Diet Soda: Unfolding effect on pregnancy and child birth
When you're pregnant,
it's important to make
healthy choices as much as possible and to avoid things that have the
potential to harm you or your
baby. There are a great
number of things that can cause
harm to you or your
during pregnancy. But then there's a large category of things that fall
into a gray area, that are neither beneficial nor particularly harmful. In the
gray area, falls the Diet Coke.
When you opt for diet coke as a drink choice during pregnancy, think on the
Diet Coke has no
nutritional value. Neither does any other soda. This means that you're
taking in fluid that isn't particularly beneficial for your body or your
baby. That effort
could be better spent by drinking a more beneficial beverage, like
milk. So on the nutritional front, Diet Coke is safe, but not a good choice.
Beverages containing caffeine are generally considered safe in limited
amounts(200 mg per day) during pregnancy. However, these beverages can have a
dehydrating effect, so you need to be sure to include extra liquids if you do
consume caffeine. You can, of course, opt for caffeine-free Diet Coke.
Finally, there's the matter of the artificial sweeteners. Everyone knows
the dangers of too much
There are individuals for whom the ingestion of artificial sweeteners causes
significant discomfort, including
headaches and other
symptoms that indicate an intolerance for these products. If you fall into
this category, you should definitely avoid Diet Coke or any other product made
with artificial sweeteners during your pregnancy.
There are several types of artificial sweeteners you may
see on nutrition labels:
Aspartame (NutraSweet): Seems to
be okay when consumed in moderation (the amount found in one or two 12-ounce
servings of soda per day).
Saccharin (Sweet'n Low): Saccharin was found to cause
birth defects in laboratory rats when consumed in very high amounts.
Sucralose (Splenda): This relatively new sweetener, a
modified form of regular table sugar, appears to be safe. But because it
hasn't been extensively studied, it's best used in moderation.
Diet Coke and Child Birth
is suggesting there is a
link between premature births and regular consumption
of artificially sweetened soft drinks. The study, which was commissioned in
Denmark, looked at 60,000 pregnant women and their resulting births and studied
their consumption of diet soft drinks.
They found that women who had a higher intake of diet soda had a significantly
higher risk of delivering their babies preterm (before 37 weeks' gestation). The
increased risk was calculated around 38% higher in women who had one diet soda
per day in comparison to women who had none at all.
Even more alarming, they found that women who had four or more diet sodas per
day had an 80% higher risk of giving birth prematurely than their diet soda free
Why the diet drinks, especially, were linked with early delivery is not
known, but the researchers speculate that the link may be driven by
pressure disorders in pregnancy. They note that other studies have found
a link between soft drinks and high blood pressure in non-pregnant women.
In the end study suggests that pregnant women should focus on water, juices
and milk as healthy beverage option.
Note: The study is published in the September issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dated 19 August 2011