A tall glass of soft drink may be tempting to the taste buds and quench your thirst after a spicy meal. But if you are an expecting mom, soft drinks – even the diet ones are a bad idea.
This is because aerated drinks bring zero nutritional value to the table, but add a ton of calories. Second, aerated drinks possess high amounts of caffeine in them. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women keep their caffeine intake well below 200grams a day as excess caffeine crosses the placenta of an expecting mom and enters the bloodstream of the baby where it remains for a long time, elevating the baby’s heartbeat and affecting its movement in the womb. Excess caffeine intake also increases the chances of low birth weight, preterm labour and miscarriage in a pregnant woman. Moreover, too much caffeine interferes with the absorption of calcium and iron, affecting the foetus’ growth and development. Third, soft drinks are full of added sugars and artificial preservatives and additives. Only 10% of calories of a pregnant woman should come from added sugars. More than that leads to unhealthy weight gain and increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
Research also suggests that consuming soft drinks in pregnancy affects the child’s memory and learning skills. Therefore it is best to avoid aerated drinks in pregnancy and during breastfeeding to give the best possible start to a baby. Consult your doctor about foods safe to consume during pregnancy.