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The changes in a pregnant woman’s body are miraculous. Among the most dramatic is the addition of body fluids. Blood volume increases by 50% and amniotic fluid contributes another three to three-and-a-half cups of fluid during pregnancy.
These transformations highlight the vital role of getting enough to drink every day. But not all liquids are created equal. When it comes to topping off your tank, some drinks are better than others.
Soda consumption among Americans has increased at least 500% over the past 50 years and pregnant women are no exception to this trend. But sugar soda provides none of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed by a growing baby. Plus, soda calories come from simple carbohydrates, which may contribute to excess weight gain and unhealthy blood sugar levels in pregnancy.
Some women turn to sugar-free soda, but this isn’t a good choice either. According to a recent study of nearly 60,000 pregnant women, those who drank one or more sugar-free sodas per day faced a 38% increased risk of pre-term delivery compared with women not drinking these beverages. At four or more artificially sweetened sodas per day, the increased risk of pre-term delivery jumps to 78%.
Because the study is observational, it cannot prove cause and effect: The participants weren’t randomly chosen to consume or not consume artificially sweetened sodas. Other factors among artificially sweetened soda consumers, such as poor diet or lack of exercise, could account for the higher risk of pre-term delivery in the group. Still, until more is known, why risk it? A diet soda simply isn’t worth it.
The following tips are designed to get the thirsty pregnant gal just what she needs:
(Am J Clin Nutr; e-pub ahead of print June 30, 2010)