Is Ketosis Safe While Pregnant?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Here’s what you need to know about keto and pregnancy.


0:00 Introduction: Keto and pregnancy

0:10 Is keto safe when you’re pregnant?

2:38 Pregnancy and a high-carb diet

3:04 Share your success story!

Let’s talk about keto and pregnancy. You might hear that keto is not healthy for someone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. So, is keto safe when pregnant?

The conventional thought is that we need to consume 175g-300+g of carbs per day. This includes women who are pregnant. It’s recommended that 45-65% of all of your calories be carbohydrates.

It’s also said that ketones could affect fetal brain development. This thought is based on one study that measured urine ketones (not blood ketones) just one time during labor (not throughout pregnancy). This is somehow correlated to the child’s IQ. But, there were no follow-up studies to confirm the outcome. However, women typically don’t eat anything during labor. So, if you’re not eating, you’re generating ketones.

It's actually natural for a pregnant woman to make ketones. She may generate even more ketones than when she's not pregnant, even if the carbs are a bit higher. Ketosis is very different from ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a situation where a diabetic doesn't take their insulin, and they have extremely high blood sugar levels, very high ketones, very acidic urine, and the blood starts to become very acidic. This is much different than what happens when you're pregnant.

The problem with pregnancy and being on a high-carb diet is that you increase the risk of gestational diabetes, and you greatly affect the future of the child’s health. It is vital that a woman eats extremely healthy while pregnant.

What to Eat and When Pregnant:

Foods to Avoid When Pregnant:

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan