There are so many things to keep in mind during pregnancy. Doctor appointments, vitamins, foods to eat, foods to avoid ... It can make your head spin! Let's try to make this easy! Here's a look at some common pregnancy concerns, with some important information on just how bad (or not so bad) they are for you and your baby.
According to research, caffeine is probably something that's OK in small quantities during your pregnancy. The March of Dimes recommends the following: "Limit the amount of caffeine you consume to no more than two, 8-ounce cups of coffee per day. It's better for your body and your baby if you drink water, milk, and fruit juice during your pregnancy. You can drink decaffeinated colas, coffee, and tea, too."
There are three common artificial sweeteners found in foods and soft drinks:
- Aspartame: Equal and NutraSweet
- Saccharin: Sweet 'N Low
- Sucralose: Splenda
- Stevia: Truvia
Of the three sweeteners saccharin is the one that should be used with caution. The March of Dimes considers saccharin to be safe for women who are not pregnant, however research has shown that saccharin crosses the placenta and can linger in fetal tissue. Your best bet is to avoid saccharin.
The FDA deems sucralose to be safe for consumption in pregnancy. This is being widely used, so you have a good chance of encountering this sweetener. If you want to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, become a careful label reader.
The FDA also reports aspartame is safe during pregnancy when consumed in moderate amounts. Note: If you have a condition known as PKU (pheynlketonuria), a genetic metabolic disorder, if you have liver disease or high levels of phenylalanine in your blood, watch labels carefully. Phenylalanine is an ingredient in aspartame and can accumulate to unsafe levels or may not be properly processed by your body if you fall into any of these categories.
Stevia is offocoally a nutritional supplement and is not rated by the FDA, nor other organizations. There is no reliable data about it's safety in pregnancy, so proceed with caution.
Many women who consume artificial sweeteners do so when drinking sodas or processed foods. My take? Probably better to drink more water, juice, or milk and try to consume more whole foods (those that are not processed).