Soft drinks and sodas are very much a part of our lives. Many of us tend to pop a can open when we feel thirsty or when we are eating out. When pregnant, most women wonder if the fizzy and soft drinks are safe for them and specifically the baby. Just like you take utmost care of your diet when pregnant it is important to be careful about what you drink as well. Most of us do not really think twice before opening a soft drink bottle because we are largely unaware of the harmful effects most soft drinks and aerated drinks have on the expecting mother and the child.
Are Fizzy And Soft Drinks Safe To Consume in Pregnancy?
In moderate amounts, yes. Fizz in the drinks is not a problem by itself, but the problem lies in the other ingredients soft drinks are made of. Soft drinks are doused with caffeine, calories, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. None of these are beneficial in anyway. Below, we list a break-down of the effects these drinks can have on the expecting mother and the baby.
Side effects of caffeine: Excessive intake of caffeine has harmful side effects and most aerated drinks are doused with caffeine especially colas. Caffeine reaches the placenta quickly and unrestricted use of caffeine can decrease the level of blood flow to the placenta and harm the baby. Too much intake of caffeine can also lead to miscarriage. Studies suggest that pregnant women must not have more than 200 mgs of caffeine in a day otherwise it may pose a serious threat to the baby. Caffeine could deprive a pregnant woman of much needed sleep and rest. Even the quality of sleep is affected by caffeine. Caffeine is a key ingredient in coffees, chocolates, chocolate cakes and brownies etc. It is advisable to keep a check on the intake of soft drinks and other things that have caffeine. Read more about caffeine in pregnancy here
Side effects of artificial sweeteners and preservatives: Pregnant or not, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors are unhealthy and when taken in excessive quantity can be really dangerous. Pregnant women need to be careful about their weight, being overweight can have harmful effects on the baby; hence sweeteners need to be avoided. Artificial colors have dye and dye can give allergic reaction to the baby. Soft Drinks also contain saccharin which is not easily digestible. This sweetener passes through the placenta and accumulates in the baby’s bladder
Side effects of cold beverages: A pregnant woman’s stomach is extremely sensitive. Having chilled beverages may shrink the stomach suddenly. It could also shrink the bowel’s blood vessels. Chilled beverages could also affect the digestive system during pregnancy and kill the appetite which could in turn affect the baby. Excessive amount of cold drinks could cause indigestion and evacuation. Chilled drinks can also give pregnant women severe stomach ache and stomach spasms
Zero nutrients: It is a widely known fact that soft drinks are full of empty calories. This means they give ample calories and zero nutrition. When you are pregnant you are eating for two. During Pregnancy not only your body requires a little extra food but it also needs extra nutrition and care. If you fill up for stomach with fluids such as soft drinks that give no nutrition and reduce the intake of healthy food you are hampering the baby’s growth. Moreover you are also putting your and your baby’s health at risk by adding innumerable calories to your diet
Acid indigestion/ heartburn: Aerated beverages are pumped with carbon. Hence they might give a slight heart burn or acidic indigestion to some people. During pregnancy especially the third trimester your body becomes extra sensitive towards carbonated drinks and may give you severe heartburn and indigestion. The acid reflux caused because of these drinks can cause stomach distention. Carbonated drinks can increase the acid level in the body for almost 50 minutes. If, while pregnant, you notice slight burning sensation in the chest after having a soft drink, stop immediately. Also these drinks are highly addictive and pregnant women’s cravings can be pretty strong, hence restricting yourself to a certain amount of soft drinks during pregnancy can be a task
Pregnant women can have pretty strong cravings. If you really, really feel like having a soft drink, you could treat yourself to a glass; just make sure you don’t make it a part of your daily diet. Also abstain from diet colas, since they are loaded with empty calories. Instead opt for healthier options when you get such cravings. You could go for fresh fruit juices or even vegetable juices. Even ‘nimbu paani’ and ‘lassi’ are a healthier option than soft drinks. Click here to read about other healthy drinks that are safe during pregnancy.
An expecting mother’s diet affects both the mother and the unborn child. Like it is said, an expecting mother eats for two. The mother and the child need extra nutritious food since the baby’s growth and development depends on the mother’s diet, hence to stay away from aerated and soft drinks would be the best.