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    Soda in Pregnancy: Risks, Side Effects & Precautions

    Pregnancy Precautions

    Soda in Pregnancy: Risks, Side Effects & Precautions

    Updated on 31 January 2023

    Indulging in soft drinks craving once in a while during pregnancy is perfectly safe. However, studies reveal that normal, diet or caffeine-free soda consumption should be avoided on a daily basis. Soda in pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of certain pregnancy problems and an increased risk of asthma and obesity in the unborn child.

    Most pregnant women know alcohol can harm their unborn child, so they find other ways to quell their thirst instead. These include drinking flavored sodas, diet sodas, regular sodas, or even something cold.

    Is It Safe to Drink Soda During Pregnancy?

    Women expecting should drink milk, fruit juices, milkshakes, etc., and stay away from soda, cold drinks, caffeinated beverages, and energy drinks. Consuming in moderation is fine, but there might be better choices.

    Can Pregnant Women Safely Consume Sodas That Contain Caffeine?

    Most research indicates that consuming less than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day is safe during pregnancy, but this is not a definite statement. Because although doctors have known for a long time that caffeine can cross the placenta, the effects on your pregnancy and your developing baby are not well understood. Caffeine may increase your risk of miscarriage, but there isn't much evidence linking the two yet. Several suffered from insufficient data because of small sample sizes or recollection bias: Multiple participants were polled on their routines (rather than observed). Other studies only focused on one potential cause of miscarriage (caffeine) and ignored the possibility that there are additional risk factors.

    And keep in mind that there is no universally accepted definition of how far along you must be before a "miscarriage" is deemed to have occurred. Still, it is typically believed to be a pregnancy loss in the first trimester.

    On occasion, data could be more consistent. For instance, one sizable study conducted in 2008 found no connection between caffeine consumption and miscarriage rates, regardless of the amount of caffeine eaten. However, another study published that same year linked greater levels of caffeine use among pregnant women, specifically those who drank 200 mg or more daily.

    However, moderate caffeine- based consumption of soda in pregnancy was not found to increase the risk of premature delivery in any of the studies that looked into the link between the two, including one in 2007.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also states that there is no proof that caffeine reduces uterine blood flow, fetal oxygen levels, or birth weight.

    That's why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their daily caffeine intake to 200 milligrams (mg). Coke has roughly 35 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce can, whereas Mountain Dew has about 54 milligrams per 12-ounce can. It is worth noting, however, that studies are still ongoing, so the ACOG's recommendations could shift in the future.

    In August of 2020, for instance, a new meta-analysis of studies found that even moderate caffeine consumption was associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes like miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and acute childhood leukemia, prompting calls for reform from some experts. Be aware that literature reviews are only a few reliable places to look for answers. Finally, it's up to you if you choose to drink caffeinated cola while pregnant.

    Some folks would rather err on the side of caution and not drink coffee or soda. In moderation, though, it probably won't harm the pregnancy. Just stay under 200 milligrams of caffeine in 24 hours, including coffee, chocolate, tea, and cola.

    Caffeine is a stimulant, so while it may help you remain awake when you feel particularly tired, it can also increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

    It may cause restlessness, heartburn, and trouble sleeping as your pregnancy advances because your body cannot process it as rapidly.

    Caffeine may cause more discomfort during pregnancy than it did previously, so you may want to cut back or completely cut it out of your diet.

    Soft Drink Side Effects During Pregnancy

    Listed below are some of the negative outcomes that have been linked to consuming soft drinks during pregnancy:

    1. Caffeine-related side effects

    Caffeine, found in most colas, is addictive and has several negative effects. Caffeine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and crosses the placenta to reach the developing fetus. The caffeine stays in your system for around 11 hours, affecting your central nervous system and adrenal gland; the developing fetus has trouble processing this poison. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and contributes to fluid loss.

    Women who are pregnant shouldn't consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day at most. Consuming more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day can cause a miscarriage, in addition to disrupting sleep and rest. Caffeine levels above 500 mg/day are associated with increased heart rate, breathing rate, and acid reflux in the developing infant. You should avoid caffeine-containing foods and drinks such as sodas, coffees, chocolates, and brownies.

    2. Side Effects Related to Ice-Cold Beverages

    During pregnancy, a woman's stomach becomes extremely sensitive to heat. Consuming ice-cold beverages may cause rapid vasoconstriction and stomach distention, neither favorable for the developing fetus. Lowered food intake during pregnancy has been linked to congenital disabilities in infants, as well as negative effects on the mother, such as nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.

    3. Side Effects Related To Carbonated Water

    Carbon dioxide bubbles are seen in soft beverages like cola. When you're nearing the conclusion of your pregnancy, your body's sensitivity levels are through the roof. Carbonic acid can increase acid levels for up to an hour and cause severe heartburn and indigestion. If you already have heartburn during pregnancy, adding caffeine will only worsen it.

    4. Side Effects of Sweeteners and Added Calories

    Pregnant women require more calories, nutrients, and care because they nourish two growing bodies. Cut back on soft beverages, as they are high in calories yet provide nothing useful for the baby's development. Babies may develop obesity as a result of the extra calories.

    5. Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners and Preservatives

    Pregnant women, in particular, should avoid artificial colorings, preservatives, sweeteners, and flavors. Let's look at the options they have. Excessive sugar consumption during pregnancy has been linked to weight gain, increased risk of problems, and stunted fetal development. There is a dye in the coloring agent, and the baby can be allergic to it. Saccharin, which is now banned in soft drinks, can enter the baby's system and build up in the bladder.

