That cup of coffee looks really great—but wait, you're pregnant. Pregnancy is a period of caution, because every activity you do, every food you ingest, and every drink that you take makes an impact on the life inside you. So what, really, are you allowed to drink? Let's check them one by one.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink coffee? NO.
While coffee is said to be beneficial in many ways, it is not recommended for pregnant women because caffeine can be passed on to the placenta very quickly, which the unborn baby could not yet metabolize. High levels of caffeine, which can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate drinks, and soda, can restrict fetal growth and result to low birth weight and other complications at birth.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink tea? YES, SOMETIMES.
If you're a tea drinker, you'll be glad to know that you won't have to give it up completely during pregnancy. Tea contains polyphenols and antioxidants that protect the heart and the immune system. However, not all teas are alike. "Cleansing," "diet," and herbal laxative teas must be avoided at all costs.
Herbal teas like chamomile, ginger, and mint are best because they counteract pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and insomnia. Nettle leaf tea (not nettle leaf root) is a good source of important vitamins, and red raspberry leaf tea is helpful, too. Herbalist and infertility acupuncturist Amelia Hirota, D.Ac. of the Phoenix Fertility Center said in an article on Parents.com, "Many midwives believe that drinking red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy tones the uterine muscle, which may help make contractions more efficient." However, drink in moderation.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink fruit juices? YES, BUT BE CAUTIOUS.
Fresh fruit juices are good for pregnant women in general. Orange juice is rich in fiber, calcium, and Vitamin C, but too much could trigger stomach acids and heartburn. Prune juice alleviates constipation, but should not be taken near your due date. Remember to look for pasteurized juice to ensure that it does not contain food-borne bacteria that might harm the baby. Artificial juice drinks, which are loaded with sugar, are not recommended as too much might cause you to develop gestational diabetes.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink wine / alcoholic drinks? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Alcohol in your system could cause birth defects and developmental disorders, including fetal alcohol syndrome that is manifested in mental retardation, heart problems, and facial deformities.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink soft drinks? NO.
If you look at the label, the second ingredient in your favorite cola drink is sugar, which means that it is the second most abundant in the mix. Caffeine is also present in most carbonated beverages. These alone are good reasons to avoid them during pregnancy.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink milk tea? NO.
First, let's look at what goes into a cup of bubble tea. There's tea, which contains caffeine, and less than 200mg of caffeine a day is okay if you're pregnant. There's milk, which is good, but may be high in trans fats that can raise your cholesterol level. And then there's syrup, which is made from loads and loads of sugar—about six teaspoons per cup, according to healthworks.my. The carbohydrates in tapioca pearls can also cause your blood sugar to spike.
Is it safe for pregnant women to drink sports drinks? YES, SURPRISINGLY.
It is essential to stay hydrated during pregnancy, and sports drinks, aside from doing this, also contain electrolytes that help carry out bodily functions. You lose electrolytes when you sweat, and drinking sports drinks in moderation may help replace them. Just be sure to get the one with the least sugar content and drink moderately.
In the end, every pregnant woman is different. What may be okay with you may not be okay with another. It's still always better to speak with your doctor about what you can and can't drink or consume. You and your baby's safety always comes first so don't be afraid to ask if you're not sure!
This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.