Author Topic: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding  (Read 9679 times)

Offline *MommaJo*

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Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« on: September 05, 2006, 05:12:45 PM »
Hey,
Sorry if this question has been answered here somewhere already.  I did a few searches and couldn't find and answer.  Also, I wasn't sure if I should post it under womens or children's health. 
Anyway, I have seasonal allergies (dust, mold, pollen, dog, cat.....).  I have sneezing fits almost every morning.  I was overjoyed to read on a WTM thread that locally produced honey can help ease the allergy symptoms.  My neighbor produces honey.  I was eager to begin eating it daily when I remembered that I had heard somewhere that babies cannot have honey until they're 1 or 2 (I forget what age for sure) because of botulism or something.  So, since I'm currently breastfeeding, can I eat honey or not???  And, while were at it, is the botulism thing true?
Thank you.

Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 05:16:25 PM »
i have ate it all along with no problems, i have never heard that it could be a problem through breastmilk. 
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Offline mexmarr

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 02:40:40 AM »
The age is 1.  I ate lots of honey while breastfeeding, so did my mom, and my MIL, too.  I have never heard of it being a problem. I know lots of family who eat lots of honey.  None of the moms ever got off honey when breastfeeding.

Sorry that I don't have  any hard core facts for you.

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 03:08:17 AM »
From what I've read the problem with honey is that a baby's digestion doesn't have what it needs to properly digest it. I would think that after your body digests it that any thing coming through your milk would be fine. I eat lots of honey while pregnant and nursing. Theres my completely uneducated opinion ;) ???
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Dairae

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 05:10:18 AM »
We keep bees. My concern was raw honey. My midwife told me honey is safe while pregnant and breastfeeding. :)

Offline *MommaJo*

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 05:30:46 AM »
Thank you Dairae.  My concern was raw honey, also.  That's what I'd be eating.  I guess the raw honey can be dangerous for small children because it isn't pasturized, like apple cider is dangerous for that reason.  So your midwife said that raw honey is okay?  Is it true that you shouldn't give it to small children?

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 07:09:17 AM »
Thank you Dairae.  My concern was raw honey, also.  That's what I'd be eating.  I guess the raw honey can be dangerous for small children because it isn't pasteurized, like apple cider is dangerous for that reason.  So your midwife said that raw honey is okay?  Is it true that you shouldn't give it to small children?

My midwife was into healthy eating and I trusted her. I would not give it directly to a kid under one, just because I have NEVER heard anyone argue it is OK. I, personally, do assume it is really the raw honey that is the danger and not what you get in the store. I would allow a little one to eat food that has raw honey as a cooked ingredient. But that's me.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006, 06:50:23 AM »
The risk from raw honey is botulism.  People with mature digestive tracts are said to be able to digest or breakdown this bacterium with no harm, but babies under one cannot do this.  I don't have any documentation, but since your digestion is breaking down the honey before the baby gets it, it would make sense to me that it would be okay.

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Offline sarajane

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2006, 03:28:39 PM »
What about other bee products? I am currently nursing and pregnant and wanting to take some other bee products.
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Offline dara

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 05:08:37 AM »
As far as I know, the risk of botulism is the same for raw or pasturized honey... at least the health care professionals will warn you about either one for children under one. Their GI tracts may not have the ability to handle the botulism bacteria. And I've never heard of there being any danger in nursing mothers eating honey. I always have. I would think as long as you don't have an actual allergy to bee products, you would be fine taking them. I've taken pollen PG and BF.
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Offline RB

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 06:11:48 AM »
As far as I know, the risk of botulism is the same for raw or pasturized honey... at least the health care professionals will warn you about either one for children under one. Their GI tracts may not have the ability to handle the botulism bacteria. And I've never heard of there being any danger in nursing mothers eating honey. I always have. I would think as long as you don't have an actual allergy to bee products, you would be fine taking them. I've taken pollen PG and BF.
I just couldn't resit jotting down some of my rampling thoughts and questions about the issue of " honey". ;D  In the culture I grew up in, it wasn't unusual for parents to put honey on a  binky/ finger to calm a fussy  infant.  I'm left with wondering why there wasn't an epidemic of infants dying?  My Mother once coated one of her fingers with honey, and gave it to my baby to suck on.  She probably licked her finger clean first,  instead of washing it too! ;D Needless to say I was horrified, thought my baby might get sick or die!  My Mother  wanted to know where  I heard such ridiculous information!  What could I say, I was born and raised on honey! ;D My grandfather was a bee keeper and I'm sure my parents grew up on honey too. I'm wondering  how generations of people survived before us, that drank raw milk , raw apple cider, ate  butter and honey  that didn't know this information??    Infact I never even heard of any babies dying from ingesting honey in that culture! Then again, what do I know, I wasn't even aware that people ate mountain oysters, or what ever them things are called , ;D  until yesterday, I was enlighten through this forum.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 02:53:31 PM by RB »
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Offline KatieMac

