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Best Drinks to Have And Avoid During Pregnancy

Proper hydration is very important during pregnancy. Water is especially needed by the body for many different kinds of functions. Flushing out the toxins, making amniotic fluid, building up body tissues, there is a lot that your pregnant body will require water for.

While the individual requirements might vary from person to person, on an average, a pregnant woman needs to drink about 1 to 2 litres of fluids in a day.

1. Smoothies

Keeping food down can be quite troublesome for many women during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester when morning sickness is commonly seen.

Smoothies are great drinks to have during pregnancy. Do keep in mind that as smoothies usually have a higher sugar content, drinking smoothies might lead to a blood sugar spike.

Generally, pregnant women across the world have been witnessed to consume more than the recommended sugar intake.[1]

Try choosing food with a lower sugar content, such as kiwi, cherries, strawberries, and avocado.

You can also add protein in the form of nuts, chia seeds or cottage cheese to make your drink healthier as well as to add more in terms of the taste quotient.

2. Milk

Rich in calcium and protein, milk is a highly recommended drink for an expectant mother. While skimmed milk has the same protein and calcium content as the full cream version, skimmed milk has less fat content.

For those mothers who don’t like milk or suffer from lactose intolerance, a calcium-enriched soy-based drink might be a better alternative.

3. Fruit-infused water

Add fresh or frozen fruits to fresh water to come up with delicious fruit-infused water. Simply add melons, apples, citrus or other tropical fruits to fresh water. Let it sit for some hours. Keep refrigerated.

Cucumber, cloves, cinnamon sticks can also be addedto your fruit-infused water for added flavour.

4. Coconut Water

An amazingly refreshing drink, coconut water is a good source of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C.

Coconut water helps in lowering blood pressure. Coconut water is also beneficial for an expectant mother as it helps in stabilising blood sugar as well.

One of the common problems associated with pregnancy is that of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy [NVP]. Up to 85% of pregnant women will have nausea and/or bouts of vomiting from about 12 weeks to 16 weeks.[2]

Containing electrolytes, coconut water is an effective way of dealing with NVP.

While there are many drinks that a pregnant woman can safely drink, there are also certain drinks that should either be avoided completely or taken in moderation.Linked to a higher risk of miscarriage or still births, alcohol tops the list of drinks to avoid for a pregnant woman.

Soft drinks and diet sodas are also not recommended for expectant mothers. As per the National Center for Biotechnology Information [NCBI], studies have revealed that in many samples of soft drinks across the different brands, “the maximum concentration limits are exceeded” for caffeine and quinine.[3] Both caffeine and quinine have an adverse effect on the developing foetus in the womb.

Diet drinks, on the other hand, contain saccharine, an artificial sweetener. Saccharine has been found to be linked with birth defects in unborn babies.

Similarly, unpasteurized or raw milk is also not advisable for pregnant women as they can lead to bacterial infections.

Pregnancy is indeed a life-changing experience for an expectant mother. Right from unsolicited advice to morning sickness on one hand, and from strict dietary guidelines to itchy nipples on the other, there is indeed much that a pregnant woman has to deal with.

Healthy drinks can help you better cope with the stress – physical as well as emotional – that pregnancy poses.