It can be tough to give up your favorite drinks while pregnant, whether you love coffee, soda, or your favorite wine, beer, or cocktail. Experts tend to disagree about the maximum amount of caffeine or alcohol that is safe in pregnancy, so it may be best to focus instead on the drinks that will provide the most benefit to you and your baby during your pregnancy. Luckily, there are plenty of drinks from which to choose.
The simplest and most important beverage you can consume during pregnancy is good old-fashioned H2O. MayoClinic.com reminds pregnant moms that water moves the nutrients from your food through your body into your baby. Other health benefits include preventing urinary tract infections, constipation, hemorrhoids and swelling, as well as dehydration, which can contribute to preterm labor.
Non-caffeinated teas combine the benefits of water with nutrient-rich herbs to benefit your pregnancy. Popular teas during pregnancy include red raspberry leaf tea, used to tone the uterus; peppermint, chamomile or ginger tea for nausea; and nettle tea, high in vitamins A, C, K, potassium and iron. Always check with your doctor or midwife before choosing an herbal tea as some herbs can have a negative effect on you or your baby. Avoid any cleansing teas that contain herbal laxatives, along with herbs such as black and blue cohosh, which can cause preterm labor or even miscarriage when used inappropriately.
Traditional cow's milk is often pushed as an essential beverage for pregnancy, as it contains a wide variety of important nutrients for both mom and baby. Dairy Makes Sense, a website devoted to explaining the importance of dairy, points out that dairy milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein and more, all vital for baby's development. Many non-dairy milks are fortified with these nutrients as well. Almond, coconut, rice and soy milks can all provide nutrient levels similar to dairy milk.
Like milk, many juices are now fortified with vitamin D and calcium and can be beneficial to a pregnant mother's diet. Choose only 100 percent juice, preferably fresh and not from concentrate for maximum nutritional benefit. Juice is high in natural sugars, so you may need to limit juice intake if you have been diagnosed with or are at risk for gestational diabetes. Ideally, use a juicer to create juices made from whole, fresh fruits and vegetables full of vitamins and minerals. Some experts recommend only drinking pasteurized juice while pregnant to avoid potentially harmful bacteria, so talk with your health provider if you are interested in juicing.