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2006, 06:20:41 AM »
From what I understand there have only been about 100 infants to die from honey-related botulism since the turn of the century (I heard this from a friend, so don't quote me!) So, it doesn't happen often, but often enough to warn people.

Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2006, 06:33:22 AM »
As far as I know, the risk of botulism is the same for raw or pasturized honey... at least the health care professionals will warn you about either one for children under one. Their GI tracts may not have the ability to handle the botulism bacteria. And I've never heard of there being any danger in nursing mothers eating honey. I always have. I would think as long as you don't have an actual allergy to bee products, you would be fine taking them. I've taken pollen PG and BF.
I just couldn't resit jotting down some of my rampling thoughts and questions about the issue of " honey". ;D  In the culture I grew up in, it wasn't unusual for parents to put honey on a  binky/ finger to calm a fussy  infant.  I'm left with wondering why there wasn't an epidemic of infants dying?  My Mother once coated one of fingers with honey, and gave it to my baby to suck on.  She probably licked her finger clean instead of washing it too! ;D Needless to say I was horrified, thought my baby might get sick or die!  My Mother  wanted to know where  I heard such ridiculous information!  What could I say, I was born and raised on honey! ;D My grandfather was a bee keeper and I'm sure my parents grew up on honey too. I'm wondering  how generations of people survived before us, that drank raw milk , raw apple cider, ate  butter and honey  that didn't know this information??    Infact I never even heard of any babies dying from ingesting honey in that culture! Then again, what do I know, I wasn't even aware that people ate mountain oysters, or what ever them things are called , ;D  until yesterday, I was enlighten through this forum.

I'll have to agree with RB here... Being the oldest of 9 children, I can distinctly remember my mom putting honey on her raw, cracked breasts while breastfeeding my younger siblings. It helped her tremendously and not ONE of them ever got sick or died. I just don't know how we ever survived  ::) ::)

BTW, we were the same generation that took long road trips in the station wagon, laying down in the back with our feet up on the ceiling, being TOTALLY UNBUCKLED, rode our bikes like maniacs with NO HELMETS, and climbed rocks and trees with NO SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHATSOEVER......It's a wonder we're alive....

Anybody else live dangerously?? :D :D
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2006, 06:34:50 AM »
I've been wondering if part of the difference between then and now is the health of the mother at the time of labor. I've been reading that your baby is "inoculated" with the bacteria from your birth canal during birth. And my thoughts are... If you've got the right kinds of bacteria, your baby has a great head start on healthy digestive and immune systems (they've had their first good dose of naturally occurring probiotics  ;D ). If you've got the wrong kinds of bacteria (yeast, bacterial overgrowth, etc.) the baby not only has to struggle with these right away, but they don't get the head start they need and their digestive and immune systems take much longer to become strong enough to handle things that kids used to handle without much problem (how's that for a run-on sentence?  ;D ). So, since most women in industrial societies today are struggling in the "good flora" department it should be no surprise that we have problems with babies getting botulism from honey, and developing food allergies when foods are introduced too soon, and so on and so forth.

Just my rambling thoughts and theories as I contemplate my health, my children's health, and the upcoming birth of my new baby.

