During pregnancy, the body goes through a wide range of dramatic changes. Supporting your growing bump requires you to be careful about what you put into your body and how to  stay healthy. Between frequent doctor appointments, constant snacking, and building that crib,  many expecting  mothers  forget that maintaining hydration is  paramount during pregnancy.

Drinking plenty of fluids will keep you and your baby happy for the next nine months. If you’re looking for a few healthy beverages to try while you’re pregnant, we’ve compiled a list of five great  options and five options to try to avoid..

Healthy Drinks That Are Safe to Consume While Pregnant

The following beverages will have a positive impact on the growth of your baby, and will provide nutrients and hydration for you both.

1. Filtered water

Glass of water on wood table
Photographer: Clint McKoy | Source: Unsplash

Water is the most obvious healthy choice  and your needs increase with pregnancy. It’s recommended that pregnant women consume 8-12 glasses of water each day.  Water will keep your blood cells healthy and will prevent dehydration, which can cause health complications and even  premature labor. Staying hydrated is also important for forming a healthy placenta.

There are a number of reasons why water is absolutely essential during pregnancy, including...

  • Good lactation
  • Helps the body absorb nutrients
  • Relief from morning sickness

2. Electrolyte tablets

If you’re finding your daily glasses of water a little dull,try adding a flavored electrolyte tablet. Electrolyte tablets contain a balance of glucose and electrolytes to help you stay hydrated.  They’re a great addition to your daily water if you’ve noticed any symptoms of dehydration.

Dehydration is more likely during pregnancy as your fluid needs are increased. Morning sickness can result in a loss of fluid and electrolytes, both of which need to be replaced. Maternal overheating is a condition that occurs in some pregnant women. Replacing electrolytes lost to sweat can help to rehydrate the body.

3. Herbal tea

Photographer: Alison Marras | Source: Unsplash

While black teas often contain caffeine, herbal teas are a wonderful source of a range of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and iron. The warm water in herbal teas can also be very beneficial for pregnant women. Hot water can reduce stress, improve circulation and reduce toxins in the body. Try adding a cup of herbal to your nighttime routine to help you and your bump doze off in the evening.

4. Smoothies

Pretty Strawberry Smoothie Bowl
Photographer: Brenda Godinez | Source: Unsplash

A homemade smoothie can be a wonderful nutritional beverage to enjoy during pregnancy. When possible, avoid store-bought smoothies, which tend to be full of unhealthful  sugars and preservatives. Try some of these superfood ingredients:

  • Blueberries have antioxidant properties
  • Ginger can help to reduce nausea and provide antioxidants
  • Nuts and seeds give you and your little one protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids

Healthy Drinks You Should Not Consume While Pregnant

Now, let’s take a look at the beverages to avoid while pregnant. Some of these drinks are unhealthy for everyone, while some contain specific ingredients that may be harmful to your developing baby.

1. Unfiltered water

Tap water
Photographer: Bob van Aubel | Source: Unsplash

Whenever possible, avoid the water that comes straight from the tap. While supply companies do their best to treat the water supply, there is always the chance that continents and chemicals find their way into the stream coming from your tap. Invest in a water filter jug to reduce the risk of consuming any harmful elements while you’re hydrating.

2. Fresh-pressed juice

Photographer: Tania Miron | Source: Unsplash

Cold-pressed juice is having quite a moment in the health world. Many claim that juice should always be unpasteurized to keep valuable nutrients intact. Cold-pressed juice is usually the best way to consume fruits and vegetables in liquid form.

However, during pregnancy, the microorganisms that still live in unpasteurized juices can be  unsafe for your baby. Bacteria in cold-pressed juice can cause illnesses that can lead to serious problems including miscarriages or premature labor. During pregnancy, stick to store-bought pasteurized juices with high nutritional value.

As for pasteurized juices, in most cases, professionals recommend against consuming more than 4-6 ounces in a day This is because they are usually packed with artificial ingredients and have high sugar content. Compared to freshly pressed juices, pasteurized juices tend to have a much lower nutrient count. If you must drink juice, drink pasteurized juice without artificial additives in moderation during pregnancy.

3. Soda

Photographer: Felix Zhao | Source: Unsplash

Most people know that sugary sodas should be avoided in any healthy diet. During pregnancy, it’s especially important to avoid this source of empty calories. Most sodas have excessive amounts of sugar sweeteners. A recent study suggests that the more expectant mothers consume sugar, the worse their child's problem-solving skills and verbal memory will be in their early childhood years. Stay on the safe side and avoid sugary drinks..

4. Caffeinated coffee or tea

Photographer: Jakub Dziubak | Source: Unsplash

Most moms-to-be know that consuming high amounts of caffeine is not recommended during pregnancy. Medical professionals recommend that caffeine intake is limited to 200mg during pregnancy. Too much caffeine has been shown to have negative results for the baby, including low birthweight, and increased health risks later in life. Caffeine intake can also result in insomnia, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and digestive issues, all of which can be exacerbated by pregnancy.

5. Eggnog

If you happen to be pregnant over the Christmas season, this drink might be a difficult one to abstain from. Eggnog is a delicious festive beverage. However, because it contains raw eggs, it’s considered unsafe to consume during pregnancy.  Uncooked eggs are generally off limits for moms-to-be. This is because they can carry dangerous organisms such as Salmonella bacteria.

You may be able to find pasteurized eggnog at the store, which will be safer to consume. You can also look for recipes that don’t include undercooked eggs.

Final Thoughts

Staying well hydrated during your pregnancy will benefit both you and your growing baby. Make sure you use a water filter to ensure the water you are drinking is free from contamination in order to reduce your risk of complications such as premature birth or miscarriage. 

Remember that supporting another life is no small feat and it’s important to increase your daily water intake to the recommended 8-12 glasses.. If you’re struggling to get through this much water on a daily basis, try one of the healthful beverages we’ve suggested in the article.

Pasteurized juice can be a great source of nutrients when consumed in moderation.

Electrolyte tablets will replenish any lost  electrolytes from morning sickness or excessive sweating.

Herbal teas can calm the nerves and improve your circulation while keeping you hydrated.

Homemade smoothies are a fun way to pack a ton of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber into a tasty drink.

While these drinks are all safe during pregnancy, try to avoid some other beverages. Unfiltered tap water comes with a potential risk of  containing harmful contaminants. Cold-pressed juice and unpasteurized beverages, such as eggnog, can contain dangerous bacteria. Soda contains excessive amounts of sugar and is full of the dreaded - empty calorie. 

If you’re still in doubt as to what beverages are the best options during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor about the best choices for your body.