A pregnant woman needs to be extra careful when picking up the food to take. For nine months, whatever the mother feeds herself is what she also feeds the baby that is developing inside her womb. For quite a long period of time, they are one: from hearts, soul, feelings to digestion and health.
Among the list of foods that is listed in a mother’s pregnancy-diet guide, an infamous paper-to-dirty white liquid will never be erased. As much as it helps newborns, children, teens, adults, and elderly; milk also assists a pregnant woman’s nutrient intake just fine and the same.
A pregnant woman’s diet should include dairy products like milk and soy milk, which are important sources of protein and calcium. In order to support the development of the developing baby’s strong bones, calcium is especially crucial during pregnancy. If dairy products are out of the question for you, try getting your calcium from alternative foods like veggies. However, consuming milk or soy milk is a good way to mix up your diet when pregnant.
In this article, we will discuss the best suitable milk for pregnancy. We will also lay out numerous options for you!
Raw Milk Or Pasteurized Milk: Which is Safer?
In deciding what is the best suitable milk for pregnancy, it is important to keep note that it is unsafe to consume anything made from raw milk or unpasteurized milk while pregnant. The risk of various diseases, including listeriosis, increases when raw milk is consumed because it has not been pasteurized and contains microorganisms. To eliminate the bacteria that cause various diseases, the milk is heated to high temperatures during the pasteurization process. Although listeriosis is uncommon, it can be harmful to unborn children.
Dairy products are also risky as WHO stated that a lot of disease can be endured from consuming too much dairy products. Milk and other dairy products are the main sources of saturated fat in the diet, which raises the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Furthermore, studies have linked dairy consumption to an increased risk of ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers. Despite the fact that it is rich in nutrients, some people cannot digest lactose. Lactose, the sugar present in breast milk and cow’s milk, is broken down by enzymes produced in infants and young children, but many of us lose this ability as we age. Intolerance to lactose is widespread. Gas, diarrhea, and an upset stomach are symptoms.
Hence, in deciding the best suitable milk for pregnancy, you must be in terms with the conditions of your body, too.
Nutritional Requirements During Pregnancy
A healthy diet during pregnancy should include protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. However, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Protein are particularly important for embryonic development and maternal health.
Calcium is necessary for the development of strong bones and teeth in a developing fetus, and a calcium deficiency can result in several complications, including low birth weight, preterm labor, and preeclampsia. Additionally, Calcium is essential for maintaining the health of the mother’s bones during pregnancy and lactation.
Vitamin D is essential for Calcium absorption, and Vitamin D deficiency can result in Calcium deficiency, which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and preterm labor. Vitamin D is also essential for maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of postpartum depression in mothers.
Protein is necessary for fetal growth and development and for forming organs, tissues, and muscles. Pregnant women must consume adequate protein to prevent low birth weight and preterm labor.
List of Milks You Can Try
The majority of experts advise drinking cow’s milk as the healthiest type of milk to consume while pregnant. It contains the best nutritional profile and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D, that are necessary for pregnancy. However, other milks can be suitable if you eliminate dairy due to an intolerance or personal preference.
Make sure you are getting enough of the nutrients you require for pregnancy by learning about the nutritional composition of milk and milk substitutes, and what milk is best suitable for pregnancy. Here they are:
The majority of medical professionals advise drinking cow’s milk during pregnancy because it is nutrient-rich for both you and your developing child. Strong bones are created and maintained with the aid of calcium and vitamin D. In addition to being a good source of necessary amino acids, which serve as the basis for your baby’s cells, cow’s milk is also high in protein.
You might want to choose 1 percent or skim milk if you’re attempting to lower the quantity of saturated fat in your diet. Otherwise, drinking whole or 2 percent milk is acceptable.
While pregnant, stay away from consuming raw (unpasteurized) milk or any items made with raw milk because they may contain dangerous bacteria.
Soy milk is frequently enriched to equal the calcium content of cow’s milk and has approximately the same amount of protein. However, because soy has a naturally occurring substance that prevents calcium absorption, your body could not absorb all of that calcium. Look for an unflavored, unsweetened kind if you’re managing your sugar intake because flavor-infused non-dairy milks frequently have extra sugars.
In comparison to other popular non-dairy milks, soy milk has the closest nutritional content to that of cow’s milk, according to some experts, making it the ideal substitute milk to consume while pregnant.
Almond milk may be your go-to milk substitute if you have a soy or dairy allergy. Compared to cow’s milk, it is less nutrient-dense and lower in protein, but it does naturally contain some calcium and vitamin A. Some types are enriched with additional calcium and D as well as other vitamins.
For people who are allergic to dairy, soy, or nuts, rice milk can be a good substitute. Compared to cow’s milk, it contains less protein but more carbs. Some versions are also fortified with vitamins A and D.
For people with nut, soy, and dairy allergies, oat milk is an acceptable substitute. Although oats themselves are gluten-free, commercial oat milk might be produced using machinery that also processes grains that contain gluten. Therefore, if you have a gluten allergy, make sure any store-bought oat milk is gluten-free by checking the label, or create your own at home.
Compared to other milks, oat milk provides more carbs but less protein than cow’s milk. A lot of store-bought varieties of oat milk are fortified with calcium, vitamins A and D, among other nutrients, and iron, vitamin B, and other necessary vitamins and minerals. Oat milk also naturally contains iron.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Milk During Pregnancy
When selecting milk during pregnancy, it is essential to consider various factors, including nutritional value, lipid content, processing methods, and food allergies.
It is essential to select milk abundant in essential nutrients such as Calcium, Vitamin D, and Protein. Cow’s milk and soy milk are the most nutritious milk alternatives.
Milk that is limited in saturated fat should be selected, as high consumption of saturated fat can increase the risk of hypertension, cholesterol, and obesity. Soy milk and almond milk are excellent low-fat alternatives.
Processing Methods: It is vital to choose milk that has undergone minimal processing, as milk that has undergone intensive processing may lose essential nutrients. It is preferable to choose organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free milk.
Food Allergies: Women with food allergies or intolerances must choose milk that is appropriate for them. Soy and almond milk are excellent alternatives for lactose-intolerant or cow’s milk-allergic women.
For maximum benefit, a pregnant woman should have three glasses of milk each day, ideally of the low-fat or non-fat variety. However, the mother’s nutritional and medical health will affect the milk choice. A pregnant woman gives between 50 and 330 mg of calcium to assist the fetal skeleton’s development. An expectant woman who is 19 years of age or older is advised to take 1,000 mg of calcium daily to meet this requirement. It is advised that women under the age of 19 take 1,300 mg of calcium daily. Calcium content in one glass (250 ml) of nonfat milk is 309 mg. Therefore, drinking three to four glasses of milk each day is advised to satisfy your calcium requirements when pregnant. Prenatal vitamin D supplementation may also help prevent low birth weight and neonatal rickets.
The best suitable milk for a pregnant woman is one that conforms to all her body conditions and existing health needs. We hope that this article provided you the options you can choose from!