8 Drinks You Should Avoid While Pregnant
When you’re pregnant, you’re sure to receive tons of unsolicited advice from coworkers, family members, and total strangers about diaper changing techniques, the challenges of childrearing, and most invasively, the nitty-gritty physical details involved in carrying a baby and giving birth. As the awesome — and currently pregnant — Dr. Sydnee McElroy noted on a recent and especially hilarious episode of My Brother, My Brother, and Me, “I think [these advice givers] really think, ‘This will really help her out. I bet she doesn’t know that she’s going to get nauseous. I’ll tell her about it.’”
But while you might (reasonably) want to slap these providers of unasked-for opinions in their stupid faces, there really is some advice worth checking out while you’re pregnant: like what foods and drinks should you be consuming when you’re harboring a tiny alien in your womb? While most women are aware that they shouldn’t be pounding shots of whiskey or smoking, well, anything at all if they’re expecting, there are some pretty innocuous-seeming drinks that you might not know are harmful.
Unfortunately, you can’t just resolve to eat and drink healthily while you’re pregnant, either. Plenty of foods and drinks that are healthy for you and full of nutrients when you’re not pregnant can be dangerous for your baby-to-be. Sushi, for instance, is very healthy when you don’t have a bun in the oven, but when you’re pregnant it can be fairly dangerous to the fetus due to the possibility of parasites. Feeling pedantic? Yes, you can eat “cooked sushi,” like shrimp tempura rolls, but a) that’s not really sushi, and b) you knew what I was getting at.
Nutrient-rich wheatgrass is a common (and healthful) addition to smoothies and juices. Normally, taking a shot of wheatgrass is pretty good for you — or at least it won’t do you any harm. Due to the fact that wheatgrass has to be grown in extremely wet conditions, however, the chances of this plant growing mold and bacteria are much higher than average. The American Cancer Society suggests that pregnant women not use it due to the possibility of these issues harming the fetus.
Alcohol is not a great idea during a pregnancy: fetal alcohol syndrome is a real and terrible problem that can cause physical deformities and mental deficiencies. According to The Mayo Clinic, “there is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy.” But as economist Emily Oster wrote in “Take Back Your Pregnancy,” in the Wall Street Journal last year, “When I looked at the data from hundreds of studies, I found, basically, no credible evidence that low levels of drinking (a glass of wine or so a day) have any impact on your baby's cognitive development.”
If you do choose to drink alcohol during your pregnancy, there is no doubt that it should be done in very light moderation. If you want to consider this option, you should discuss the issue with your doctor, as some medical professionals may say that a four-ounce glass of wine on occasion is an okay idea for pregnant women. That said, nine months doesn’t seem so long to wait for a drink, and “better safe than sorry” has a nice ring to it when your kid’s life is on the line.