Drink: Pasteurized And Fortified Orange Juice
Safe drinking water is the best thing you can drink while pregnant, but let’s be honest sometimes you want something that’s, you know, not water. Orange juice has been found to be a great choice for pregnant women. Be sure to choose an OJ that’s been fortified with calcium as this is vital for bone health, registered dietitian Natalie B. Allen told The List. The citrusy beverage also contains potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure, a potentially dangerous condition in pregnant women.
Orange juice also works well when taken with your prenatal vitamin. The expert explained, “The Vitamin C in the juice will enhance iron absorption and orange juice also contains folate, which is important in neurological fetal development.” Washing down your prenatal vitamin with orange juice is good for another reason. Medical News Today revealed that iron supplements can cause nausea. The Vitamin C in the juice not only enhances the absorption, as Allen explained, but also helps reduce queasiness. Before you run out to buy all the OJ, you should make sure to choose one that is pasteurized as this will minimize the risk of any harmful food pathogens.
Add Lemon To Your Water
I like adding lemon juice to my water, but I never seem to have fresh lemons on hand. I love True Lemon during pregnancy because its 100% natural crystalized lemon. It helps make your water much more palatable, as the flavor of lemon can calm nausea. Its also much more inexpensive than buying lemons each week.
How To Talk To A Woman Who Is Drinking While Pregnant
Many women who drink while pregnant think the amount they consume is safe. They may live or associate with others who consume similar levels of alcohol and consider it to be normal.16 They may be unaware that consuming any amount of any type of alcohol puts the fetus at risk.
If your friend or loved one is pregnant or trying to get pregnant and you are concerned about her drinking, tell her youre worried and concerned. Be sure to avoid judgement and labels like alcoholic, and be compassionate in your delivery. Provide information that youve learnedmaybe reference material from this articleand encourage her to speak with her doctor or a healthcare provider.19 Pregnancy is often a strong motivator for a woman to change her drinking behavior, and research suggests that even brief behavioral counseling interventions with women who engage in at-risk drinking can reduce the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy.11 If additional support is required, encourage your loved one to join a mutual-help group or seek out a treatment program.19
Alcohol dependency and AUD in pregnant women is relatively rare. If medical advice and brief behavioral interventions arent successful in controlling alcohol use, it is important for her to receive
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No Safe Level Of Alcohol Consumption
To help keep you and your baby healthy, avoid drinking alcohol when youre:
- planning to become pregnant
Research by experts about alcohol and pregnancy shows that:
No safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy or while breastfeeding has been identified.
The risk of harm to the fetus increases the more the mother drinks and the more frequently she drinks.
This advice is from the National Health and Medical Research Council. For more about the Council’s research, read the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.
Putting It Into Practice
How clear is the medical evidence supporting strict abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy? Not very strong. Other studies suggest pregnant women who have an occasional drink don’t harm themselves or their baby. A 2012 Danish study, for example, found that low to moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy did not affect executive functioning among 5-year-olds. Executive functioning is a catchall term that describes the ability to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, remembering details, and managing time.
However, since it’s not clear how much alcohol it takes to cause problems, the best advice remains the same: women should avoid alcohol if they are pregnant or might become pregnant.
For the many women that drank some alcohol before they realized they were pregnant, this and other studies should reassure them. They almost surely did no harm to their unborn children.
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Managing Risks While Preserving Rights
Some pregnant women tell me they feel judged when they have a drink. I am not sure how we got to the point that in May 2016, New York City had to clarify guidelines prohibiting bars and restaurants from refusing to serve alcohol to pregnant women. The guidelines which also apply to selling and serving foods such as soft cheeses and raw fish are intended to discourage discrimination against pregnant women.
I understand the messages can seem mixed. For example, venues in New York City that serve alcohol are required by law to post a sign warning of the dangers that alcohol can pose to a developing fetus, but employees of that bar or restaurant must serve pregnant women alcohol if they order it.
Obviously, this is a complex issue. The debate that the New York City guidelines renewed over the risks of drinking while pregnant and preserving a womans right to make her own decisions followed the backlash a few months before to the CDC recommendation that women not drink unless they were using contraception. Some women felt that the CDC was being condescending and interfering in their right to make decisions about how they live their lives.
Drinking A Little Alcohol Early In Pregnancy May Be Okay
- By Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
The usual message to pregnant women: Don’t drink any alcohol. Clearly alcohol use can cause major problems for the pregnant woman and her baby.
