Updated: Mar 20
It is your birthday, your child’s birthday, your friend’s, relative, coworker birthday or even your anniversary celebration and you are there looking at the huge slice of cake staring at you, wondering if you could take a bite! Then you remember you are pregnant and ask yourself, is it safe to eat cakes during pregnancy?
Eating excess cakes could spike your blood sugar leading to weight gain and gestational diabetes. One can enjoy their cakes during pregnancy but not making it daily comfort food. The reason why you should limit your intake is so that it doesn’t replace your healthy foods. As we all know, cakes do not have good nutritional value, they are mostly fats and calories that are a good source of weight gain which isn’t healthy for a pregnant woman.
Risks of eating cakes during pregnancy
Cakes are deliciously and creatively made, eating a slice or two while pregnant is safe, just remember not to overdo it.
Cakes that come with butter icing or creams are bad for pregnant women1. The creams may contain harmful bacteria such as toxoplasma, salmonella and e.coli. These bacteria are capable of harming your baby and cause congenital disabilities and deformities. At some extremes cases, they might lead to death. It is very easy to get infected by these bacteria because as a pregnant woman, you have a weak immunity which exposes you to more diseases than the average human being who may eat bacteria contaminated foods without getting infected.
Eating raw cake batter can also lead to bacterial infection2 as the batter may contain unpasteurized eggs. Also eating a homemade cake that is not well baked is also dangerous for the baby due to the bacteria that are present in them. The eggs could have salmonella and if the cake is not properly baked, then there is the risk of toxoplasmosis and listeriosis affecting you and causing pregnancy complications.
Some cakes contain alcohol such as amaretto, rum, and bourbon. Taking alcohol even in a small amount is not safe during pregnancy and could harm the baby in one way or the other especially in your first and second trimester when the baby is still forming. It could lead to miscarriage, preterm delivery or long time conditions after the baby is born. Alcohol may give the cake a unique flavor, but pregnant women should avoid it.
They may also contain harmful herbal supplements which are not permitted during pregnancy and could lead to pregnancy complications. Commonly used supplements are valerian roots and melatonin which are both used for sleeping and relaxation. The melatonin helps in inducing sleep for those who have sleeping problems but are bad for pregnant women.
Cakes are like the toppings to your favorite ice cream in every celebration. No one wants to have a birthday or anniversary party without a cake, and everyone is delighted when it’s time to cut a cake. Don’t eat cake in excess when expecting, always apply moderation.