The Best Beverages for Pregnant Women
When you’re pregnant, so much of the advice you receive feels awfully negative. “Don’t drink coffee,” “Don’t eat sushi,” “Avoid lunch meats,” “No more beer for you!” And while some drinks should be avoided in order to maintain optimal health for your little one, others can actually boost and benefit your baby’s health — and your own. Our list of drinks can help you thrive in your pregnancy, from reducing morning sickness to boosting folate and increasing your iron absorption.
While there is a plethora of information about what foods and drinks are healthiest during your pregnancy out there, the situation gets confusing because not everyone is in agreement. Some folks swear that sushi is off-limits, for instance, while others have said that the risks of this tasty (and generally healthful) dish are overplayed.
One interesting new finding that applies to everyone: if you eat more adventurously during your pregnancy, your baby may be more inclined to explore the world of food as well.
In The Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, Carol Lammi-Keefe describes a study that took place in Northern Ireland: babies whose mothers ate garlic during their pregnancy were more inclined towards the smell of garlic after birth, while those whose mothers avoided garlic avoided the scent.
In France, a similar study was conducted on babies whose mothers enjoyed aniseed sweets during their pregnancies, with similar results.
So eat and drink safely and adventurously if you want your infant to start developing their palate in the womb — and one-up the Gwyneth Paltrow-type “mommy wars” moms at their own game while doing something you already love (“Oh, you started your baby on prenatal yoga at six months? Well I started my infant on a rich appreciation for the gastronomic at three weeks.”)
Our list of healthy pregnancy drinks is intended as a general guide. When developing your pregnancy diet, talk to your physician about what they recommend for you given your body’s particular needs and history.
According to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, a study has shown that ginger, long used in traditional medicine as an anti-nauseant, may beneficial for women who are suffering from morning sickness. The study involved 70 pregnant women who experienced nausea during their pregnancy; the majority of women who added ginger to their diet were less sick less frequently than those who did not.
You're probably aware thatit's important to increase your iron intake during your pregnancy, but did you know that some foods and drinks may help or hinder your ability to absorb the iron you’re consuming? According to Nutrition During Pregnancy, a report published by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, “Compared with water, orange juice will roughly double the absorption of nonheme iron from a meal. Tea and coffee, on the other hand, will cut the absorption of nonheme iron by more than half when compared with water.” Make sure you go with pasteurized juice, though!