While not drinking any alcohol during pregnancy is the safest choice, small amounts of alcohol early in pregnancy may be less risky to the mothers health and the health of their babies than previously believed. Minimal alcohol use during the first trimester doesnt appear to increase the risk for high blood pressure complications, or premature birth or low birth weights. Thats the findings of a study previously published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Fergus McCarthy and colleagues from Ireland, England, New Zealand, and Australia compared birth outcomes among 5,628 women who were pregnant for the first time between 2004 and 2011. More than half of them reported drinking alcohol during the first three months of pregnancy. Some reported occasionally drinking alcohol. Twenty-five percent reported low alcohol consumption, or three to seven drinks per week . Another 15% reported having more than seven drinks per week.
Rates of premature birth, babies with low birth weight or small size, and pre-eclampsiaa potentially life-threatening condition in which a pregnant woman develops high blood pressurewere similar across the alcohol consumption categories
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Can Alcohol Affect Breastfeeding
Exposure to alcohol through breast milk, could damage an infants development, growth, and sleep patterns.27 While experts recommend abstaining from alcohol while breastfeeding, there is no evidence that moderate drinking harms the baby, especially if the mother waits at least 2 hours before nursing. Anything above that may affect the baby, interfere with milk production , and impair the mothers judgement, making it harder for her to care for the baby.27
Its important to note that one alcoholic drink can still be detected in breast milk up to 3 hours after consumption. The total amount of time it takes for alcohol to be metabolized and no longer detectable in breast milk depends on a variety of factors, including:27
- The number of drinks consumed.
- How quickly the drinks were consumed.
- Whether the drinks were consumed with food or on an empty stomach.
- How much the mother weighs.
- How fast her body can break down the alcohol.
Pumping or expressing breast milk does not reduce the amount of alcohol in the mothers milk.27
How Can You Keep Your Baby Safe From Alcohol During Pregnancy
If you dont drink alcohol during pregnancy, your baby cant have FASDs or any other health problems caused by alcohol. If you’re pregnant or even thinking about getting pregnant, dont drink alcohol.
Some women may drink alcohol during pregnancy and have babies who seem healthy. Some women may have very little alcohol during pregnancy and have babies with serious health conditions. Every pregnancy is different. Alcohol may hurt one baby more than another. The best way to keep your baby safe from problems caused by alcohol during pregnancy is not to drink alcohol when youre pregnant.
If youre pregnant, trying to get pregnant or think you may be pregnant, dont drink alcohol. When you do get pregnant, get regular prenatal care . Tell your health care provider if you need help to stop drinking alcohol.
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National Health Organizations Advise Abstaining From Alcohol
There have been a number of publicized statements on alcohol use and pregnancy in the past year.
In November 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics that focused on recognizing, diagnosing, and treating FASD. They also reaffirmed their recommendation that no amount of alcohol should be consumed during any trimester of pregnancy. This follows the advice of most health organizations focused on pregnancy, such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The CDC caused controversy in February when it intended to raise awareness of the risk of FASD due to drinking before a woman realizes she is pregnant. The report recommended that women who are sexually active and want to get pregnant should avoid alcohol, and women who are sexually active and dont want to get pregnant should use an effective birth control method. The report noted that half of pregnancies are unplanned, and even for women trying to conceive, most wont know theyre pregnant until four to six weeks into the pregnancy.
In a press release announcing the report, a CDC official was quoted as saying: It is critical for healthcare providers to assess a womans drinking habits during routine medical visits advise her not to drink at all if she is pregnant, trying to get pregnant or sexually active and not using birth control and recommend services if she needs help to stop drinking.
Avoid: Caffeinated Tea And Coffee
For some, it can be hard to picture going nine months without a cup of coffee or strong, black tea. Though, you don’t actually have to give up caffeine in its entirety. According to the American Pregnancy Association , moderate levels of caffeine anywhere from 150 to 300 milligrams per day have not been linked to any negative effects on pregnancy. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not just coffee and tea that contain caffeine. Chocolate, soda, and even some types of medicine contain the stimulant. It can be easy to go well over 300 milligrams without even realizing.
Of course, you may choose to play it safe and do without caffeine altogether. In fact, the APA says that “avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action.” This is partly because an unborn baby is incapable of metabolizing caffeine the way an adult can. “Even a small amount of caffeine can cause changes in your baby’s sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy,” the APA cautioned.
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Tips On Avoiding Alcohol When Youre Pregnant
Many pregnant women and people find they go off alcohol. However, if you haven’t, but still want to avoid it, what could you do?
Your partner, friends and family can support you by not offering to buy, pour, or prepare you drinks . It can help if your partner stops drinking too, or at least cuts down themselves when youre pregnant.
You may also want to avoid bars and clubs and other places associated with drinking alcohol. . If you are socialising, most people should understand that youre pregnant and avoiding alcohol. There are plenty of delicious non-alcoholic drinks out there gone are the days when youd have to sip orange juice all evening.
If you drink a lot and are worried about alcoholism and how to cut down, talk to your midwife or family doctor. Alternatively, you might prefer to call one of the helplines listed below.