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Offline RB

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2006, 06:41:28 AM »
As far as I know, the risk of botulism is the same for raw or pasturized honey... at least the health care professionals will warn you about either one for children under one. Their GI tracts may not have the ability to handle the botulism bacteria. And I've never heard of there being any danger in nursing mothers eating honey. I always have. I would think as long as you don't have an actual allergy to bee products, you would be fine taking them. I've taken pollen PG and BF.
I just couldn't resit jotting down some of my rampling thoughts and questions about the issue of " honey". ;D  In the culture I grew up in, it wasn't unusual for parents to put honey on a  binky/ finger to calm a fussy  infant.  I'm left with wondering why there wasn't an epidemic of infants dying?  My Mother once coated one of fingers with honey, and gave it to my baby to suck on.  She probably licked her finger clean instead of washing it too! ;D Needless to say I was horrified, thought my baby might get sick or die!  My Mother  wanted to know where  I heard such ridiculous information!  What could I say, I was born and raised on honey! ;D My grandfather was a bee keeper and I'm sure my parents grew up on honey too. I'm wondering  how generations of people survived before us, that drank raw milk , raw apple cider, ate  butter and honey  that didn't know this information??    Infact I never even heard of any babies dying from ingesting honey in that culture! Then again, what do I know, I wasn't even aware that people ate mountain oysters, or what ever them things are called , ;D  until yesterday, I was enlighten through this forum.

I'll have to agree with RB here... Being the oldest of 9 children, I can distinctly remember my mom putting honey on her raw, cracked breasts while breastfeeding my younger siblings. It helped her tremendously and not ONE of them ever got sick or died. I just don't know how we ever survived  ::) ::)

BTW, we were the same generation that took long road trips in the station wagon, laying down in the back with our feet up on the ceiling, being TOTALLY UNBUCKLED, rode our bikes like maniacs with NO HELMETS, and climbed rocks and trees with NO SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHATSOEVER......It's a wonder we're alive....

Anybody else live dangerously?? :D :D
We would warm-up our cold  bare feet in the morning, in them fresh  warm, soft and  squishy cow patties! :o  :D  :D
« Last Edit: December 09, 2006, 04:49:18 AM by RB »
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2006, 08:55:40 AM »
Eeeeeeoooooooowwww--and you NEVER got sick from E-coli poisoning??? You are SUCH a risk-taker, RB!!  ;D ;D
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2006, 09:24:48 AM »
I can't imagine why or how eating honey whilst breastfeeding would harm the infant/child.  In fact, I think the honey/botulism is a little over dramatized.  IMHO.  When we started the healthy lifestyle, my infant son was 4 months old.  When it came time for him to have table food, I would sweeten certain things with raw honey.  It was on the label, but I just thought maybe it was one of those bossy  FDA things.   oops!  ;)  He had raw honey A LOT before one year of age.  He is fine.  Now, I am not recommending it, but I can't say that it is something that I would 100% avoid with another child, either. 
Back to the original question, I don't see how any bee products would be bad via the breast.  I think it would be beneficial.

Offline SC

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2006, 10:15:50 AM »
OH! Wouldn't that be complicated?

I mean, I learned how to balance a baby and eat a plate of food out of necessity . . .
But wouldn't honey be a bit messy?

Maybe wait until the baby is finished. That way it won't get in his hair!  :D ;D ;)
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Offline sarajane

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2006, 11:56:23 AM »
It is funny how easily simply reading something somewhere can scare you out of taking it. I thought about it and it does seem a bit silly, I mean I could all of a sudden develop a deadly allergy to just about any food. So, I figure I will take advantage of all the bee products. I have already tried royal jelly and bee pollen and they don't seem to bother me.

I was trying to figure out what it is that I am alergic too, that was one reason this raised a question in my taking any bee products at all (especially being pregnant and nursing). Honey was one of the suspects. But, I think I have ruled it out. I was talking with my folks and we remembered that as a young child I would eat my beef sausage with honey all the time! So, that can't be it. Thus, we still don't know what food or even nonfood gives me this awful, miserable, itchy rash on my legs. Only happened three times in my life, that is enough for me, it wasn't fun!
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2006, 03:29:01 PM »


Maybe wait until the baby is finished. That way it won't get in his hair!  :D ;D ;)

My kids are bald until after one!!  ;D

Offline Pennie

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2007, 11:11:00 AM »
I scanned this thread quickly.  My baby will be one on the 24th of this month.  She is very healthy.  I am "afraid" of honey.  I don't really see how something can be so good for you after age one but kill you b/f?  Ok, well, I did see where HB said it's botulism not the honey itself? ANYWAY, I am wanting opinions.  I made cookies and of course sweetened with honey.  Well, she REALLY wants one b/c she sees everyone else eating one.  Do you think it's okay now?  I mean if she isn't strong enough now will she be in 10 days?  I know, it's probly silly but I HAVE been scared into not giving my babies honey.  Usually not even right at one, BUT this IS the first time we have had a baby where I used it in so many things. 

