Can You Drink Diet Soda While You’re Pregnant?

While alcohol is a strict no-no during pregnancy, not many people tell you about the hazards of consuming diet soda when you’re pregnant. The ingredients in diet soda may have consequences for you and your baby health wise.

Though there’s only minimal research to point out that diet soda or any other kind of soda isn’t good for your health, you must be aware of the ingredients they contain and how they may affect your body. Here are a few reasons why you should give up diet soda during pregnancy.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Diet Soda When You’re Pregnant

1. Has No Nutritional Value

Water is better than diet soda during pregnancy

Fresh fruit juices and water are far better alternatives to diet soda when you’re pregnant. Diet soda is just carbonated water – regular water with pressurized CO2. Most manufacturers are known to add minerals like potassium and sodium that could have adverse effects on your health as excess sodium is believed to cause an increase in blood pressure.

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2. Includes Harmful Caffeine

Diet contains caffeine which is not safe during pregnancy

Diet soda contains caffeine. Ideally, a pregnant woman shouldn’t consume more than 300mg of caffeine in a day. High amounts of caffeine may affect fetal growth. Though research hasn’t proved any correlation between caffeine intake and birth defects, it is recommended that pregnant women keep amounts of caffeine in their diet to a minimum.

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3. Contains Artificial Sweeteners

Diet soda contains excess sugar which can be bad during pregnancy.

Diet soda is rich in artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. Aspartame could be dangerous for diabetic mothers as it may lead to elevated insulin levels. Saccharin has been found to cause cancer in rats. However, there’s no such research conducted on humans so its effect has not been determined yet. Sucralose is also an artificial sweetener which may have adverse effects on your weight.

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4. Has Adverse Effects On Baby’s BMI

Drinking diet soda while pregnant can make the baby overweight

Studies have found that women who consume more artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda are more likely to give birth to infants with higher body mass index (BMI).1 An overweight baby can be a complication during your gestation period and labor. In fact, these artificial sweeteners may also pass from mother to child during breastfeeding.

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5. Includes Artificial Flavors

Drinking diet soda during pregnancy can be bad because of artificial flavours

The color and taste of your diet soda don’t come from artificial chemicals. Phosphoric acid is a known flavoring additive in soda drinks that could make your bones weak as it is known to cause a loss of calcium. There are other artificial flavors added to your drink to make it taste good, but the contents aren’t publicly revealed.

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6. Poses Risk Of Preterm Delivery

Drinking diet soda during pregnancy can be harmful by inducing preterm delivery

Research shows that women who drink more than four cans of diet soda a day are 78% more likely to have a preterm delivery than those who did not drink diet soda at all. Even one drink a day showed a 38% increase in likelihood of a preterm delivery.2Preterm births come with a whole host of complications and risks for the baby and its later development.

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Cautionary Note

Though there isn’t any conclusive proof that diet soda is a cause for pregnancy complications, it is recommended that you do not take the risk during those few months. If you’re addicted to diet soda, you must consume it only after consulting your doctor.

For a healthy and happy baby, try to switch to natural beverages such as fresh fruit juices, herbal teas, or just plain water. They will ensure healthy growth of your baby and will keep you energized during your pregnancy.

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