The most common carbonated beverage is soda, but drinking too much during pregnancy may not be healthy. Most obstetricians recommend limiting your soda intake for your health and the health of your developing infant. Each pregnancy is different, so it is important to follow the specific guidelines regarding soda intake that your doctor provides.
One of the primary reasons you need to limit carbonated sodas during pregnancy is that they contain caffeine, which in large amounts has been linked to miscarriage. Limit your intake to 200 mg per day or less. Twelve oz. of Diet Coke contain 47 mg of caffeine, the same amount of Mountain Dew contains 54 mg and Vault contains 71 mg per 12-oz. serving. Choose sodas that are caffeine-free, such as 7-Up or Sprite, or drink carbonated water or juice. Caffeine can also interfere with your sleep, and it causes your body to lose calcium, a nutrient vital to building your baby's bone and teeth. There is also controversy over whether or not caffeine intake can contribute to an increased risk for miscarriage, says the March of Dimes, so you should eliminate or limit your caffeine intake.
Artificial Sweeteners and Colors
While small doses of artificial ingredients during pregnancy are not likely to cause problems, research on large intakes is limited, so it is best to stick to small amounts until your baby is born. One exception is saccharin, which has been shown to produce birth defects in lab testing, Dr. Russell Turk notes on BabyCenter. Aspartame and sucralose appear safe in small amounts. Research is also limited on the effects of artificial colors during pregnancy, so limit the foods that contain them just in case. Read nutrition labels to be sure you are choosing carbonated drinks that contain safe ingredients.
Soda contains empty calories, meaning you are getting no nutrition but are still increasing your calorie intake. Carbonated drinks can fill you up, but you won't be getting any of the vitamins and minerals your baby needs for his growth and development. An occasional soda won't cause harm, but if you find yourself replacing healthy meals and snacks with it, consider cutting back. Try carbonated water combined with 100 percent fruit juice to satisfy your craving while also supplying your baby with nutrients that include vitamin C, iron and potassium.
Carbonated drinks are one of the common triggers of heartburn, so drinking them during pregnancy could exacerbate this condition. You may notice this particularly during your third trimester. Drinking carbonated beverages that contain caffeine may make heartburn worse. If you notice a burning sensation in your chest and throat soon after drinking soda, cutting back could alleviate your discomfort.