If you’re newly pregnant you may be finding that there’s a lot of info out there as far as what you can drink, what you shouldn’t, and what you might be able to drink in moderation.
Outside of beverages you may already know to avoid — alcohol, excess caffeine, and raw milk can all be harmful to your developing baby — it can be a challenge to know what healthy drinks are okay.
What is the most important thing to know about drinks while pregnant? Pregnant women need to know that whatever they’re choosing to put into their bodies isn’t just to keep them healthy, but their babies, too.
So what drinks are safe during pregnancy? Water, milk, and herbal teas are all excellent drinks to keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy.
Part of your plan to stay hydrated can include drinks just for fun, too, as long as you’re staying away from those listed no-nos. That can mean non-alcoholic wine as an alternative to that after-dinner glass you may be missing.
Our rosé at Surely is made to taste like the real thing because it starts off just like the real thing. We’ve just removed the alcohol content for you.
It all starts with water, though.
Water should be your go-to beverage during pregnancy. Add an extra glass to your usual water intake — that should be at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day — to keep not only yourself well-hydrated, but your baby, too.
What are the health benefits of drinking water while pregnant? Water helps your body absorb important nutrients that you’re getting from prenatal vitamins and that baby-friendly diet you’ve started.
You’ll feel better drinking more water, too, as it can help reduce, even prevent, unwelcome byproducts of pregnancy, like cramps, fatigue and urinary tract infections.
Dairy milk is a healthy option for pregnant women, particularly toward the end of a pregnancy when the baby’s bones are forming. It’s full of calcium and protein, and can be lower in fat if you go for skim or low-fat milk.
Just make sure the milk you’re drinking is pasteurized. You shouldn’t have a problem with this at most chain grocery stores in the United States, but it isn’t a bad idea to check labels if you’re in a specialty market or visiting an organic dairy.
The pasteurization process kills off harmful bacteria like Listeria and E. Coli.
If you’re lactose intolerant, seek out non-dairy alternatives that are fortified with calcium for a similar benefit. Soy milk is usually a safe bet, with more protein than many of the others. Yes, part of being pregnant is getting really good at reading labels.
3. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is not true tea. True tea (green tea, black tea, oolong tea, etc.) contains caffeine, which is not safe for pregnant women, except in strict moderation.
Green tea lovers, you’ll need to cut back in favor of herbal options, especially if you’re used to getting more than the recommended amount of caffeine from multiple steamy cups of tea.
What can I drink instead of coffee when pregnant? You won’t need to abandon the comforts of an afternoon tea when pregnant, as long as it’s the herbal kind. As you’re cutting back on the caffeine, look for caffeine-free options.
What drink is good for preventing morning sickness? Ginger, lemon balm, and peppermint teas have been known to lessen morning sickness symptoms, and raspberry teas can give you an antioxidant boost.
Just stick to what’s commercially-available, as you may not be able to confirm ingredients in loose-leaf varieties.
4. Alcohol-Removed Wine
Alcohol-removed wine is a non-alcoholic alternative for people avoiding alcohol for one reason or another.
You might have read all about whether there are safe levels of drinking while pregnant. However, no amount of alcohol has been proven safe, and there is no safe time to drink alcohol while pregnant. Even one glass of wine might be dangerous for the healthcare of your growing baby.
What are the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant? Birth defects, premature birth, and any number of disorders on the fetal alcohol spectrum are all possible risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up on all of the nice things.
Non-alcoholic beer and alcohol-removed wines, like Surely’s non-alcoholic rosé and sparkling white, have come a long way in resembling the real thing. This way, you can have your sips knowing you’re making a safe choice.
While there are trace amounts of alcohol in our delicious rosé, it’s well below the 0.5% threshold required by the Food and Drug Administration to be labeled non-alcoholic. To keep things in perspective, you’ll find the same amount of alcohol in kombucha and many fruit juices because of natural fermentation.
5. Flavored Water
Bored of water? Try flavored water!
Adding a little flavor to your H2O can go a long way toward increasing your water intake. Mint, berries, cucumber, watermelon and citrus can all make a glass of water even more refreshing.
Just make sure to thoroughly wash anything you’re dropping into your glass.
Fun fact on citrus: Sniffing lemons or sipping on some lemonade can ease your nausea symptoms, so throw a wedge or two into your water bottle before you head out if you’re not feeling so hot.
6. Decaf Coffee
Lay off the caffeine. Decaf coffee may still satisfy your need for a cup of joe, though.
For a healthy pregnancy, doctors recommend no more than 200 milligrams of coffee per day, which is about one regular-strength cup of coffee.
Decaffeinated coffee is even better, as long as you’re not crossing over that threshold of recommended caffeine per day. Even decaf contains small amounts of caffeine.
In large amounts, the caffeine in coffee and other caffeinated beverages can cause a rapid heart in your baby as it passes through the placenta.