Your Bffs During Pregnancy
Want to grow the healthiest baby possible while staying within your prescribed weight gain? Then build a prenatal meal plan around fresh, lean food choices, says Dr. Meredith Watson-Locklear, an OB-GYN with Orlando Health Physician Associates.
Start off right by shunning pregnancys biggest food fallacy that you can consume twice as much because you are eating for two.
No, no, no, says Dr. Watson-Locklear. Yes, its true youre eating for yourself and a growing baby, but that baby is the size of a pea in the first trimester. If you were REALLY eating for two, you would weigh what two adults weigh. But youre eating for someone who, at birth, will weigh about eight pounds. Dont use pregnancy as an excuse to eat everything you want.
Instead, create a nine-month meal plan designed with your babys needs in mind. Opt for fresh, whole foods while bypassing those packed with empty calories or ingredients with possible parasites, food-borne illnesses or toxins.
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How Can Alcohol Harm My Baby
Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby and the more you drink, the greater the risk.
Drinking alcohol at any stage during pregnancy has been linked to complications such as miscarriage, premature birth and low birth-weight. Drinking later in pregnancy can also affect your baby after they are born.
Evidence shows that drinking heavily can cause your baby to develop Fetal Alcohol Syndrome . FAS is a serious condition with symptoms including poor growth, distinct facial features and learning and behavioural problems for your child. There is no known safe level for drinking alcohol during pregnancy, which is why advice is to avoid it completely.
Alcohol Use During Pregnancy
There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time for alcohol use during pregnancy. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer.
FASDs are preventable if a baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth.
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Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Drink Carbonated Beverages And Energy Drinks
Health care providers recommend that pregnant women exclude carbonated and energy drinks if possible, as they may contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine, colorants, and preservatives.
Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help you make healthier choices. Flavored waters can also contain a surprisingly large amount of sugar. Cutting down on these drinks will reduce the calories you consume without compromising on any nutrients.
Clean drinking water is considered the perfect beverage during pregnancy.
How Does Alcohol Affect Birth Control
Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, intrauterine device , hormonal implant, ring, shot, patch, or emergency contraception. The effects of alcohol consumption and intoxication, however, can cloud a persons judgement, increase the risk of not using birth control, or lead to ineffective contraceptive use .24,25 Among college-aged women, 13% reported binge drinking and using ineffective contraception 31% reported binge drinking and inconsistent condom useall factors that could lead to an unplanned pregnancy.24
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Some Have Ingredients That Arent Safe During Pregnancy
Because herbal health claims arent regulated, this can be a bit dicey. But when youre pregnant, its better to be safe than sorry. Some herbal teas have ingredients that may not be safe while pregnant.
If youre pregnant, its a good idea to avoid teas that include :
- Dong Quai.
You should also avoid herbal blends that are marketed to relieve PMS symptoms, help with menstruation, detoxify the body or liver, or help you lose weight. It is likely these include ingredients that are not recommended for pregnancy.
Whenever purchasing an herbal blend tea, always read the ingredient label to make sure it doesnt contain any of the ingredients listed here. Some teas have instructions for women that specifically mention phrases such as avoid if pregnant or consult with your doctor before use.
Avoid: Too Many Sugary Beverages
Not all sports drinks are created equal. “Sports drinks often contain carbohydrates in the form of sugar, as well as electrolytes and minerals and sometimes protein, vitamins, or caffeine,” wrote Michigan Medicine. Amos Grünebaum, an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in high-risk pregnancies revealed that sugar is actually pretty safe during pregnancy. “Sugar can be consumed during pregnancy in moderation if you don’t have Type I, Type II or gestational diabetes,” he revealed in an article for BabyMed.
In good health, it’s okay to consume sugar during pregnancy, but you may still want to consider monitoring how much you’re drinking sugary beverages. That is, make sure you’re not solely relying on sports drinks, or drinks with even higher amounts of sugar, to meet your fluid intake goal. Registered dietician Natalie B. Allen agrees that sugary beverages are not generally harmful to the baby, but she also pointed out that they’re not all that nutritious either. Occasionally indulging in a sugary beverage is probably A-okay, but it’s best to maintain balance and overdoing it throughout your pregnancy.
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Is Wine During Pregnancy Safe
Generally, it is known that excessive drinking is the cause of many of the complications which can occur during pregnancy, as a result of alcohol. These risks may not be associated as strongly with occasional drinking.
However, despite the varying information out there, the safest and most universal answer to this question is that no amount of alcohol has been deemed safe during pregnancy, and if at all possible, even casual drinking should be avoided.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Pregnancy Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all note that no amount of wine during pregnancy is deemed safe and that consuming wine while pregnant should be avoided.