One of the first questions I get from newly pregnant or vegan breastfeeding moms is, “Can I drink kombucha while I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?”
The quick answer: yes but it depends.
First let’s talk about WHY you might want to include kombucha in your diet whether you eat omnivore, plant-based, or vegan…
- Kombucha is a great dairy-free source of probiotics that support your overall gut microbiome
- Kombucha can also help ease digestive issues and help you become more regular
- Antioxidants in kombucha can help support your immune system and inflammatory response
- You like the taste of kombucha (very real)
- You don’t like the taste of kombucha but everyone seems to be talking about it and it makes you feel like you should be drinking some too (also very real)
This is what you need to consider when thinking about adding kombucha to your pregnancy or breastfeeding lifestyle:
- Naturally fermented kombucha has a trace amount of alcohol as a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. Unlike beer or wine, the amount of alcohol is limited by the way the bacteria and yeast work together.
- Although kombucha is considered a raw and unpasteurized food, it doesn’t carry the same risk as unpasteurized dairy products because the pH level is acidic and inhibits the growth of new pathogens.
- Some commercialized kombuchas add additional tea extracts that may increase the caffeine content. Traditional brewed and fermented tea aka kombucha has less that 25mg of caffeine while green tea kombucha typically has less than 5mg of caffeine per serving. In comparison, a cup of black tea has 30-80mg of caffeine.
- If you’re breastfeeding, kombucha may loosen the stools of your baby. If you start drinking kombucha and you notice more explosive and even more liquidy stools (of course they will be some state of liquid) from you baby, consider backing off the ‘booch.
- Hydration is especially important while breastfeeding, but aim for more water than anything else.
Ultimately, deciding whether or not kombucha is a good fit for you and your baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding is a personal choice. If you’re only choosing to drink it because the woman in your mom’s group can’t stop talking about it but you hate the taste, maybe it’s just not your jam. You can get probiotics in other non-dairy foods like fresh sauerkraut, non-dairy yogurts (there are SO many on the market these days), and even a probiotic supplement. However, if you love kombucha, you drank it pre-pregnancy, plus you and baby tolerate it, keep going strong. Either way, trust your gut. 😉
If you want to see what foods may support your plant-based breastfeeding journey, check out the best plant-based vegan foods during breastfeeding to support your journey and increase your milk supply. Also, if you need more meal planning prep for your plant-based pregnancy and breastfeeding needs, consider checking out my 7 day vegan breastfeeding meal plan guide.