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Meal-Replacement Drinks During Pregnancy

author image Rose Welton
Rose Welton is a journalism major and a freelance writer. Her education is focused on nutrition and early childhood studies, making her an expert when it comes to writing about health and children's growth and development. She has written numerous articles and blog posts on various topics for online publications and has also worked on an Internet news team.
Meal-Replacement Drinks During Pregnancy
You should not try to intentionally cut calories from your diet during pregnancy. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Meal replacement drinks often come ready to drink or in the form of powder that you can mix with milk or water. In some cases, they are safe to consume during pregnancy, but only occasionally, and some brands might be safer than others due to added vitamins. Ask your doctor about consuming meal-replacement drinks during pregnancy to make sure they are safe for your situation.

Potential Benefits

Meal-replacement drinks can be a convenient and healthy option if you're short on time, and some are available in cans that make it easy to take them with you. Some of them are made to reduce hunger and can be fortified with nutrients such as fiber and vitamins. During pregnancy, they can work well as a snack as long as your doctor says it's OK to drink them.


According to website Babycenter, meal-replacement drinks are intended to reduce calorie intake and improve weight loss, which is not recommended during pregnancy. The vitamins that are added to some meal-replacement drinks can, when combined with the amount you are getting from your prenatal vitamin, give you too much of some vitamins and nutrients.

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Losing weight during pregnancy can deprive your baby of the extra calories and fat he needs to grow and develop. The American Pregnancy Association says you need about 300 extra calories a day in your second and third trimesters. You should expect to gain 30 to 35 lbs. during your pregnancy. Intentionally cutting calories by consuming meal-replacement drinks in place of breakfast, lunch and dinner can keep you from gaining the extra weight and getting the extra calories you need.


Keep in mind that during pregnancy, you need a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and dairy. If you are unsure what type of meal plan to follow during pregnancy, talk to your physician or a nutritionist who can help you follow a plan appropriate for your age, weight and pregnancy nutrition needs.

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