Much the same as with certain foods, there are certain beverages you need to watch out for when pregnant. Most times, these beverages would never be a problem for you, but because everything you eat and drink goes to your baby, you need to keep an eye out for what you are drinking while pregnant. Water is actually the best beverage for you and your baby while you are pregnant, so feel free to drink as much as you’d like. Water also helps prevent dehydration, which can be common during pregnancy.
Sugary beverages, especially if you are diabetic, need to be cut down to a minimum. Caffeinated beverages, including teas, coffee and sodas also need to be cut down to one cup a day. Although there are many things you do need to watch out for, there are some beverages that are great for drinking while pregnant.
Drinking wine while pregnant
There is much debate over whether you are allowed to drink while you are pregnant. Obviously, drinking beer and hard liquor definitely needs to stop once you become pregnant, but some suggest that drinking wine while pregnant (in moderation, of course) is allowed, and possible even beneficial for you and your baby.
Some research shows that drinking an occasional glass of wine while pregnant is actually good for the development of the heart. Studies have also shown that mothers who drank 1-2 glasses of wine a week were 20-40 percent less likely to be hyperactive and behave badly.
If you are considering drinking wine while pregnant, always consult with your doctor before committing to a decision.
Drinking coffee when pregnant
When it comes to drinking coffee when pregnant, it is still allowed, but must be done in smaller, more restricted amounts. It is recommended to cut down your caffeine intake to 200mg a day. This is equivalent to 2 cups of instant coffee, or 1 specialty brewed coffee from a coffee shop. Don’t forget that caffeine is also found in soda, certain teas and energy drinks, so those count towards your caffeine intake for the day as well.
If you consume too much caffeine when pregnant, you may have a higher risk of miscarriage during the early stages of pregnancy, as well as having a baby with a low birth weight. If you can’t resist a warm cup of coffee in the morning, try switching to decaf coffee, warm milk or hot chocolate.
Drinking alcohol when pregnant
Many experts debate on whether moderate drinking is bad for your baby’s health or if it is acceptable in small amounts. Most say that drinking alcohol when pregnant could be very dangerous for the development for your baby. Research has shown that a developing baby has very little tolerance when it comes to alcohol. It is important to remember that whatever you consume, your baby does too.
The number one risk of drinking alcohol when pregnant is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS occurs when a mother drinks too much alcohol when pregnant. FAS can result in deformations and mental complications their newborns may end up with.
Some serious results of FAS include:
- Learning disabilities
- Central nervous system deformities
- Physical deformities such as sunken nasal bridges, small eye openings, deformed ears, deformed fingers and toes and small heads.
- Small body weight and size
- Small brain
- Deformation or improperly formed internal organs.
It is very important to understand the risks your baby may face when deciding whether or not to drink alcohol when pregnant. Always talk to your doctor before deciding to drink alcohol.
Drinking tea while pregnant
Because you are limited to the amount of caffeine you may drink while pregnant, there are many tea alternatives. However, not all herbal and fruit teas are safe to drink during pregnancy. Obviously, tea with caffeine needs to be cut down just as much as coffee.
Drinking herbal and fruit tea while pregnant is OK in moderation. Tea consumption should be limited to 2-4 cups a day. Ginger, lemon, orange peel, rose hip, peppermint and decaffeinated green teas are all safe to drink while pregnant.
The following herbal teas should be avoided when pregnant:
- Aloe, and teas containing aloe
- Juniper berry
- Senna leaves
If you are concerned about the type of tea you are allowed to drink while pregnant, always speak to a dietician or your doctor. Be sure to check any labels for “caffeine free” options before drinking tea while pregnant.
Drinking soda while pregnant
When drinking soda while pregnant, there are a few things to keep in mind. Lots of women drink soda to ease nausea and upset stomach during pregnancy. Just the same as coffee, you should lower your intake of soda with caffeine to 200-300mg a day. One of the most important things to keep in mind when drinking soda while pregnant is diet options. Most doctors will tell you to keep away from diet soda while pregnant because diet options actually contain more caffeine than regular soda, as well as artificial sweeteners, which are not healthy for you or your baby.
If you need the bubbles to drink during pregnancy, consider drinking tonic water or club soda. These come in flavored options, but you can also add your own flavor such as lemon or ginger to help ease any nausea.
Too much caffeine in your diet may cause miscarriages in early pregnancies, as well as a low birth weight for your newborn baby.
Drinking milk while pregnant
Calcium is very important for both you and your baby during pregnancy. Calcium as well as vitamin D are both great for the development of your baby’s brain and bones. When it comes to drinking milk while pregnant, some people believe that whole milk will be the best option, but this is not the case.
Whole milk adds more fat to your diet which is not good for your heart and overall health. Low-fat milk, or 1% milk are the best options for drinking milk while pregnant. Always make sure your milk is pasteurized, which most times it is.
Some women become intolerant of milk when they become pregnant, so soy milk is a great alternative. If you find that you can drink any milk while pregnant, be sure to up your yogurt and other dairy product intake as a sufficient way to replenish your body with calcium. Often times, doctors will recommend calcium supplements as well.