Mushrooms can provide ample amounts of vitamin D, vitamin B, iron, protein, fiber and a wide range of antioxidants to you and your growing fetus. Still, certain varieties — especially raw and poisonous varieties — should not be consumed by a pregnant woman. Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms, should especially be avoided. Though there is little to no research to date on psilocybin’s effect on pregnancy, these psychological effects can impair any person’s judgment and mental state.
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Why you should avoid ingesting certain things while pregnant
Most medical professionals see consuming magic mushrooms while pregnant is a bad idea. When a woman becomes pregnant, everything she puts in her body can affect the developing fetus in her womb. This is because certain substances, food and beverages can pass into the placenta, which is the fetus’ main source of food and oxygen during pregnancy. Because the fetus is sensitive during its development, women should monitor everything they put into their bodies and avoid using drugs during pregnancy. This includes avoiding prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal substances such as magic mushrooms.
How can different mushrooms affect your baby?
- Avoid raw, uncooked mushrooms: Eating raw mushrooms can be extremely dangerous to your baby. Mushrooms grow within soil or on top of other plants, making them not safe for consumption without being cooked. Raw mushrooms have carcinogens in them, meaning they can cause cancer in mothers and possibly fetuses. Cooking edible mushroom varieties makes them safe for consumption, and the valuable nutrients of a mushroom cannot be released unless cooked thoroughly. Avoiding raw mushrooms is greatly recommended for the health of your fetus.
- Avoid consuming magic mushrooms: Magic mushrooms contain a chemical called psilocybin that alters brain activity — is thought to gravely affect a pregnant woman and her fetus. Consuming poisonous mushrooms may lead to physical birth defects and should be avoided at any life stage. However, there are not enough well-controlled studies available to completely determine what kinds of birth defects and other malformations may be caused by ingesting magic mushrooms during pregnancy.
One animal study did find that the illegal substance psilocin, found in magic mushrooms, was able to pass through the placental and blood-brain barrier and affect the fetus. This is only one study and its findings cannot be confirmed until more research is done in both animal and human studies.
How to safely eat mushrooms while pregnant
Although raw mushrooms can be potentially dangerous if ingested while pregnant, various mushrooms are safe to eat during pregnancy. White button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and chestnut mushrooms are deliciously flavorful and safe during pregnancy. Pregnant women should always avoid consuming any poisonous or magic mushrooms, as these can be potentially fatal to the fetus.
Other FAQs about psychedelic mushrooms
- Are psychedelic mushrooms illegal?
Magic mushrooms are illegal because they contain the illegal substances psilocybin and psilocin. These substances are classified as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. These drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and have no approved medical uses. However, some cultures in different countries revere magic mushrooms for their therapeutic abilities. Regardless of whether you believe magic mushrooms may be medicinal, you should not ingest them while pregnant.
- What are the side effects of magic mushrooms?
Psilocybin mushrooms have mind-altering effects when consumed. Side effects of magic mushrooms can include hallucinations, anxiety, psychotic reactions, perceptual changes that can last for weeks to years after using mushrooms, and impaired cognition.
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Scott, Katherine; Lust, Karen. “Illicit substance use in pregnancy – a review.” Obstetric Medicine, September 2010. Accessed June 30, 2020.
Law, Francis; Poon, Grace; Chui, Y. C.; He, Shao-Xiong. “14C-Psilocin tissue distribution in pregnant rats after intravenous administration.” Functional Foods in Health & Disease, 2014. Accessed June 30, 2020.
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