The popularity of kombucha has been sky-rocketing over the past few years, primarily due to its perceived health benefits. But, is kombucha pregnancy-safe? I’ll explain all in this blog!
Is kombucha pregnancy safe?
In short, it’s best to avoid kombucha during pregnancy… although it does depend a little on the brand that you choose to drink. Let me explain why….
Reason number 1…
Firstly, kombucha is made from tea so it contains caffeine. And, although you don’t need to cut out caffeine altogether, you probably don’t need the added caffeine either. High intakes of caffeine during pregnancy have been linked to increased rates of miscarriage. The caffeine in most bottles of kombucha varies, but is usually around 15mg, compared to around 100mg in a standard cup of tea, so although the caffeine in kombucha isn’t really a concern, it’s no benefit during pregnancy either.
Reason number 2…
Although a healthy gut microbiome is essential during pregnancy, and kombucha is fermented so provides us with good probiotics, there is also a risk that it may contain dangerous bacteria. There’s a lot of debate around whether fermented foods are beneficial or dangerous during pregnancy. Let me just say that there is a real risk, so before you consume any fermented foods during pregnancy, check out my Nourish video on this topic.
Reason number 3…
Kombucha often contains excess sugar. Yes, a lot of the sugar is fermented, but many commercial kombucha drinks still significant amounts, which is obviously not good for you or your baby during pregnancy.
Reason number 4…
Finally, although kombucha that you buy from the store may be labelled ‘non-alcoholic’, kombucha does actually contain alcohol. Sure, it may only be a small amount, but current Dietary Guidelines state that there is NO safe limit of alcohol during pregnancy. This is because it would be unethical to purposefully give women alcohol to drink during pregnancy just so that researchers can test how much harm it has on their babies. When it comes to alcohol, remember this… alcohol crosses the placenta, so if you’re drinking it, so is your bub… and although your baby may not end up with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome with just a few kombucha’s, you can’t be sure that the alcohol ISN’T impacting upon his growing brain either. If you are going to drink kombucha, I’d recommend choosing the brand with the least amount of alcohol.
Instead of kombucha, opt for water. If you want some bubbles, go for sparkling water, or if it’s the flavour that you’re after, infuse your water with some fresh fruit or mint leaves. But, personally, I’d recommend leaving kombucha until after you’ve finished breastfeeding, or at the very least until after your pregnancy.
Now, if you would like help with a healthy diet during pregnancy, I’d love you to download my free pregnancy meal plan. Just go to www.melaniemcgrice.com/pregnancy
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