Drinking Milk During Pregnancy – Types, Advantages & Guidelines

7 min read

Written by Pradeep


milk during pregnancy
In a woman’s life, pregnancy is the most crucial and sensitive period. During this time, she is responsible not only for herself but also for the new life that is growing inside her. Optimal nutrition is of utmost priority and drinking milk during pregnancy ensures that you meet many of your nutritional requirements. A pregnant woman needs an abundance of nutrients during pregnancy, which milk provides.

Whether or not to include milk and dairy products in a pregnancy diet is a matter of mixed opinion. A diet high in milk may cause iron deficiency. Milk can be extremely beneficial for your pregnancy if you take it correctly. It provides a variety of nutrients that your baby will require to develop properly. This article discusses the benefits of drinking milk in pregnancy and other aspects such as how much milk to drink and tips and precautions to follow.

In This Article

Types of Milk

Milk is available in many different varieties and forms depending on the source, processing, and fat levels. Some of the most common forms we regularly consume are:

1. Pasteurized Milk:

Pasteurization is the process of partial sterilization where milk is treated with extreme hot and cold temperatures in quick succession. Pasteurized milk is free of all types of bacteria, especially heat-resistant bacteria such as E Coli, and is safe to consume. Such milk is also free from molds and yeast, making the milk extremely safe during pregnancy

2. Skimmed Milk:

This is the favorite among the health-conscious and fitness freaks because of the extremely low-fat content of the milk. It delivers the benefits of milk, but with no extra fat. The homogenization process removes most of the fat content from the milk.

3. Whole Milk:

This milk skips the homogenization process and is a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits. It is packed with enzymes necessary to carry out several bodily functions and is very much needed during pregnancy.

4. Raw Milk:

This one is the complete opposite of the pasteurized one. It undergoes the basic heat treatment to purify it and is freshly derived from the farm.

Benefits of Drinking Milk During Pregnancy

benefits of drinking milk during pregnancy

According to experts drinking at least three glasses of either non-fat or normal milk every day contributes to meeting the daily nutrient requirement naturally. Here are the important benefits of drinking milk during pregnancy:

1. Excellent Source of Calcium

A pregnant woman needs at least 1000 mg of calcium every day. The fetus derives its calcium requirement from the bones, the rich calcium deposits in the body. Daily consumption of milk helps in meeting these calcium requirements.

[Read: Calcium During Pregnancy]

2. Rich in Protein

Protein is very important during pregnancy because it aids in the build-up of the uterus. This vital nutrient ensures a steady blood supply, especially to vital parts of the female anatomy such as the breasts and the baby’s tissues. One cup of low-fat milk will provide you with approximately 8.22g of protein.

3. Rich in Vitamin D

Vitamin D is vital to ensure a normal birth weight and prevention of neonatal rickets. You can get most of your nutrients and other vitamins from various food sources. But when it comes to Vitamin D, milk is one of the very few sources rich in this vitamin. As a result, milk becomes an important component of your pregnancy diet.

4. Helps to Combat Heartburn

Did you know that milk is a natural antacid?! Heartburn is a common occurrence during pregnancy, thanks to all the hormones that are playing havoc with your system. Unfortunately, it is not advisable to take over-the-counter medications when you are pregnant. Milk becomes an excellent way to combat heartburn and other gastric ailments.

5. Healthy Way to Stay Hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated is extremely important because the baby is also drawing fluids from your body. Milk will help you keep the hydration level of the body up.

6. Higher Level of Insulin

Milk contains a higher level of insulin. Studies have proven that children born to women who regularly consumed milk during their pregnancy had a lesser risk of contracting diseases or developing type 2 diabetes in their late teens.

7. Enhances the Fetal Brain Development

Milk has a significant quantity of iodine. Did you know that for IQ development in children, Iodine is a key component? Also, being rich in proteins, amino acids, and fatty acids, milk helps with the development of the baby’s nervous system.

[Read: Importance of Iodine During Pregnancy]

Best Options For Milk During Pregnancy

best options for milk during pregnancy

Following are the best options for including milk in your pregnancy diet:

1. Cow’s Milk

It has important health benefits such as the ability to boost immunity and prevent diabetes. It contains Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin A which help in boosting the vision and providing proper nourishment.

