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Sunday, August 6, 2017

7 beverages you should drink while pregnant and 7 beverages you should avoid

When you're pregnant, there are so many things that you have to remember. How to exercise, when to go to the doctor or see your healthcare professional, what kinds of medications and supplements you can or can't take, what to eat, and even what to drink (or what not to drink). Some off-limits beverages, like alcohol and too much caffeine from coffee, tea, and soda, you've probably heard are a no-go many times before.
Others, like smoothies and electrolyte sports drinks, might be less well-known. If you're a little bit confused about what you (or another VIP pregnant woman in your life) should or shouldn't be drinking over the course of those nine long months, here's what you need to know.

Drink: Water

Pregnant or not, one of the most important things you should be drinking each and every day is water. "The best choice when it comes to a drink for pregnant women is water," said Natalie B. Allen, a registered dietitian and clinical instructor of dietetics at Missouri State University. "The amniotic fluid needs to be replenished and water helps the baby in many ways."

Water keeps your cells all over your body well-hydrated and just generally helps your body be as healthy as it can. According to Healthline, pregnant ladies need to drink about 80 ounces of water every single day, which is probably more than you're used to drinking when you're not pregnant. If you're going to breastfeed after giving birth, you'll have to drink even more water.

If you have any specific questions about how much water you should be drinking while you're pregnant, talk to your doctor or another qualified health professional and they should be able to help provide some clarity.

Drink: Orange juice

Orange juice is another very good beverage choice for pregnant women. Allen says it's a good idea to make sure the orange juice you're drinking is fortified with calcium, which is important for bone health.

"I recommend my patients take their prenatal vitamin with orange juice," said Allen. "The Vitamin C in the juice will enhance iron absorption and orange juice also contains folate, which is important in neurological fetal development." Make sure the orange juice you're drinking is pasteurized to minimize the risk of any food pathogens that could potentially be lurking in fresh-squeezed juices.

Drink: Milk

"You can't beat dairy milk with its combination of protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals," said Allen. "The baby's bones develop the most in the last trimester, so add a glass of milk daily, particularly as the pregnancy progresses."

You knew that calcium and other vitamins and minerals were important for your own bones, but the vitamins and minerals you eat and drink also aid in the baby's development. Like with juice, it's important to make sure that the milk you're drinking during your pregnancy is pasteurized.

Drink: Red raspberry leaf tea

If you've been searching the online pregnancy chat boards, you've likely received a tip to drink red raspberry leaf tea during your pregnancy. In an interview with Fit Pregnancy, Amelia Hirota, an herbalist and acupuncturist, said that the idea behind drinking red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy is that it will help to tone the muscles of the uterine wall, ultimately making contractions more effective and labor more efficient. For most pregnant women, that probably sounds pretty good. Remember to make sure your tea doesn't have any weird fillers that might not be so good for pregnancy.

Drink: Smoothies

One of the best parts about drinking smoothies is that you can pack an entire meal's worth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more into one delicious, slurp-able beverage that you can drink at home or on the go. Allen recommends smoothies made from spinach, yogurt, and berries so you get a wide variety of nutrients. You can also add other fruits, vegetables, and dairy — you can switch up your morning (or afternoon) smoothie nearly every single day. Delicious and versatile.

Drink: Electrolyte sports drink

It might seem surprising to see electrolyte sports drinks on a list of drinks that women should drink during pregnancy, but, according to Allen, they can serve an important purpose.

"Some moms may experience leg cramps during pregnancy. If this happens, try a sports drink, as the electrolytes and fluid will help alleviate the cramp," she said. Often, store-bought sports drinks are full of sugar, so read the label before choosing your drink.

Drink: Nettle leaf tea

Nettle leaf tea is another good option for expectant moms. In an interview with Fit Pregnancy, Hirota said that it's a good source of many vitamins and minerals including potassium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K.

If you're going to drink nettle leaf tea while you're pregnant, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure that the tea is labeled nettle leaf and doesn't contain nettle roots. Additionally, Hirota said that you shouldn't drink too much in the first trimester, but it's safe to drink in the second and third trimesters, though it's still important not to drink too much of it.

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