Which Bread is Good for Pregnancy? Full Comparison

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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From sourdough to wheat to white to rye and so much more, walking through the bread aisle at the grocery store, you likely wonder which bread is the best during pregnancy. Is there even a “best” bread to consume during pregnancy?  

Overall, the bread that is right for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, if you can, choose a bread rich in whole grains to get added fiber in your healthy diet. Also, make sure your bread is fresh and free of mold.

With so many variations, bread is a confusing matter when it comes to pregnancy. So, let’s dive into some popular bread types and discover if they are safe and nutritious to consume during pregnancy! 

Bread When Pregnant: Safety and Nutritional Considerations

Overall, bread is safe to consume during pregnancy and can provide essential nutrients, including whole grains, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Simply ensure your bread is free of mold and is consumed prior to the expiration or “use by” date. Seal your bread with the bread tie or in an airtight container to ensure freshness. 

If there is mold anywhere on your bread, rather than cutting off the moldy part, discard the entire loaf to avoid accidentally consuming mold. If you notice it too late and do consume some moldy bread, there are a few symptoms to be on the lookout for. More on this below! 

Bread, especially whole grain bread, is rich in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is crucial for a properly functioning digestive system and gastrointestinal tract.

Eating adequate amounts of dietary fiber can help minimize uncomfortable symptoms, including diarrhea and constipation. Fiber can also help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol and assist with weight management (source: Mayo Clinic). 

However, if you are not used to significant amounts of fiber, adjust your balanced diet gradually. This can be achieved by slowly increasing the amount of fiber you eat each day in order to avoid unpleasant symptoms such as bloating or stomach discomfort.

moldy loaf bread

Is Moldy Bread Dangerous to Eat When Pregnant? 

If you’ve noticed mold on a loaf of bread after you have already eaten some of the loaf, there is no need to panic. However, there are few precautions to be aware of. 

If an adverse reaction occurs, it will come on suddenly and you may experience shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea, and an elevated temperature (source: Cleveland Clinic). If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming moldy bread, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

What’s the Best Kind of Bread to Eat During Pregnancy? 

While there is truly no “best” bread to eat while pregnant, choosing a bread that is right for your individualized needs and preferences is essential.

For example, choose gluten-free bread if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy or avoid garlic bread if you cannot tolerate garlic. More on the specific types of bread below!

poppy seed bread on a plate

Can I Eat Poppy Seed Bread When Pregnant?

Poppy seed bread is a fan favorite for its unique taste and texture. However, poppy seed bread should be eaten with specific considerations during pregnancy. 

Poppy seeds have a connection to the drug morphine, and while there is no need to avoid poppy seeds altogether, it is recommended that pregnant women limit their poppy seed consumption to small amounts (source: German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment). 

Since poppy seed bread does not have large amounts of poppy seeds, having a slice or two of poppy seed bread a day is likely safe during pregnancy. 

For more information on eating poppy seeds during pregnancy, check out this article here!

sourdough bread on a wooden board

Sourdough Bread During Pregnancy

Sourdough has a slightly sweet and sour flavor that makes it perfect to use for a panini sandwich, soup bread bowl, salad croutons, and much more! 

Sourdough bread is uniquely fermented to create a nutritious bread with a low glycemic index — meaning it will not spike your blood sugar levels like regular white and wheat bread (source: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research). 

While sourdough is available in white and wheat flour varieties, wheat is the best choice to boost fiber content and nutrient composition.

Do you wonder if the bread packages reading “Artisan” bread are actually better for you than the regular commercially processed variations? Typically, this means that the bread was made without chemical additives. 

However, removing the chemical additives and preservatives often decreases the bread’s overall shelf-life and stability, and therefore, be on the lookout for mold when purchasing and consuming artisan bread. Additionally, be mindful of the expiration date of artisan bread. 

garlic bread with garlic bulbs

Can I Have Garlic Bread During Pregnancy? 

As long as garlic does not cause any gastrointestinal symptoms for you, garlic bread is safe to consume during pregnancy. In fact, garlic may even have health benefits for you during your pregnancy.

For more information on garlic and pregnancy, check out this article here!

sliced rye bread on a wooden board

Is Rye Bread Good for Pregnancy? 

Rye bread is famous as a dense sandwich bread with an earthy and slightly herbed flavor. It has many variations from light and dark rye to marbled and pumpernickel!

Rye bread is high in dietary fiber and rich in B vitamins, many of which are crucial to fetal development and healthy pregnancy. In addition, many B vitamins, including folate and vitamin B12, minimize the risk for congenital disabilities (source: American Pregnancy Association). 

This makes rye bread a pretty good choice for pregnant women.

sliced ezekiel multigrain bread on a towel

Ezekiel (Sprouted) Multigrain or Whole Wheat Bread When Pregnant

Ezekiel bread is a trendy bread product made from sprouted grains, giving it a boost of whole grains, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, many wonder if Ezekiel bread is safe for pregnant women since the grains are sprouted — especially since uncooked sprouts are considered unsafe for pregnancy (source: Food & Drug Administration). 

Unfortunately, there is a lack of guidance on the safety of sprouted grain bread and sprouted grain products. Therefore it is best to avoid sprouted grains during your pregnancy.

But what about whole grains?

Overall, a healthy choice during pregnancy (and even when you are not pregnant!) is to opt for whole grains. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that half of the grains consumed in a day be whole grains (source: U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]). 

Choosing whole grains becomes tricky when it comes to the bread packaging. Look for products that read “Whole Wheat” instead of “Whole Grain,” as “Whole Grain” can mean the bread includes any part of the whole-grain kernel instead of the whole kernel itself (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine). 

Additionally, when looking at the Nutrition Facts label, the first ingredient should be whole wheat flour containing at least three grams of fiber per serving.

pregnant woman craving bread

I’m Craving Bread During Pregnancy: What Does it Mean?

Craving bread or carbohydrates during pregnancy is very common and is nothing to be worried about! 

Typically, cravings during pregnancy can occur for a couple of reasons, including nutritional deficiency and hormone shifting (source: Frontiers in Psychology). 

Perhaps you are craving carbohydrates because you have not been eating enough! On the other hand, you might have cravings due to the significant hormonal changes that are normal during pregnancy.

I hope you found this bread guide helpful in discerning which bread is suitable for you and how to consume bread during your pregnancy safely.