Pregnant women can drink soda, but they should be mindful of their caffeine intake as the Food Standards Agency recommends a maximum of 200mg daily, which should be considered when calculating daily caffeine consumption.
It’s also important to note that excessive soda consumption can lead to other health issues during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and weight gain.
As one of the world’s most consumed beverages, soda becomes a question during pregnancy. But not only in this one, since even in breastfeeding, this question also remains.
However, nutritionist Janiele Rodrigues says this carbonated drink does not benefit the woman and the baby. Soft drinks, whether lemon, orange, guarana, or glue-based, can harm pregnant women’s health.
Heartburn, burning, and even problems in the development of the fetus can result from ingesting this fluid during pregnancy. To learn more about the harms of soda in pregnancy or breastfeeding, follow this article to the end!
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Pregnant can drink soda? Nutritionist responds
According to Janiele Rodrigues, pregnant women should avoid drinking soft drinks. That’s because the most varied types of this refreshment “can go beyond the placenta and change the baby’s heart rate and breathing.”
In addition, the nutritionist explains that these drinks can cause stomach discomfort, including reflux. This situation can be even more uncomfortable for pregnant women in the first three months since nausea is naturally frequent.
But the harm does not stop there, considering that these products can cause weight gain and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. All this is due to the presence of sugars in their compositions.
Other substances that make up some soft drinks are also inappropriate for pregnant and lactating women, such as gas, caffeine, artificial colours, and flavourings.
Are guarana and glue allowed?
For example, in the case of cola or guarana drinks, the biggest concern is the amount of caffeine present in their formulas. This substance is an alkaloid that acts as a central nervous system stimulant.
Upon entering the body of future mothers, this alkaloid can cause adverse reactions to the fetus, such as: “reduced fetal growth, prematurity,
intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, miscarriage, and malformations.”
For all these reasons, it is recommended that the consumption of these drinks be restricted during pregnancy. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US food and drug regulatory agency, caffeine consumption in pregnancy should not exceed 200 mg/day.
To give you an idea, just a 355 ml Coke is 40 mg of caffeine. However, this substance can also be found in other foods, beverages, and simple remedies.
Orange and lemon sodas
It is wrong to believe that orange or lemon sodas are less harmful than other types because they lack caffeine. Despite not having this alkaloid, these drinks are rich in sugars, flavours, colourings, and unnecessary substances during pregnancy.
This same care should also be extended to industrialized juices. Even if they are not carbonated drinks, these liquids do not benefit pregnant women and much fewer fetuses.
Zero, diet, and light drinks
Even though some of these drinks substitute sweeteners for sugar, some still have caffeine as one of their ingredients. Therefore, they are also not recommended to compose the daily meals of pregnant and lactating women.
In addition, the replacement of sugar with sweetener itself can be harmful to both the woman and the baby. For example, studies show that the saccharin type crosses the placenta in a limited way and reaches all fetal tissues except the nervous system.
This same substance is also excreted in milk, progressively increasing its concentration after repeated intakes of this sweetener.
Given all this, it is recommended to avoid saccharin and beverages that have it in their compositions, as with some zero diets and light sodas.
Can those who are breastfeeding take soda?
Research suggests consuming too many sugary drinks can hurt an infant’s cognitive development. While it is unnecessary to avoid soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages altogether while breastfeeding, it is advisable to limit their consumption to ensure a healthy diet for both the mother and the infant. Moderation and a well-balanced diet are crucial to maintaining good health during breastfeeding.
As well as soda, other foods and liquids can help form these colics, such as cruciferous plants (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), coffee, mate tea, chocolate, citrus fruits, and cow’s milk.
Therefore, it is recommended to change eating habits, favouring the health of the nursing mother and, consequently, the baby. But in case of doubt, it is advised to seek help from the mother’s health professional (gynecologist) or child (pediatrician).
Other care that the pregnant woman must have
In addition to avoiding soft drinks, carbonated drinks, and industrialized juices, the pregnant woman must take other precautions to keep her and the fetus’ health up to date.
Below you can find some other indispensable tips for the gestational period:
- Have a healthy diet: the pregnant woman must eat in a balanced and diversified way, as the baby needs nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, folic acid, whole carbohydrates, iron, and calcium. These substances are essential for the fetus’s formation and the woman’s well-being.
- Maintain regular meals: expectant mothers should have at least three meals daily (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and two healthy snacks. It is recommended not to go beyond three hours without eating. Furthermore, it is ideal for drinking at least 2 litres of water. With this care, the baby will be well nourished, and the woman’s risk of feeling nausea, vomiting, weakness, and fainting is reduced.
- Avoid sugars and industrialized ingredients: healthy eating goes beyond including good foods in meals, such as wholegrain ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Avoiding sugary foods, reducing salt intake, and eating moderately processed foods are recommended to maintain maternal health.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and other drugs: according to nutritionist Janiele Rodrigues, these items can cause changes in the fetus’s health, such as “delay in development, microcephaly, eye changes, facial abnormalities, and skeletal joint abnormalities.”
- Adhere to healthy habits: expectant mothers should sunbathe early or late in the afternoon, including on their breasts. Outside these times, it is recommended to use sunscreen, a cap, or a hat, to avoid skin stains. Practicing exercises for pregnant women, such as walking and light activities, is also recommended. Sleep is another point that deserves attention, as it is ideal for pregnant women to sleep at least 8 hours a night and rest for a few minutes during the day.
By following all these guidelines and avoiding ingesting soft drinks, the pregnant woman will enjoy a balanced pregnancy and, consequently, provide healthy growth for the baby.
The lactating women will guarantee the necessary nutrients during breastfeeding, caring for the child’s development. However, whenever necessary, an expert opinion should be sought.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.