7 Drinks You Should Avoid Like The Plague While You’re Pregnant

7 Drinks You Should Avoid Like The Plague While You’re Pregnant


Pregnancy comes with a long list of do’s and
don’ts, and they’re hard to keep track of! If you’re a little confused about what you
should or shouldn’t be drinking over the course of those nine long months, here’s what you
need to know. For some, it can be hard to picture going
nine months without a cup of coffee or strong, black tea, but here’s the thing: you don’t
actually have to give up caffeine in its entirety. According to the American Pregnancy Association,
moderate levels of caffeine have not been linked to any negative effects on pregnancy…and
that’s defined as anywhere from 150 to 300 milligrams per day, or about two 8-ounce cups
of coffee. However, it’s important to remember that it’s
not just coffee and tea that contain caffeine. Chocolate, soda, and even some types of medicine
contain the stimulant, which makes it easy to go well over the 300 milligrams without
even realizing it. Of course, you may choose to play it safe
and do without caffeine altogether. In fact, the APA says that going this route
is the safest, partly because an unborn baby is incapable of metabolizing caffeine the
way an adult can. They caution: “Even a small amount of caffeine can cause
changes in your baby’s sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy.” But here’s the good news: there are options
out there that you can drink safely, and if it’s something warm and comforting you’re
craving, reach for herbal tea. Herbal teas are full of antioxidants and are
completely caffeine-free, making it a great choice for pregnant women. There’s other benefits, too. Ginger and peppermint teas can help reduce
the symptoms of morning sickness, and according to the APA, lemon balm tea has been found
to have a calming effect on drinkers. Red raspberry leaf tea can even help you when
it comes time to push, and the APA also says that this tea has been found to prevent expecting
mothers from delivering too early or too late. You shouldn’t drink just any old herbal tea,
though. Herbal teas can be unsafe if they’re not made
commercially, made with excessive amounts of herbs, or made with herbs that are known
to be toxic. You might not typically think anything of
getting a glass of water to drink from your kitchen sink, but when you’re pregnant, this
might be a bad idea. Depending on the age of your home or apartment,
your tap water may be passing through lead pipes. Consuming lead-laden water is not good for
anyone, but pregnant women need to be even more cautious. Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and
nutrition consultant, highlighted some of the risks for WebMD. High levels of lead can cause low birth weight,
preterm delivery, and developmental delays. You might think turning to bottled water would
be your safest bet, but Ward explained that’s not always true. Instead, having your tap water tested is advisable. But, try not to worry if the test comes back
showing trace amounts of lead. Although ideally it would be great to remove
all of the lead pipes in your home, that’s just not realistic and fortunately, water
filtration systems have proven to be both effective at removing lead and, good news,
they’re cost-effective. The Environmental Working Group advises purchasing
a carbon-based filter that attaches directly to your faucet as those popular water pitchers
aren’t going to do the job nearly as well. “What is this?” “Water.” “It’s horrible!” That said, you absolutely should be drinking
plenty of water, each and every day and if you are pregnant, drinking water becomes even
more important than before. Natalie B. Allen, a registered dietitian and
clinical instructor of dietetics at Missouri State University, told us: “The best choice when it comes to a drink
for pregnant women is water. The amniotic fluid needs to be replenished
and water helps the baby in many ways.” In other words, water keeps your cells well-hydrated
and just generally helps your body to be as healthy as it can. According to Healthline, pregnant women should
drink about ten cups, or 80 ounces, of water every single day. This is really only eight ounces more than
is recommended for women who are not pregnant, but if you weren’t an avid water-drinker prior
to becoming pregnant, this might be more than you’re used to. If you plan to breastfeed after giving birth,
upping your water intake to the recommended level while pregnant will help prepare you
for another increase. According to Healthline, breastfeeding women
need to consume about 13 cups. So, drink up! More than likely, any of the orange juice
you find at the supermarket will have gone through the pasteurization process. This means that the juice was heated to a
high temperature to kill any lurking bacteria and then cooled, making it safe to drink. Still, it’s important to locate the word “pasteurized”
on the label before purchasing. You should also be wary of any juices or ciders
labeled “fresh-squeezed.” While these beverages taste great, “fresh-squeezed”
indicates that the beverage is unpasteurized. This means it can potentially be contaminated
with dangerous bacteria such as E. coli. And don’t forget, it’s also wise to check
with your friends, family members, and even the restaurants that you visit to make sure
all are serving pasteurized juices too. But, as long as you can get your hands on
the pasteurized stuff, orange juice has been found to be a great choice for pregnant women. Be sure to choose an OJ that’s been fortified
with calcium as this is vital for bone health, registered dietitian Natalie B. Allen told
us. The citrusy beverage also contains potassium,
which can help lower high blood pressure, a potentially dangerous condition in pregnant
women. Orange juice also works well when taken with
your prenatal vitamin. Allen explained, “The vitamin C in the juice will enhance iron
absorption and orange juice also contains folate, which is important in neurological
fetal development.” Washing down your prenatal vitamin with orange
juice is good for another reason: iron supplements can cause nausea, and all that Vitamin C in
the juice not only enhances the absorption, as Allen explained, but also helps reduce
queasiness. “You okay, Margie?” “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just morning sickness.” Lemonade is also a great choice, the lemons
will work to reduce nausea. Of course, you’ll just want to make sure you’re
not consuming lemonade with tons of added sugar and you’ll want to make sure your lemonade
contains, you know, real lemons. Not all sports drinks and sodas are created
equal, and this is another time that reading labels and being diligent is important. In good health, it’s okay to consume sugar
