Sea moss goes by different names, from Irish moss to purple moss to its scientific name Chondrus crispus. But it has also earned a lot of standout titles in the health food world, including “superfood of superfoods” and “nature’s multivitamin.” The important question we want to answer this time, however, is this: Is sea moss safe for pregnant women and babies?
How Sea Moss Works
Sea moss is a seaweed or microalgae that’s known for its outstanding nutrient profile. It’s sourced from the clean, pristine waters of the Northern Atlantic, in North America and parts of Europe, and around the Caribbean.
Perhaps one of the most noteworthy facts about sea moss is it supplies 92 of the 102 minerals that the human body needs. This includes magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, and manganese. Its rich iodine profile makes it ideal for addressing thyroid health.
Sea moss also offers abundant levels of vitamin A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9). In addition, it is a rich source of omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and disease-fighting compounds that make it ideal as an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-infection agent. In folk medicine and among herbalists, sea moss is famed for removing mucus, treating colds and coughs, serving as skin and acne aid, and treating burns, wounds, and rashes, to name a few benefits.
Now, let’s go to the all-important question right now: Is it okay or even beneficial for pregnant women and babies to take?
Sea Moss and Fertility Claims
The fertility-related claims around sea moss are directed at both men and women, which then shows its potential if a woman is having difficulty getting pregnant. For women, the nutrients in sea moss, particularly iodine and B vitamins, are thought to speed up the process of pregnancy if a woman is having trouble. These nutrients make sea moss a powerhouse for natural fertility.
Several studies point to the potential benefits of sea moss for successfully getting pregnant:
- Folate – Just 100 grams of sea moss contains 182 micrograms of folate. That is already almost half of the 400 mcg daily recommended intake for folate, which may be helpful for those who are trying to conceive. A 2012 study, for instance, showed folate may improve pregnancy rates.
- Zinc – Sea moss offers 1.95 milligrams of zinc for every 100 grams. This mineral has been demonstrated in animal research for its effects on egg quality. Incidentally, zinc has been shown in a 2013 study to enhance sperm quality in some men.
- Iodine – Sea moss is naturally high in iodine, which is crucial for thyroid hormones. Fertility issues can occur with both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid problems. It’s important to remember, though, that your iodine levels should stay within normal levels, as too much iodine can be a concern.
Guide for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
While there’s solid evidence of sea moss benefits for this group, it is always best to err on the side of caution when taking supplements while pregnant or trying to conceive. You may take high-quality sea moss capsules with food, directly before or after feeding the baby if you’ve already given birth. Remember to gauge your body’s response before taking the capsule at night.
Sea moss nutritional benefits are expected to cross over to the baby if you’re breastfeeding. However, if there are reactions that take place, discontinue supplementation right away.
Whether taking sea moss while conceiving, pregnant, or have just given birth, it’s best to seek your doctor’s advice first. The same rule applies if you’re giving it to a baby younger than 1 year old. Don’t forget that you can have too much iodine with sea moss intake, so watch other iodine sources in your diet if you’re already supplementing.
As a final word, sea moss has been safely used by pregnant and breastfeeding women for so many years, deemed typically safe during this period. Consulting your health care provider before consuming is recommended for best results.