Is It Safe To Use Baking Soda During Pregnancy?

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Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is used for multiple purposes, ranging from cooking to cleaning. Although it is a common ingredient in every household, many women wonder if it is safe to use baking soda during pregnancy.

Read this post for further information on the use of baking soda during pregnancy and the safety tips you should follow.

Baking Soda During Pregnancy

Most women experience heartburn when pregnant due to hormonal changes within the body (1). Baking soda is often used as an antacid (2). When used in small amounts, baking soda may not cause problems to the developing baby.

However, its sodium content may interfere with the body’s water retention capacity, and you need to be careful. If you intend to take baking soda for heartburn during pregnancy, consider the following points.

Use Of Baking Soda As Antacid

Let’s look into pros and cons of usage of baking soda as Antacid:

a. Pros:

The best part is that there has been no evidence of any adverse effect of baking soda on babies in womb (3). However, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before using it when pregnant.

  1. It can effectively fight the acids that your body is producing and thus relieve you from heartburn.
  2. When ingested, baking soda reacts with the acid in the stomach to produce common salt, water and carbon dioxide, which are harmless.
  3. It is advised to dissolve the powder completely in water and then take it.
  4. If the acidity gets severe, you can mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in half cup water and mix it well before drinking.
  5. A teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water may be used to rinse the mouth during pregnancy to control increased acidic oral condition due to frequent vomiting (4).

b. Cons:

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda may cause fluid build up resulting in swollen feet or other problems due to edema (5).

  1. Taking baking soda as antacid may help you reduce heartburn, but it will increase your problem if you are suffering from edema.
  2. Injectable sodium bicarbonate has been assigned category C rating by the FDA for pregnant women (6).men. Category C means that either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the fetus (teratogenic or embryocidal or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Therefore, you must consult your doctor before going for it.
  3. If you have other, safer remedies at hand, then avoiding baking soda as an antacid will be better.

Baking Soda For Cooking

Baking soda, after all, is a popular kitchen ingredient. Even when you are not taking it as a medicine, you may be using it for baking.

  • It is completely safe to use baking soda for cooking.
  • When mixed with other ingredients, it may not have a harmful impact.
  • Mind the amount that you are using and the frequency of consumption.

If you are baking every day, using good quantities of baking soda, then it may be risky. So, go ahead and bake those cookies!

Baking Soda As Cleaning Agent

During pregnancy, you have to be cautious as to what material you are using to clean your house. Baking soda can be a good option as a surface cleaner and deodorizer because it is natural and does not emit harmful fumes (7).

  • It is safe to handle. Baking soda will not harm you on coming in contact with skin.
  • It can be used to clean carpets and rugs by sprinkling some powder before vacuuming.
  • A paste of baking soda can effectively clean kitchen and table tops.

The impact of baking soda also depends on how you take it and with what frequency. Consuming it once in a while is fine. Just don’t make it a regular habit. With so many uses, you don’t have to eliminate baking soda from your kitchen when you get pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a baking soda bath? Is it safe during pregnancy?

A baking soda bath is a tub bath with baking soda dissolved in warm water. It is suggested to treat a few minor skin conditions. Baking soda can vary from two tablespoons to two cups, depending on the skin condition. Generally, a 10- to 40-minute baking soda bath is considered safe. However, the safety of baking soda baths during pregnancy has not been extensively studied. Hence, if you wish to participate in baking soda baths, seek your gynecologist’s consent.

2. How to predict the sex of a baby during pregnancy using baking soda?

The baking soda gender test is a home DIY test. To perform it, a pregnant woman needs to collect her first-morning urine and add equal amounts of baking soda to it. If the urine fizzes, it could indicate a boy, and if it doesn’t fizz, it is a girl. The test is based on a claim that the hormone levels associated with the sex of a baby alter the pH level of the urine. However, the pH levels of the urine can be affected by many other factors such as hydration levels and diet. Hence, the baking soda gender test is unreliable in determining a baby’s sex.

3. How does baking soda help vaginal itching during pregnancy?

Baking soda has antifungal properties due to its alkaline nature (8) However, when used to treat vaginal infection, baking soda balances the pH of the vagina, thus creating an unsuitable living environment for the microorganisms.

Baking soda is now present in most households to bake delicious cakes and other delicacies. Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that can be used as medicine, cleaning agents, cooking, and much more. Using baking soda in moderate amounts would cause no harm in pregnancy. There are no adverse effects from handling baking soda, and consuming them in limited amounts is safe. You can ask your healthcare provider for tips on the safe handling and usage of baking soda during pregnancy.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Heartburn during pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/heartburn-during-pregnancy/
  2. Antacids.
    https://iffgd.org/manage-your-health/diet-and-treatments/antacids/
  3. Milton W Musaba et al.; (2019); Effect of preoperative bicarbonate infusion on maternal and perinatal outcomes of obstructed labour in Mbale Regional Referral Hospital: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6502014/
  4. Give Your Baby the Best Possible Start.
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Protect-Tiny-Teeth.aspx
  5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) During Pregnancy.
    https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aa130363
  6. 8.4% Sodium Bicarbonate Injection.
    https://www.fda.gov/media/127971/download
  7. Michele Ondeck and Judith Focareta; (2009); Environmental Hazards Education for Childbirth Educators.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2776525/
  8. V Letscher-Bru et al.; (2013); Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22991095/

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Dr. Neharika Malhotra

(MD)
Dr. Neharika Malhotra is a practicing obstetrician at Malhotra Nursing and Maternity Home and an infertility consultant at Rainbow IVF, Agra. She has more than 12 years of experience in Ob/Gyn.  Dr. Malhotra is an active member of RCOG, FOGSI, and several other institutions and has been the youngest chairperson of FOGSI. In addition, she has published books, articles, chapters... more

Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.

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