey while breastfeeding?

Generally speaking, yes. It’s safe for you to eat honey while you’re breastfeeding your little one. But this kind of answer may not be enough for you, especially if you’re the type of mom who wants to truly understand everything about the process of caring for your child. It’s great if you’re looking for more information, and we hope to answer any remaining questions you may have along the way, too.

eating honey while breastfeeding
  • The natural flora in your gut will neutralize any spores that may be present in the honey you eat. This means that even if the honey did contain botulism, it won’t make it through your digestive system and into your bloodstream.

  • Botulism spores cannot be transmitted directly into your bloodstream after eating something in which they are present. They would have to make it through your gut first, and this is impossible.

How can I keep my baby safe from honey?

So, you know that you can safely enjoy honey while you’re nursing your baby, but are there other ways you can keep your child safe from the potential harm of honey? There are a few tips you can keep in mind if you’re still concerned about having honey around the house while your baby is still young. Check out our list below.

  • Never give honey to a baby under one year of age. Don’t forget this very important rule!

  • Only eat high-quality pasteurized honey if you’re very worried about it. Pasteurized honey has gone through processes that effectively destroy any spores that may be present in the product.

  • You can eat raw honey if you want to, but if you’re concerned, just avoid it. Raw honey is generally more likely to contain botulism spores. Once again, these are harmless to you and your nursing child if you eat this honey, but if you’re very worried about it you can just avoid raw honey.

  • Remember that there have been no cases of botulism being passed to children through breastmilk. This has never been documented and is not really possible.

  • Wash your hands often after handling honey and before handling your baby’s food. It is possible to cross-contaminate your baby’s food with botulism spores found in honey. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap after handling honey to avoid this potential risk.

  • If you want, just avoid honey anyway. There’s no reason why you can’t if you’re especially concerned.


Now that you know a little bit more about the relationship between honey and breastfeeding, you should feel more confident about enjoying your favorite natural sweetener when you feel like it. Of course, if you choose to avoid honey altogether for the first year of your baby’s life, that’s okay, too—just remember that you don’t have to.



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