Can Pregnant Women Eat Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seeds have numerous health benefits, especially during pregnancy, according to Every Little Thing! Birth and Beyond 360 magazine. However, it is recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of the opiate-containing seeds to prevent harm to their baby and eliminate the risk of failing a drug test.

Poppy seeds come from a variety of the same plant that is used to make heroin, the poppy. Poppy seeds are high in protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are critical to healthy brain development in utero. However, poppy seeds also contain trace amounts of opiates, which can cause a false positive on a drug test up to 48 hours after eating the seeds, according to Time.

Because it is unclear how much of the drug is in a particular batch of poppy seeds, Every Little Thing! Birth and Beyond 360 suggests limiting consumption of poppy seeds during pregnancy. If eating poppy seeds either occasionally or regularly during pregnancy is a concern, pregnant women should discuss this issue with their doctor. While some states perform mandatory drug testing at birth, others do not, and knowing the legality in the area may help pregnant women make a decision on whether to include poppy seeds in their diet during pregnancy.