Is It Safe To Have Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy?

check_icon Research-backed

Image: Shutterstock


Apple cider vinegar is the vinegar that is made from fermented apple juice. Is it safe to have apple cider vinegar during pregnancy? We will help you answer this question in this post. Apple cider vinegar is commonly available in two forms: pasteurized and unpasteurized. Pregnant women are advised to consume the pasteurized form of apple cider vinegar as it is free from any harmful bacteria or microorganisms. However, there is a risk that consuming cider vinegar might cause heartburn. Thus it is advised to consult your doctor before consuming and also to stop having it if you feel any discomfort (1). Read on to know more about the benefits and adverse effects of having apple cider vinegar while pregnant.

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a product made from crushed apples through a process of fermentation. It is initially turned into alcohol and then to acetic acid. The final fermented apple cider vinegar (ACV) is sold in two forms (1).

  • Pasteurized form – removes potentially harmful bacteria such as E.coli
  • Unpasteurized form – believed to be healthy with its components intact
Pasteurized ACVUnpasteurized ACV
Refined and clear version of apple vinegarRaw and unfiltered organic version of apple vinegar
Does not contain mother substance, which contains nutrientsContains mother substance
Clear liquidMurky liquid
Safe for pregnant women as harmful bacteria are cleared offShould consult your doctor before consuming it

MomJunction tells you if pasteurized apple cider vinegar is safe during pregnancy.

Can You Drink Apple Cider Vinegar While Pregnant?

Yes! Studies suggest that during pregnancy you can drink pasteurized apple cider vinegar as it does not contain any harmful bacteria. ACV has health benefits when taken in small amounts along with other foods (2).

But is apple cider vinegar safe for the fetus? Pasteurized form is safe for unborn babies when the mothers consume it. However, unpasteurized ACV is not safe as it could lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, and other complications in the mother, and the baby may suffer from health issues post birth (3). Also, remember that ACV should not be given to infants at all as the product is acidic.

Let us go in depth into apple cider vinegar benefits during pregnancy.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar while Pregnant:

Dr. DeForest Clinton Jarvis, author of ‘Folk Medicine’, recommended to apple cider vinegar for pregnant women (4). According to him, drinking apple cider vinegar while pregnant has multiple benefits

1. Treats morning sickness:

ACV is pH neutral and helps settle the stomach acids that cause nausea. It, therefore, provides relief from the terrible feeling of morning sickness during the first trimester (5).

Mix two tablespoons of ACV in a cup of warm water and have it early morning.

2. Combats yeast infections:

Apple cider vinegar contains distinctive components, which can control and cure yeast infections such as candida infections. Topical application of ACV can reduce the infection and its symptoms. You can dilute it and apply on the infected skin or use in hot water bath. Internal consumption strengthens the immune system and prevents diabetes, both of which can slow down the infection from healing.

Mix two tablespoons of ACV in a cup of warm water and drink it twice a day until the infection disappears (6).

3. Treats urinary tract infections (UTI):

Cloudy urine during pregnancy can be an underlying symptom of urinary tract infections. ACV contains enzymes and useful minerals that slow down the growth of UTI-causing bacteria.

Have two teaspoons of ACV in a glass full of water, twice a day. You can also use a little of ACV in bath water to avoid infections (7).

4. Prevents acidity and heartburn:

Heartburn occurs during the second trimester when the stomach contents move back to the esophagus and cause an irritation. It is due to the pressure exerted by the growing baby on the digestive tract. ACV neutralizes the acidic food and provides relief.

Consume one tablespoon ACV mixed in water to prevent heartburn (8).

4. Clears stuffy nose and offers sound sleep:

The potassium content and anti-inflammatory property of ACV thins the mucus and reduces sinuses swelling.

Mix two tablespoons of ACV with one tablespoon of honey in a cup of warm water, and have it twice or thrice a day (9).

5. Cures acne:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy often lead to acne and other skin problems such as warts. Raw apple cider vinegar will act as a toner and it can rebalance the pH of the skin, remove dead cells, and excess oils.

To make this antibacterial and antiseptic toner, mix ACV and distilled water in 1:3 ratio and apply to the skin using a cotton ball (10).

6. Normalizes blood pressure levels:

The acetic acid present in ACV lowers the blood pressure by reducing the activity of rennin enzyme, which increases blood pressure.

Combine three tablespoons of ACV in a glass of warm water or any beverage of your choice (except sugary sodas) and drink it for a week (11).

7. Regulates blood flow:

You will have swollen hands, feet, and varicose veins due to poor blood circulation. ACV eases the blood flow, thereby relieving these conditions.

Mix ACV with any regular lotion and use on the affected parts. You can also make a homemade cream by mixing half a glass of ACV, half carrot, and three tablespoons of aloe vera gel. For internal consumption, take two to three tablespoons of ACV in a cup of warm water along with honey (optional) (12).