Offline its_me518

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2007, 02:15:24 PM »
I have been wondering the same thing, and asking around. Someone mentioned a little fact to me, that I thought was very interesting. What if this whole "honey is dangerous" thing is just another "conspiracy thing". Seriously, we can give our little babies all the garbage & sugar that we want, but make sure not to give them any honey! I have heard that honey is a real life saver. It is very antiboiotical (sp?). They want us to immunize, but not give honey? What if they just don't want us giving them honey because they know how really good it is for our babies. Doesn't that make you wonder? I was also told that everywhere else in the world, babies are always given honey without and problems..... just thought I'd share my opinion.
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Offline *MommaJo*

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2007, 02:26:50 PM »
What about eating honey when you're pregnant?



Offline Sombra

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2007, 02:40:36 PM »
My son worked an an apiary this summer. I asked the beekeeper this very question, about honey and botulism. She said there was once a case where a child got sick, and the parents said that the last thing the child ate before getting sick was honey....and because of this we have this botulism scare about honey.  Now I don't remember everything she said, but my general feeling leaving the conversation was that honey is just about the safest thing you can eat - anytime. I have never followed any of these rule (about eggs or honey or fish) and given my kids what ever we were eating. We have no allergies.

When you consider honey is an antibiotic, people take it for sore throats by the spoonful - and a jar of honey can stay good for years on the shelf.. I think this cry of botulism is taken way out of proportions.

Offline sweetestday

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2007, 02:46:38 PM »
I really don't know how germs could even grow in honey. My folks were beekeepers while I was growing up, and if I remember right, they didn't even need to sterilize the jars before adding the honey because the honey kills anything bad in there.
Also, a retired midwife I know said she thought honey would be just fine to give a baby. She thought it was just a big scare that didn't have much for evidence behind it.

Offline miff aka Missi

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2007, 05:12:13 PM »
What about eating honey when you're pregnant?
Here's a couple of links .

Honey and Infant Botulism-
QUOTE
The concern is with infant botulism.

Botulinum spores are found widely in soil, dust, and honey. Adults who swallow botulinum spores are almost never affected. When infants swallow the spores, however, the spores can germinate in their immature gastrointestinal tracts and begin producing botulinum toxin. This has occurred even when the honey was only used to sweeten a pacifier (European Journal of Epidemiology, Nov 1993).

Botulinum toxin is the most poisonous natural substance known to man. The lethal dose is only 1/10,000,000 mg per kg of body weight -- an amount that would be invisible to the naked eye. This tiny amount in the blood stream can cause death within minutes through paralysis of the muscles used in breathing.

http://www.drgreene.com/21_825.html

Honey during pregnancy-
http://www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=21&action=detail&ref=1476
« Last Edit: November 05, 2007, 05:15:46 PM by miff aka Missi »

Offline mhsmama4

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2007, 05:17:55 PM »
I scanned this thread quickly.  My baby will be one on the 24th of this month.  She is very healthy.  I am "afraid" of honey.  I don't really see how something can be so good for you after age one but kill you b/f?  Ok, well, I did see where HB said it's botulism not the honey itself? ANYWAY, I am wanting opinions.  I made cookies and of course sweetened with honey.  Well, she REALLY wants one b/c she sees everyone else eating one.  Do you think it's okay now?  I mean if she isn't strong enough now will she be in 10 days?  I know, it's probly silly but I HAVE been scared into not giving my babies honey.  Usually not even right at one, BUT this IS the first time we have had a baby where I used it in so many things. 

Does this even apply to honey in baked goods?  I mean, wouldn't the spores be killed off by the high heat of baking?  I haven't given my children honey by itself, such as on a biscuit or in a drink, before the age of one, but do let them sample my homemade wheat bread made with honey at about 10 months, since dh and I have no wheat allergies that we're aware of.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Can I eat honey if I'm breastfeeding
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2007, 07:12:34 AM »
From what I've read the problem with honey is that a baby's digestion doesn't have what it needs to properly digest it. I would think that after your body digests it that any thing coming through your milk would be fine. I eat lots of honey while pregnant and nursing. Theres my completely uneducated opinion ;) ???
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I believe raw honey has botulism spores which babies cannot fight.  I'm guessing that mama's tummy can handle this for nursing infants, but I'm only making an educated guess.
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