Do you regularly take kombucha?
You wouldn’t be alone if you’re nodding your head, as the many health benefits of this bubbly drink make it a beverage of choice for many.
Of course, when you find out you’re pregnant it can be hard to figure out whether it’s ok to take kombucha or not.
Let’s explore when kombucha might be safe and when it isn’t recommended during pregnancy.
What is Kombucha?
For those who aren’t too sure kombucha is a usually taken as a tea. It tastes rather delicious and it has a lot of health benefits which we’ll mention shortly.
Kombucha isn’t a herb or a supplement but a drink which is a mixture of teas, usually black or green, and it is fermented and sweetened.
The main benefits of kombucha include gut health, detoxifying the blood, helping with high cholesterol, helping with high blood pressure, working on prevention of diabetes, and it also has antibacterial properties, with anti-aging thrown in for good measure.
It’s no wonder that so many people have jumped on the band wagon and consume kombucha regularly.
Is Kombucha Safe Whilst Pregnant?
This is the big question. There is evidence to suggest that it’s ok to take but only in certain circumstances.
If you drank kombucha before you became pregnant without any ill effects then the chances are you’re fine to continue using it whilst you’re pregnant, but in moderation.
However, if you have never used kombucha before it’s not the best time to start when you become pregnant.
Wait until afterwards, preferably after you’ve finished breastfeeding.
The reason is because you simply don’t know how your body is going to react to it, and it’s not a great time to start experimenting with new things.
So, if you’re already on the band wagon and everything is fine, you’re okay to continue. If you’ve never tried it, hold off for just a little longer. There are some benefits which come with kombucha, even during pregnancy, but these are best saved for those who have used it in the past.
So, now we need to cover what moderation actually is.
The fermentation process that occurs when kombucha is made actually means that there is a small amount of alcohol present.
Before you start to worry, it’s very minimal, and we’ll cover why that’s the case in a second.
For now, moderation is usually classed as a few ounces at any one time with no more than 8-16 oz per day.
Adding the kombucha to a glass of water should do the trick.
Wait, You Mentioned Alcohol!
Yes, we said the A word. The reason for this is because any fermentation process creates alcohol. This is unavoidable.
We know that alcohol is unsafe during pregnancy but there is a difference between the tiny amount of alcohol in kombucha due to fermentation compared to drinking glasses of wine or cans of beer.
The amount of alcohol in kombucha is minuscule.
To put this into perspective even orange juice and bananas contain tiny amounts of alcohol due to the fermentation process and the same can be said about kombucha.
There are two types of kombucha one which has more alcohol than the other. Opt for the lower version the one which is often labelled as ‘enlightened’ and you should be fine.
The Advantages of Kombucha During Pregnancy
For those who choose to opt for kombucha use during pregnancy, there are some advantages to look for. These include:
- Extra energy – Kombucha includes small amounts of B vitamins and a little caffeine which can be enough to give you that extra boost of energy that you need – especially when your body is busy burning everything for extra nutrition for your new arrival
- Helps with digestion – Overall, Kombucha is known to be great for gut health anyway, but this is extra helpful during pregnancy. During pregnancy, many women notice digestive disturbances and this can be upsetting when you’re trying to deal with hormones and everything else!Kombucha helps with heartburn, constipation and indigestion which are all common pregnancy side effects anyways. If you allow the drink to brew for a little longer, with a sourer taste, you might even notice that it is useful for acid problems and heartburn. Another plus point is that when you do this the amount of alcohol within the drink is less than it would be otherwise.
- Can be useful during breastfeeding too – Kombucha has antibacterial properties and it can also help to boost milk flow and have a relaxing effect. All of these are beneficial during breastfeeding.
It’s Really a Personal Decision but…
It’s completely up to you whether you opt to use kombucha when you’re pregnant or not, but if you go for it, remember that moderation is key. It’s unwise to drink a lot of Kombucha not just because of the alcohol content, but because it’s simply not advisable to anyway pregnant or not.
Stick to moderate amounts and you’ll be able to reap the benefits whilst also being able to enjoy a rather delicious drink at the same time.
As before, if you haven’t tried kombucha, or you’re not a regular drinker, then the best advice is to wait until after delivery and after you’ve finished nursing. After that, you’re free to enjoy kombucha without any worries or concerns coming your way.