8. Detoxifies your body:

Apple cider vinegar has a detoxifying effect on your body. A cleansed body system absorbs the nutrients better, which in turn leads to better metabolism (13).

9. Treats diabetes:

ACV reduces blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivities when taken with some foods. However, you should always consult your doctor before adding ACV to your diet, especially when you are on medication for diabetes (14).

10. Aids digestion:

The antibiotic properties of ACV fight the stomach problems caused by harmful bacteria. It improves digestion by regulating metabolism and promoting good bacteria in the stomach. ACV also contains pectin, which soothes uneasy tummy (13).

11. Promotes weight loss:

Consuming apple cider vinegar before meals makes you feel full and therefore helps you eat less. You should have a nutritional and well-balanced diet to nourish yourself and your baby (15). Therefore, consult your healthcare practitioner if you can take ACV with your diet.

12. Cold remedy:

Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial properties fight the cold and sore throat symptoms (16).

Add one tablespoon of ACV in a glass of warm water and drink twice a day until the symptoms subside. You may also put the mixture in a vaporizer and leave it overnight in your room.

13. Leg cramps:

You may not sleep well due to leg cramps caused by low potassium levels and pressure on the circulatory system. ACV contains excellent levels of potassium that relieves the discomfort (17).

If you are convinced and want to buy ACV, then choose the best quality product.

Tips To Buy Best Quality Apple Cider Vinegar:

To pick the best quality ACV:

  • read the ingredients and make sure the ACV is made of crushed apples or cider.
  • check for pale amber color
  • Heinz and Bragg are the most trusted brands.

ACV mixed with water is safe to be consumed and provides many benefits. But…

Can You Take Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements During Pregnancy?

You should avoid taking them as most supplements (available in the form of capsules and pills) do not contain apple cider vinegar. Some of them may also not contain the actual mother product.

Supplements can be risky during pregnancy, especially if raw apple cider vinegar is the ingredient. Therefore, it is better to avoid these supplements or take your practitioner’s opinion.

ACV may not always be safe for the mother-to-be and could be accompanied by some nasty problems.

Side Effects Of Having Apple Cider Vinegar When Pregnant

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is considered unsafe and may lead to certain risks.

  • If you are taking certain medications, then do not have ACV as it could lower the potassium levels, and be unsafe for you and your baby. Check with your doctor before you begin taking ACV. ACV is highly acidic and can erode your tooth enamel when you consume it directly (18).
  • In some cases, ACV gives you irritation in the stomach and throat (19).

As ACV is acidic, you should not have it in high quantity. Also, you need to take care while consuming it.

How To Consume ACV Safely?

  • Do not ingest ACV directly as it harms your enamel, affects the esophagus, and can cause more problems.
  • If you are keen on choosing the ACV supplements, then check the ingredients and constitution of the product before buying.
  • Minimize exposure of your teeth to vinegar by using a straw to have fluids that contain ACV.
  • Rinse your mouth after drinking anything that contains ACV.
  • Avoid ACV when you have any stomach problems.
  • Beware of allergies. If you feel any discomfort when you take ACV, see your doctor immediately.

ACV could be quite unpleasant to consume because of its acidity. But there are ways to make it taste better.

How To Make ACV Taste Better?

You may not always feel like having apple cider vinegar with water as it tastes bitter. There are some tasty and safe ways to include ACV in your diet during pregnancy:

  • Add one teaspoon of ACV and two teaspoons of honey to a glass full of water. Add two tablespoons of ACV and two teaspoons of raw honey to one and a half cup of fresh grapefruit juice.
  • Add two tablespoons apple or grape juice, two tablespoons ACV, half teaspoon cinnamon powder, and half teaspoon stevia to one-and-a-half cup of cold water and have the ACV elixir.

Note: Do not drink these as water but have them in small sips. Limit these drinks to two or three times a day. Also, consult your health practitioner before taking any of them.

Consuming pasteurized apple cider vinegar during pregnancy is considered safe. ACV has several benefits and helps deal with various pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, acidity, and heartburn. However, it is advised that you buy the best quality ACV from the market after thoroughly checking the ingredients and manufacturing dates. In addition, you could mix ACV with a glass of water and honey to reduce the acidic taste and make its consumption easier. If you have doubts about the safety of its consumption for your baby, consult your doctor.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Rebecca Malachi

Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and engaging content in areas of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy. She did her graduation in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained a certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). She has been into health and... more

Jyoti Benjamin

Jyoti Benjamin has 25 years of experience as a clinical dietitian and currently works in Seattle. She focuses on teaching people the value of good nutrition and helping them lead healthy lives by natural means. Benjamin has a masters in Foods and Nutrition, and has been a longtime member and Fellow of AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) and the... more