    6. Side Effects On Baby’s Brain

    Babies born to mothers who consumed high amounts of sugar during pregnancy, particularly through sugar-sweetened beverages, performed worse on tests of problem-solving and verbal memory. Children born to mothers who drank it during pregnancy had delays developing fine motor, visual, spatial, and visual-motor skills.

    7. Side Effects Of Flavoring

    Phosphoric acid, found in flavoring, can cause calcium loss in the body. Bone fragility is a problem, especially during pregnancy when calcium intake should be increased.

    Is Soda's Sugar Safe To Consume During Pregnancy?

    The prevailing consensus is that sugary soda in pregnancy are bad for you: Essentially, they only serve as empty calories and chemical fillers. They can make you feel full without contributing to your health or developing child.

    If you have gestational diabetes or are at increased risk for getting it, you should also avoid drinking sugary beverages like soda.

    That's because you and your unborn child are at risk for difficulties if you have gestational diabetes. If your baby gets too big, delivery could be complicated. Not to mention, larger infants sometimes have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels after birth.

    If you have gestational diabetes, you're more likely to have high blood pressure and develop type 2 diabetes after birth.

    Too much sugar, especially from sugary sodas, may also impact your pregnancy and your baby's development, both before and after birth, according to some studies.

    Are Diet Soda's Artificial Sweeteners Safe To Drink During Pregnancy?

    Saccharin shouldn't be consumed during pregnancy because it is known to cross the placenta, and there isn't enough data to establish how it can impact a developing child.

    It is generally accepted that moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame-K, and sucralose (Splenda) is safe during pregnancy. Aspartame contains the amino acid phenylalanine, which is toxic to those with the rare hereditary illness phenylketonuria.

    Pregnant women with this disorder may have an increased risk of birth abnormalities. Not enough is known about whether or not all artificial sweeteners penetrate the placenta and impact a developing kid. But there is evidence suggesting they may have long-term consequences.

    Which Is Better, Diet Or Caffeine-Free Soda?

    A daily diet soda may appear harmless during pregnancy, but it could actually increase the risk of birth defects if used frequently. There was a 38% increase in the risk of premature delivery (before 37 weeks) among women who drank at least one diet soda per day during pregnancy, compared to women who drank no diet soda at all. This was observed in a major study involving more than 60,000 pregnant women. In particular, a woman's risk increased by about 80% if she drank more than four diet drinks each day.

    Another study involving nearly 3000 women found that daily diet soda drinkers were twice as likely to have an overweight baby by the time he turned one as did women who abstained from such beverages throughout pregnancy.

    Substitute Of Soda

    And yes, of course! If you're pregnant and desiring to drink a cool drink, there are plenty of wholesome options that won't harm you. These drinks have fewer calories, less sugar, and more nutrients than their less-healthy counterparts.

    Remember that water is the best base and can alleviate symptoms like constipation, stomach irritation, fatigue, headaches, and so on. It takes a lot of work to drink eight glasses of water every day. The following healthy recipes use a combination of water to satisfy your cravings for cool beverages. It's fine to occasionally have one serving of a carbonated soft drink, but there are better options than this one. What follows are some strategies for dealing with such uncontrollable urges and desires. Instead, try milk, fruit juice, lassi, or coconut water. Get some exercise and drink these instead.

    1. Smoothies

    Use any fruits you like most, such as apples, bananas, chickoo, musk-melon, watermelon, grapes, etc. Add half a cup of liquid, such as water or milk, and blend to make a tasty smoothie.

    2. Buttermilk

    An outstanding health drink can be made by combining buttermilk with a little ginger, onion, coriander, and salt. Try it out in different ways, such as in smoothies or on its own. Ensure that you don't overdrink buttermilk, as everything in moderation is good, not in excess.

    3. Fruit or Vegetable Juice

    Put some fruit and veggies through a juicer and forget the sugar. Think of blending carrots with other fruits like apples, oranges, pineapples, etc.

    4. Lemon-based Cool Drinks

    Mix the juice of half a lemon or lime into some regular water. You can also flavor it with any other fresh fruit juice. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes have long been used to combat nausea and morning sickness. As a bonus, they are a good source of vitamins and minerals and will quite make you feel like you’re drinking lemon soda during pregnancy.

    5. Milk

    Milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D, all essential to good health during pregnancy. Not a big fan of dairy products? Try nut or soy milk that has been fortified.

    6. Water

    It is recommended that you consume between 8 and 12 glasses of water daily throughout pregnancy, though this number should grow with the addition of food and calories each trimester. Mineral water has health benefits, but excessive consumption can be dangerous. The high sodium content of several of these drinks means that they shouldn't be consumed regularly to avoid fluid retention.


    It's generally accepted that having a soda once in a while during pregnancy is safe. Caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners can all be found in sodas, so moderation is key. Research suggests that consuming high amounts of caffeine and sugar during pregnancy can have detrimental consequences on both the mother and the unborn child.

    Also, there is little nutritional benefit in sodas, and there is still a lot to learn about the effects of artificial sweeteners on your health and the health of your growing kid. For this reason, many expectant mothers choose healthier beverages like water, seltzer, tea, milk, or smoothies over sodas. In a nutshell, you can consume soft drinks during pregnancy but in moderation.

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