Apple cider vinegar has been a useful remedy for years to treat digestive disorders and other ailments like sore throat and varicose veins and to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels. When it comes to pregnancy, where you have a whole list of dos and don’ts, it is essential to know apple cider vinegar’s safety when consumed or applied topically.
Is it safe to drink apple cider vinegar while pregnant?
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, and many expecting mothers have claimed it to be good during this time. However, to remain safe, make sure to talk to your doctor before using it internally or externally in the first, second, and third trimesters.
Always opt for pasteurized ACV, as unpasteurized ones may contaminate bacteria. It is not recommended to drink it raw either; though many have reported being fine after consuming it raw, it is always best to dilute it with water before use.
Apple cider vinegar and pregnancy: Benefits
1. To lessen heartburn
Taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a half cup of water after a meal can relieve heartburn (common in the third trimester) and nausea and vomiting since it balances and controls stomach acid production.
2. Relief from hemorrhoids
Applying ACV topically on the affected area or adding it to your sitz bath may help lessen itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids.
3. For swollen feet
Drinking apple cider vinegar with warm water and honey or using it as a foot bath may remedy swelling or edema that often aggravates after the fifth month. Its high potassium content (73 grams per 100 grams) helps lessen water retention by reducing sodium levels and raising urine production.
4. For bacterial infections
Because of its anti-bacterial properties, ACV is useful for relieving bacterial vaginosis seen in about 10-30% of expectant mothers and urinary tract infections. Adding one to two cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath would help eliminate the bad smells, also maintaining the vaginal PH. You can also use two tablespoons of ACV with one cup of water to rinse your vulva two times a day to prevent or fight bacterial infections. However, avoid douching as it may trigger yeast infections by altering the natural vaginal flora.
Since ACV makes the urine acidic by inhibiting and flushing out the infection-causing bacteria, mixing a tablespoon of it with three tablespoons of water would be effective for UTIs.
5. To maintain healthy skin
Because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for treating various skin ailments like acne and eczema. Besides drinking it, applying it topically (1 part vinegar to 3 parts distilled water) using a cotton ball can be beneficial.
Due to its acetic acid content, ACV acts as a great exfoliant, useful for women affected by melasma or the mask of pregnancy.
6. To treat dandruff
Its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and exfoliating properties make ACV useful for fighting dandruff. Apply to your scalp directly using cotton balls, and massage for about three minutes in a circular manner. If you have sensitive skin, you can use it as a spray twice a week by mixing ACV and water in a bottle in equal parts.
7. For managing diabetes
A study conducted at Arizona State University revealed that diluting ACV with water and saccharine post-meal could help lower sugar levels. Another research mentions that having apple cider vinegar before bedtime would aid in moderating the sugar level upon waking up. So, this might be helpful for gestational diabetes.
8. For gallstones
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar inhibits the liver’s cholesterol-producing ability. Drinking a mixture of a teaspoon of ACV with one glass of apple juice or two teaspoons of ACV and a teaspoon of lemon juice in warm water might be advised.
9. To relieve cold
Since cough and cold are common during pregnancy because of your changing immune system, you can gargle with ACV or drink a glass of it mixed with warm water every morning.
Besides pregnancy, apple cider vinegar is also said to improve fertility, helping one to get pregnant, though there is no concrete evidence.
Can drinking apple cider vinegar while pregnant be bad?
Though there are no known dangers of apple cider vinegar while pregnant, drinking too much of it might lead to adverse effects. If you experience discomfort after having it or develop rashes post applying it to your skin, contact your doctor at the earliest.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.