Drinking Kombucha While Pregnant: Things You Need to Know

Some pregnant women may ask, can kombucha cause miscarriage? First, we need to know what kombucha is. Kombucha is a fermented drink made from black or green tea most of the time. The process of making kombucha usually consists of a double fermentation process but it can also vary. 

Mostly, a flat, round culture of yeast called “SCOBY” is placed on the tea and fermented for a few weeks at room temperature. Then, it is transferred into bottles and fermented again for another 1-2 weeks to make it a little sweet, a little acidic and refreshing. Lastly, kombucha can be kept refrigerated to decrease its fermentation and carbonation. 

Kombucha is known to have varying health benefits and it is also a good source of probiotics that can provide our gut with healthy bacteria. Probiotics can improve the digestive health of an individual and can also help in weight loss as well as reduce systemic inflammation. 

Concerns about kombucha during pregnancy

You might wonder if it’s fine to drink kombucha while pregnant. Of course, pregnancy is a crucial stage for women. We all want wants best for our babies and we always want to do our best to keep the baby inside us safe. There are actually some benefits of kombucha that may be good for infants. However, there are also concerns about kombucha during pregnancy.

“Fermented foods are not safe for pregnant women”

Are fermented foods safe during pregnancy? Well, the answer is not that clear. Fermentation has actually been around as long as humans exist on earth. Based on a study in rural Africa, 97% of women use fermented foods to protect their babies from contamination caused by bacteria which can start for as early as four months. However, they continue this traditional practice from their ancestors without fear. 

“Kombucha usually contains 0.3-2.5% of alcohol and if alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, the baby might get Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.”

Some mommies may ask, “Can alcoholics have normal babies?” or they may also ask if wine can cause fetal alcohol syndrome. Well, the situation may still vary depending on the status of the pregnancy. However, the fear will always be there with the thought of consuming even a very small quantity of alcohol or wine during pregnancy will harm the fetus.

It is said in studies that it takes two to three hours for a 120-pound woman to eliminate the alcohol found on her body. Kombucha contains alcohol which is a product of the fermentation process so, women may think that if they drink kombucha while pregnant, they can harm their baby. Thus, they keep in mind the foods to avoid while pregnant

“Pregnant women must avoid caffeine.” 

Drinking caffeine during pregnancy is not recommended. According to the study of birth defects of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, consuming about 200mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy is still safe but a high dosage of caffeine may cause birth defects. FDA warned pregnant women to high doses of caffeine and it was found that kombucha drink usually has 3-12mg of caffeine per 4oz of serving.

Is it really safe to drink kombucha during pregnancy?

You might have drunk kombucha while pregnant and wonder if it is really safe to drink while pregnant. You may be afraid to try it and if you are sensitive, it is best to wait to try kombucha after you are done on your pregnancy and nursing. However, these are the things you need to know about what kombucha might give you during pregnancy. 

Boosting your energy

During your pregnancy or breastfeeding, your body needs more energy because it is burning more nutrition to feed your baby. This process can burn more of your energy and you may feel exhausted while breastfeeding. Kombucha may give you that energy to go on. Studies said that kombucha delivers little doses of vitamin B and caffeine which can boost your energy without taking coffee. 

Helps your digestion process

A lot of women experience heartburn, constipation, and indigestion during their pregnancy. Thus, kombucha can help in making a pregnant woman’s digestion process normal by increasing stomach acid. If kombucha is brewed for a longer time and it is allowed to sour more, it is better for stomach acid and heartburn, as well as its alcohol,  is less. 

Good during breastfeeding

Kombucha also offers benefits for a breastfeeding mom aside from increasing her energy and better digestionIf a breastfeeding mom drinks kombucha while pregnant, it can help in improving the breastmilk flow and relax the body. 

Kombucha can be an adaptogen

Women usually have insomnia during pregnancy because it is also a stressful time. Adaptogens are substances that can help your body respond positively to stress. According to studies, kombucha can keep your nerves in control and make you happy because it is a natural adaptogen. You can include calming herbs like chamomile or lavender to increase the calming effect of kombucha while brewing it. 

Decreases leg cramps

Kombucha doesn’t naturally contain calcium but it can be taken with calcium. It is believed that leg cramps during pregnancy can be caused by the lack of calcium within a pregnant woman’s body. One way of increasing the mineral content of kombucha is to add some clean, crush eggshells to the ferment to increase its calcium content. Through this process, the acidity of the kombucha drink will break down the eggshells and extract its calcium. 

How Much Kombucha Should You Drink While Pregnant?

Before drinking kombucha, pregnant women should take note that there are some warnings for safe consumption of it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Studies said that “a pregnant woman or a nursing mother should not consume more than a couple of ounces of kombucha.”

On the other hand, mixing a few amounts of kombucha in a glass of water can give you the benefits of its brew with hydration. Some pregnant women reported that they developed a resistance to kombucha during their pregnancy while others crave it. If you are unsure about drinking kombucha while pregnant, you might not start it if it’s unappealing to your body at the moment or you can talk to your doctor about this one. 

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