during pregnancy, but you may still want to consider monitoring how much you’re drinking
sugary beverages. That is, make sure you’re not solely relying
on sports drinks, or drinks with even higher amounts of sugar, to meet your fluid intake
goal. Allen agrees that sugary beverages are not
generally harmful to the baby, but she also pointed out that they’re not all that nutritious
either. Occasionally indulging in a sugary beverage
is probably A-okay, but it’s best to maintain balance and overdoing it throughout your pregnancy. Nevertheless, sports drinks with electrolytes
can be safely consumed during pregnancy. Allen told us: “Some moms may experience leg cramps during
pregnancy. If this happens, try a sports drink, as the
electrolytes and fluid will help alleviate the cramp.” It’s the electrolytes that are the important
thing, as they’re a combination of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, and
sodium, that help the body maintain a proper balance of fluids. And even for pregnant women who do not experience
leg cramps, sports drinks fortified with electrolytes are a good choice. Although raw milk is seeing a bit of a movement,
the United States Food and Drug Administration advises everyone to avoid consuming it. But, what exactly is raw milk anyway? According to the FDA, “[Raw milk is] milk from cows, sheep, and
goats, or any other animal, that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria.” This means it can carry bacteria such as Salmonella,
E. coli, Listeria, and others, which basically means it can come with a huge helping of food
poisoning. Though the bacteria found in raw milk isn’t
good for anyone, it can be especially dangerous for pregnant women. Listeria bacteria can cause an infection called
listeriosis and that’s particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies. In some cases, it can be lethal. While the government has banned the sale of
raw milk in the United States, raw milk is legal in other parts of the world. You’ll want to watch out for this while traveling
abroad and, if someone does happen to offer you raw milk in the states, steer clear. It’s not worth the risk. Keeping that in mind, it’s also worth noting
that pasteurized milk is one of the best things an expecting mother can drink. Allen told us, “You can’t beat dairy milk with its combination
of protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. The baby’s bones develop the most in the last
trimester, so add a glass of milk daily, particularly as the pregnancy progresses.” The United States Department of Agriculture
advises pregnant women to consume three cups of dairy products per day, but that doesn’t
necessarily mean whole milk. Drinking nonfat or low-fat milk can help you
avoid unwanted saturated fat while still giving you all of the good stuff. Amazingly, even if you had symptoms of lactose
intolerance before conceiving, you might find that you’re able to tolerate cow’s milk now
that you’re pregnant. According to registered and licensed dietitian
Katherine Zeratsky, “For many women, the ability to digest lactose
improves during pregnancy, especially later in pregnancy. [This means] you might be able to drink milk
and eat other dairy products without discomfort.” For expecting mothers who wish to avoid drinking
cow’s milk, though, soy milk is a viable alternative…as long as you read the labels. To get the full range of benefits, you’ll
need to choose brands that have been fortified with calcium. If you’re having trouble with the idea of
drinking milk, try using it as a base for smoothies. Not only will you get your milk, but your
fruits and vegetables, too. It’s a total win! While it may be your favorite way to partake
in the holiday cheer, unpasteurized eggnog, especially of the homemade variety, should
be avoided during pregnancy. You may not have paid much attention to the
name before you were pregnant, but eggnog is, well, exactly what it sounds like. Egg yolks, whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar
are the main ingredients of this sweet wintertime refreshment. Due to the raw eggs, The US Department of
Health and Human Services advises against unpasteurized and homemade varieties of the
nog. Raw eggs can, as we all know, contain salmonella. Although literally no one would enjoy having
salmonella, pregnant women should be especially cautious. In some instances, salmonella can lead to
sepsis, a sometimes fatal blood infection. Rarely, salmonella can also cause miscarriages
or preterm birth. However, you can definitely make safe-to-consume
eggnog by cooking it to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, if you’re more of a store-bought eggnog
fan, you can buy one labeled “pasteurized” to avoid any risk of salmonella. You may have heard stories from mothers who
consumed alcohol throughout their pregnancies who had no problems or complications, but
time and time again, you’re warned to give that alcoholic beverage a miss. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a
glass of whiskey or a glass of wine, the answer is always the same: skip it. So, what’s the truth? And, is there any acceptable level of alcohol? The American Academy of Pediatrics is clear. According to a 2015 report, “No amount of alcohol intake should be considered
safe; there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol; all forms of alcohol, such as beer,
wine, and liquor, pose similar risk; and binge drinking poses dose-related risk to the developing
fetus.” While it may sound relaxing to unwind with
a glass of white wine here or there, the risks, from developmental disorders to birth defects,
are completely preventable if you avoid any and all alcohol consumption during your pregnancy. Let’s agree to pop the bubbly after the baby
is born. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about your favorite
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4 thoughts on “7 Drinks You Should Avoid Like The Plague While You’re Pregnant

  1. My mom went to a Mexican restaurant and ate cheese that was poison we have 50/50 chance of not living I had this my mom had listeria I was born prematurely 7 something months I had a hole in my heart and I came out the blue baby 😭 how's the only case where I was born in the hospital. I was born October 27th 1991 I was supposed to be born on December. Don't forget cinnamon tea it's bad to intake Cinnamon when your pregnant. I didn't know I had a baby family members thought I was but I didn't really know and I was drinking cinnamon supposedly they told me don't drink cinnamon.

  2. My OBGYN said one cup of coffee is safe during pregnancy. It's pretty simple to just avoid too much coffee and completely avoid alcohol. If anything you need to be careful with what herbal tea you drink and research the tea before drinking.

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