While it’ll still be metabolized, this process takes up to three times as long in an unborn baby. There’s just not enough information out there about what that means long term to make guzzling pots of coffee worth it.
7. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water or seltzers are fine in moderation when pregnant — and a great alternative to sugary soft drinks. You’ll just want to avoid bubbly drinks with added caffeine or artificial sweeteners, often found in diet soda.
Sparkling water can also be a great base for mocktails, which are elevated takes on those kiddie cocktails from your youth.
Consider DIY recipes that will give you a nutrition boost on top of the novelty of your non-alcoholic drinks, like antioxidant-rich berry garnishes or a little freshly-grated ginger to knock out any nausea.
8. Vegetable Juice
Pasteurized vegetable juices are a low-sugar alternative to fruit juices. Juices made out of beets and carrots are naturally a little bit sweeter than other green veggies, so they’ll better mimic those fruit juice flavors you may be craving.
Beet juice also has the added benefit of lowering blood pressure in some pregnant women, but you should talk to your obstetrician about your diet plan if you’re at risk or already suffering from high blood pressure.
Making your own veggie juice is a great idea so you can control any additives in commercial brands. Just make sure any vegetables you’re using are properly washed, and that you’re drinking your juice right after it’s blended.
Kefir is a pasteurized, fermented milk drink rich in probiotics that can be beneficial during pregnancy in preventing preeclampsia and other complications.
The consistency is a bit thicker than the usual smoothie so you may find it hard to hit your daily hydration goals with kefir, but it’s a positive addition to any healthy diet.
10. Sports Drinks with Electrolytes
Sports drinks with electrolytes like Gatorade or Powerade are a good way to replace some key nutrients you may be missing, on top of keeping you hydrated.
They can also help with nausea from morning sickness or leg cramps, a common complaint of pregnant women after the first trimester.
Just make sure you’re enjoying sports drinks in moderation, as they’re often high on the added sugar.
Avoid energy drinks altogether since they pack more of a caffeine punch than that cup of coffee you’re allowed once a day. (And they usually contain even more sugar.)
11. Fruit Juice
A little bit goes a long way when it comes to fruit juice, especially if you’re buying it at the store. It’s fine to have all-fruit juice in moderation during pregnancy, but it shouldn’t be your main hydration source due to its high sugar content.
What is the best juice to drink while pregnant? You can safely drink a variety of all-fruit juices while pregnant, but if you’re buying a bottle at the store, make sure it’s pasteurized by checking the label.
Pasteurized orange juice is a good option, especially if it includes added calcium on top of a vitamin C and potassium boost.
Blending your own fresh fruit juice is also a good option, as long as you’re thoroughly washing the fruits before tossing them into your blender. Drink any fresh juices within a day or two of making them.
It doesn’t get much more comforting than soup, and sometimes a hot bowl of broth is just what you need when you’re not feeling like yourself. If you want the added benefit of ginger for nausea symptoms, try a ginger tumeric bone broth.
It’s best to stick to low-sodium varieties of chicken broth or miso, and avoid heavy, cream-based soups. You aren’t getting much hydration from that bowl of chowder.
If you’re on a healthy eating plan already, yummy green smoothies might already kick off your day. It’s fine to keep that up during pregnancy, especially if you want to bump up your consumption of fruits and veggies.
As with your fruit juices, you’ll want to wash anything you’re blending thoroughly beforehand. Try to avoid adding sugar into the mix, as you’ll be getting enough natural sugar from the fruits you’re using.
If you’re going store-bought, just make sure you’re buying smoothies from pasteurized juices.
14. Coconut Water
Coconut water is more similar to sports drinks than flavored waters, if you’re looking at the electrolytes per ounce. This is a good way to curb nausea if you prefer the taste of coconut water to Gatorade, as long as you’re sipping it in moderation.
Coconut water is higher in sodium than many of your other hydration options. Keep this in mind when arranging your overall diet.
6 Drinks That Pregnant Women Should Avoid
What drinks should be avoided during pregnancy? Here are 6 drink to avoid during pregnancy:
- Unpasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized juices
- Caffeinated beverages
- Sugary sodas
- Drinks with artificial sweeteners, like diet soda
Outside of water, which should be your primary source for hydration throughout your pregnancy, you have options for what you choose to sip to boost your healthy beverage intake. If you want to get a little creative, you can enjoy a glass of alcohol-removed wine.
If you feel unsure about your options and want more feedback, always talk to your doctor first.
- Impact of Fetal Alcohol Exposure on Body Systems: A Systematic Review
- Pregnancy-induced Changes in the Pharmacokinetics of Caffeine and Its Metabolites
- Timing of Probiotic Milk Consumption During Pregnancy and Effects on the Incidence of Preeclampsia and Preterm Delivery: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study in Norway