One of the first things you learn when you get pregnant is what not to do. And everyone seems to want to give their own well-meaning but contradicting opinions. Maybe you’ve been missing your morning coffee ever since your mom told you it’s bad for the baby. What exactly can you drink? Luckily, you don’t have to give up all the good stuff (not even Starbucks). We’re here to give you some good drink options, as well as advice on the bad ones. Here are 5+ healthy drinks for pregnancy that you can enjoy!
Did your sister tell you to avoid spicy foods because she heard it isn’t good for pregnant women? (See our previous article on that!)
Healthy Drinks for Pregnancy
To start off the list, we have the most apparent healthy drink for pregnancy: water.
Pregnancy aside, one of the most important things you can drink daily is water. But if you are pregnant, having enough fluids becomes even more critical. Water keeps the amniotic fluid replenished, your cells hydrated, and keeps your health good in general (1).
How much water should you be drinking? Healthline states pregnant women should drink about 80 ounces of water daily (1). This is only eight ounces more than is recommended for women who aren’t pregnant (1).
If breastfeeding, Healthline says your water consumption should increase to about 104 ounces (1). Moral of the story: it’s a great idea to drink lots of water! Your body–and the baby–will thank you for it.
But what if water makes you nauseous?
If you’re pregnant in the summertime, chances are you’ve already sat down with a big glass of lemonade. In fact, lemons are beneficial for you in a surprising way.
As stated earlier, water is the best source of hydration. But some women have trouble drinking water without becoming nauseated. Infusing water with lemon juice or making some lemonade can help your daily water intake and fix your nausea (1). The American Pregnancy Association (APA) says that sniffing lemons can help nausea from morning sickness (1). So go ahead: grab that sweet glass of lemonade! (Just make sure there isn’t a ton of added sugar).
Sweet Healthy Drinks
Fresh fruit juices are great as long as they’re pasteurized. Everyone loves refreshing orange juice in the morning with their breakfast. And you can still enjoy it too as a sweet pregnancy drink!
Pasteurization is the process that removes harmful bacteria from juices (2). This is why it is essential that you only drink pasteurized juices, even if you prefer the “natural stuff.”
Two healthy juices that boost immune system health for pregnant women are orange juice and cranberry juice. OJ contains potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure (1). High blood pressure can be a dangerous condition in pregnant women. And the Vitamin C in the juice will enhance iron absorption (1). Cranberry juice is made up of 90% water (3). This means it will keep you well-hydrated! And the high dietary fiber in the drink works against constipation (3).
Just like our bodies need water, pregnant women also have calcium needs. It’s recommended that pregnant women drink about eight ounces of milk per day (5). While there isn’t an issue with drinking whole milk, it is suggested that you drink skim or low-fat milk (5). This is typically healthier whether pregnant or not and can prevent extra weight gain (5).
“But what if I’m lactose intolerant?” Surprisingly, studies have shown that even if you had symptoms of lactose intolerance before getting pregnant, they could disappear! (1). You may find that you can now tolerate cow’s milk. If you still have symptoms after a glass of milk, try non-dairy milk. “Soy milk is a viable alternative. Just be sure to choose brands with added calcium.” (1).
Like juices, the milk you drink needs to be pasteurized to prevent bacterial infections.
Smoothies are one of the best things you can drink while pregnant. In your first trimester, it can be difficult to keep food down. Smoothies are an easy way to get a lot of essential nutrients without having to eat a full meal (4). Nutritionist Tamara Melton explains, “There’s something about the combo of liquid and cold. Women tolerate smoothies better than, say, spinach omelets.” (1).
70% of women surveyed by Parents admitted to making healthier diet choices when they became pregnant (1). But only 37% met the recommended amount of daily fruit and vegetable servings (1).
Smoothies are a great way to get all of those vital nutrients. Make sure you put some greens in your cart, not just fruit when shopping at grocery stores.
Herbal tea may be a good option if you want a reviving hot or cool iced tea. Herbal tea is a good alternative to leaf teas, often fruit- or herb-based and caffeine-free (5). Since pregnant women should reduce caffeine, it’s a good choice for a healthy pregnancy drink.
According to the APA, however, you shouldn’t drink just any herbal tea.(1). Herbal teas can be unsafe if they are not commercially made (1). This is because the “amounts of each ingredient are controlled in commercial tea bags,” whereas they might not be in homemade teas (5).
