Drinks and Beverages To Avoid During Pregnancy
Does your day halt to a standstill without your quintessential cup of morning tea or coffee? Are your Sundays incomplete without a couple of drinks with your favorite people? Have you developed a taste for herbal tea? We understand that your favorite beverage makes you happy, which is undoubtedly very important. However, you need to exercise some extra caution during pregnancy as your growing fetus might not share your feelings about your favorite beverage. Read on to know about the drinks and beverages to avoid during pregnancy!
Beverages are an essential and irreplaceable part of life. However, there are some beverages you should avoid during pregnancy.
Is caffeine that harmful during pregnancy?
One of the drinks and beverages to avoid during pregnancy is caffeine. Caffeine intake in moderation is permissible but there are several studies that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages. It is a diuretic, which means it helps eliminate fluids from the body. This can result in water and calcium loss. It also crosses the placenta and affects the heart rate and the breathing of the baby.
Some research shows that large amounts of caffeine are associated with premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea (also green tea), soft drinks and energy drinks. Energy drinks have some other ingredients as well which puts it in the list of drinks that can cause abortion.
Herbal tea – not the best health drink during pregnancy!
Unfortunately not. Though most of the herbs consumed in moderation are safe, excess consumption can have a negative impact. Use of chamomile and licorice (mulethi in Hindi) in herbal teas can lead to miscarriages and preterm labour.
According to some studies, excess consumption of peppermint, raspberry leaf and ginger can be unsafe during pregnancy. Fenugreek (in teas or otherwise) also falls among the list of drinks and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. This is because of its hypoglycemic effect as well as its stimulatory effect on oxytocin secretion, which results in uterine contraction.
What alcohol can you drink when pregnant?
One of the drinks to absolutely avoid during pregnancy is alcohol. Alcohol (ethanol to be more precise) is intoxicating and adversely affects the human brain. In adults, it can be broken down and processed by the liver so it can be consumed without any immediate concerns of toxicity. Exposure of alcohol to the developing baby poses harmful risks as the baby’s liver is still developing and cannot effectively deal with the toxic shock of the alcohol crossing the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream.
Alcohol also reaches the newborn infant through the breast milk which poses similar concerns as an infant’s liver isn’t ready to deal with the rigours of alcohol detoxification. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Alcohol is among the list of drinks and beverages to avoid during pregnancy as it can lead to Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is characterized by low IQ, learning disabilities, trouble with memory, hyperactivity as well as other debilitating handicaps.
What’s wrong with Aloe Vera Juice?
Aloe Vera juice may not be the best health drink during pregnancy. Aloe Vera juice contains certain compounds which induce uterine contractions in pregnant women. This is a matter of immense concern as uterine contractions can cause birth defects and even miscarriages.
Aloe Vera also lowers the blood glucose levels which can be dangerous for both mother and baby. Certain laxative products also contain Aloe Vera extracts, so make sure to read the labels carefully before consuming them.
The Drink no-one warns you about – Unpasteurized Drinks!
One of the big no-no during pregnancy is the consumption of unpasteurized products. Intake of unpasteurized products should be avoided as they can be contaminated with bacteria. You should only consume pasteurized milk and milk products.
Cheeses produced from unpasteurized milk may be contaminated with E.coli or Listeria bacteria. Remember if you’re someone who uses honey as a sweetener for your meals; make sure it’s a pasteurized variety!
What is the best juice to drink when pregnant?
Not only you should consume pasteurized milk and milk products but also juices. E.coli and Listeria can also contaminate freshly squeezed fruit juices. Pregnant women are more likely to become infected by Listeria. These bacteria can cause epilepsy, neurological illnesses, and even stillbirth. Hence, avoid juice from juice bars or restaurants. The best health drink during pregnancy is packaged juice with the term pasteurized on the label. You can also bring fresh juice to a rolling boil for one minute before drinking.
Some of the best juice to drink when pregnant are vegetable juices rather than fruit juices. Vegetable juice like beetroot or carrot juice provides you with ample nutrients as well as antioxidants. These juices also do not raise your blood sugar levels which can be the case with fruit juices.
What else to drink when pregnant?
Sure! Consuming sufficient quantities of fluids during pregnancy can be a real task. Keeping yourself hydrated during pregnancy is extremely important. Thus, here are some other ways in which you do that:
- Drink lots of water.
- Nothing can beat a glass of hot milk.
- You can also consume lemonades, coconut water, and vegetable juices.
- Soups and broths are also a great way to intake fluids and switch things up a bit.
- You can also drink tea but in moderation.
Thus, mindful eating and knowing the things to avoid during pregnancy can benefit both you and your baby. Focus on eating organic and natural beverages instead of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Aloe Vera juice, herbal teas, and unpasteurized beverages can also be detrimental. Always opt for pasteurized drinks or consume freshly squeezed juice at home!