2. Goat’s Milk

It helps with digestion, reduction of inflammation, and aids in the weight loss process. It has a higher protein and vitamin content and helps to maintain a healthy immune system.

3. Milk Powder

There is a possibility that the key nutrients are lost during pasteurization. But in milk powder, these nutrients are retained.

4. Soy Milk

It is a perfect alternative for those who follow a vegan diet because it has all the benefits of milk and is low in fat content. It is cholesterol-free and also supplies calcium to the mother and the fetus.

5. Saffron Milk

Saffron aids in relaxing the muscles of the body and also helps in preventing indigestion. It helps in curbing the mood swings in mothers-to-be.

6. Almond Milk

This milk is prepared by crushing the almonds finely and mixing it with water. Almond milk is beneficial to the growth of the placenta. It is also rich in antioxidants.

Is it safe to drink almond milk during pregnancy? Click here to know more!!.

7. Oat Milk

Oats are a high fiber food and therefore this milk will contain a high amount of energy. Pregnant women feel tired quickly. Oat milk aids pregnant women by improving energy levels and preventing gestational diabetes.

8. Rice Milk

This milk is prepared by boiling rice and draining out the excess rice. It is free of cholesterol and saturated fats and is one of the best options for mothers-to-be.

When Drinking Milk During Pregnancy, Which is the Best Option?

Non-fat milk is the best option because it has less amount of fat, and at the same time, is packed with all essential nutrients. Also, always opt for pasteurized milk. Consuming raw milk or its products is not safe during pregnancy due to the high risk of Listeriosis

Can Pregnant Women Drink Milk During Night?

Yes. In fact, drinking a glass of warm milk right before bedtime improves the quality of your sleep. Insomnia is common during pregnancy and milk is one of the top solutions. However, never drink milk immediately after your meal.

Do’s and Dont’s While Drinking Milk During Pregnancy

Here are some guidelines and means to incorporate milk in your pregnancy diet:

  • Avoid dairy products made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Avoid drinking milk right after a meal.
  • Once in a while, you can give it a twist by diluting milk with water (two portions of milk to one portion of water) and preparing fruit shakes and smoothies by adding fruits.
  • Always drink warm milk.
  • Never gulp it fast, instead, enjoy small sips.

How Much Milk To Drink During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women must have at least three cups of milk in a day, irrespective of their weight, physical activities, and stage of pregnancy. This is enough to provide all of its benefits. Never exceed this limit.

Can Be Drinking Too Much Milk During Pregnancy Cause Harm?

Yes, drinking too much milk is not a good option as it can bring about bloating and indigestion. Always remember, moderation is the key.

Effects of Not Drinking Milk During Pregnancy

Not Drinking Milk during Pregnancy

If a pregnant woman never drinks milk during pregnancy, there is an increased chance of giving birth to an underweight baby. The mother may also be at risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.

Milk is a rich source of calcium for both the mother and the fetus. Not having enough calcium in a pregnant woman’s diet may cause the developing baby to absorb this nutrient from the mother’s calcium reservoir. This process will affect the mother’s bone mass.

In addition, the development of the child can be severely affected if the mother never drinks milk during pregnancy. Babies will be more at risk of neonatal rickets, low birth weight, excessive dehydration, etc.

“Drinking Milk in Pregnancy Increases the Possibility of Taller Children” Fact or Myth?

Children born to mothers who consume milk during pregnancy (especially during the last trimester, when the growth rate of the baby is high) can grow taller than those who didn’t consume milk.

Therefore, you must ensure that milk forms a key component of your pregnancy diet for healthy children. Along with milk, do follow a properly balanced diet for your overall health and wellness.


1. Can be Drinking Milk During Pregnancy Cause Lactose Issues in Baby?

No, it will not, lactose problems can be hereditary.

2. What Type of Milk Should I Avoid When Pregnant?

Do not drink unpasteurized milk when pregnant. It can contain bacteria that can be dangerous. Also, boil milk well before consumption.

3. Can be Drinking a Lot of Milk During Pregnancy Lead to Kidney Stones?

Drinking a lot of milk is known to cause kidney stones in many people.

4. Should I Drink a Lot of Milk During Pregnancy?

Drinking milk when pregnant can help both you and the baby. Milk is rich in many essential nutrients. However, a “lot” is not required.


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