These are three popular teas for pregnant women that can be enjoyed as a hot drink or as iced tea: (5)
- Ginger Tea – Ginger helps with indigestion and can relieve stress.
- Lemon or Lemon Balm Tea – Like we said earlier, lemon is good for nausea and stress relief.
- Peppermint Tea can reduce “digestive discomfort, bloating and also prevents nausea.”
Drinks to Avoid While Pregnant
Most people know that alcohol is the one drink you should avoid entirely if you are growing a baby. But maybe you don’t know exactly why. Let us explain.
The liver is one of the last organs to develop. Because of this, fetuses cannot process alcohol like adults can (2). In the first trimester, drinking can increase the risk of miscarriage, early birth, and low birth weight (2). In the second and third trimesters, drinking could affect your child’s behavior and learning ability (2).
Consuming alcoholic beverages while pregnant can cause a wide range of complications. Not only is the mother affected, but the child as well. It is best to stay away entirely from the substance.
What about after the baby is born?
If you are breastfeeding, it is best to continue avoiding alcohol. Excessive drinking can lead to problems in infant growth and development (2). However, according to the CDC, you can drink one drink per day, and it not be detrimental to your baby’s health. But you must wait two to three hours before breastfeeding (2). In conclusion, if you want to drink while breastfeeding, it is recommended to do it in moderation.
Unpasteurized Milk and Juice
Pasteurized milk and juice are at the top of the healthy drink list. Unsurprisingly, the unpasteurized versions of said drinks are not advised.
Raw milk is “milk from cows, sheep, and goats–or any other animal–that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria.” (1). Without pasteurization, dangerous bacteria can be present in the milk. Bacteria can cause food poisoning (1). One of these harmful bacteria, Listeria, can cause an infection called listeriosis (1).
According to genetic counselor Sara Roirdan, pregnant women are “particularly susceptible” to this disease (1). It can be devastating and “even deadly for unborn babies.” (1). Although raw milk has seen some movement in the United States, the FDA advises everyone to avoid it (1).
Drinking unpasteurized juice is just as harmful. Mothers can contract E. coli, which puts them at risk for “premature rupture of the amniotic sac, low birth weight, or stillbirth.” (2). Overall, skip the “natural stuff” and stick to pasteurized drinks.
This may be one of the hardest types of drink to avoid on this list. Coffee, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and tea (except most herbal teas) all have caffeine.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day (6). While this may seem easy, lots of things have caffeine. One cup of coffee, a couple of bites of a chocolate bar, and you may already be over your daily caffeine limit. For that reason, it’s best to steer clear of too much caffeine for the most part.
The issue with caffeine is similar to alcohol. Caffeine is absorbed very quickly and passes into the placenta (6). Babies can’t metabolize caffeine so, high levels can build up quickly (6). These high levels can lead to restricted fetal growth and an increased risk of low birth weight (6).
However, we know how much coffee means to a stressed and frazzled mom! There is some silver lining. According to this website, there are several Starbucks drinks that–in limited amounts–are still safe to drink! Feel free to check it out.
Are There Other Healthy Drinks for Pregnancy?
There are plenty of homemade drinks you can create that are safe to drink while pregnant. Check out this website for 17 healthy drink recipes for pregnancy that you can make in your kitchen. One of those is apple cider vinegar drinks–yum! Or if you want something simple but energy-boosting, coconut water has been found to be a beneficial and tasty drink for a healthy pregnancy.
And as always, talk to your doctor about what is best for you. If you don’t have a personal physician, you can sign up for a consultation at NAME OF CENTER and we can get you set in the right direction.
Disclaimer: This website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. NAME OF CENTER does not provide abortions or give referrals for abortions.
- Schumacker, L. (2022, January 12). 11 beverages you should drink while pregnant and 11 beverages you should avoid. TheList.com. Retrieved July 13, 2022
- Brighten, J. (2021, March 5). 12 foods to avoid during pregnancy. Dr. Jolene Brighten. Retrieved July 13, 2022
- Benjamin, J. (2022, April 5). 9 healthy juices you should drink during pregnancy. MomJunction. Retrieved July 13, 2022
- G, L. (2022, July 5). Best healthy pregnancy drinks (besides water!). Birth Eat Love. Retrieved July 13, 2022
- Waggott, G. (2021, September 27). 10 drinks pregnant women can enjoy besides water. Pregnancy Food Checker. Retrieved July 13, 2022
- Bjarnadottir, A. (2020, August 13). 11 foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy. Healthline. Retrieved July 13, 2022