Pregnancy is the time when you are loaded with changing emotions and tons of questions. From the growth of your fetus to exercising to what diet to follow, almost everything is a question mark while you are expecting.
Milk is a vital source of dietary calcium while you are pregnant. Having adequate quantities of milk will help you to meet your baby’s need for the mineral. Studies conclude that a pregnant woman requires 1,000 to 1300 mg of calcium per day.
While drinking milk during pregnancy is surely good for health, make sure you consult your doctor before making any dietary changes. Is milk good during pregnancy? Read here to know more about types of milk and what milk to drink during pregnancy.
Advantages Of Drinking Milk During Pregnancy:
Consuming milk during pregnancy is known to benefit newborns in the early stages of life. The USDA recommends pregnant women three cups of milk or other dairy products every day.
Did you know that women are more likely to have taller children if they drink at least 150ml of milk a day while they are expecting? Such children may weigh more and grow more quickly than those born to non-milk drinkers.
Studies also suggest that drinking milk during the gestational period can have benefits in adulthood.These children also seem to have higher levels of insulin in their bloodstream by late teens, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
[ Read: Almond Milk During Pregnancy ]
Milk if consumed during pregnancy also reduces the risk of children suffering from osteoporosis in future. It also reduces the risk of neonatal rickets as milk is rich in Vitamin D. And what’s more, if you wanted children with high IQ, then the iodine content in milk will enhance the fetal brain development.
It’s not just these. Milk is a great antacid. Since heartburns and other gastric problems are common during pregnancy, drinking milk helps alleviate these symptoms. Also milk helps in staying hydrated and makes up for the fluid loss during this time.
Drinking milk during pregnancy has also been associated with lowering the risk of multiple sclerosis as an adult.
Types Of Milk – Which Milk Is Good For Pregnant women:
These days, with markets being stocked up with varieties of milk, you may find it difficult to understand which type of milk is suitable for you and your baby. If you have been worried about this, here is a low down on the types of milk that are available. Have a look and choose the one that suits you best.
1. Skimmed Cow’s Milk:
If you don’t want to put on unwanted calories during your pregnancy, then skimmed milk is a good choice.
- The cow’s milk goes through a process where the saturated fat content is removed to make it light.
- This process also reduces the fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and C which are highly needed during pregnancy.
- One cup of low-fat milk provides 305 mg of calcium.
- One cup of skimmed milk contains 83 calories.
- Drinking 2-3 cups each day can help you meet most of your daily calcium needs during pregnancy.
[ Read: Soy Milk During Pregnancy ]
2. Whole/ Full Cream Milk:
Full cream milk has almost 3.5 percent more fat content.
- Unless you are overweight during pregnancy and are looking not to gain weight, having full cream milk during pregnancy may not be the right option, given its fatty nature.
- It contains around 5 grams of saturated fat for one cup serving. This is 20% of one’s daily limit.
- It also contains 149 calories per cup.
3. Pasteurized Cow’s Milk:
Whether you choose skimmed or full cream milk, it’s important that it is pasteurized.
- Pasteurization slows the growth of bacteria by heating the milk to a certain temperature and then cooling it.
- Drinking raw milk can be dangerous during pregnancy.
- It contains bacteria that can cause serious infections in you and the growing fetus as well.
- The Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends that all pregnant women should avoid foods made out of unpasteurized milk.
[ Read: Tofu During Pregnancy ]
4. Raw Milk:
Drinking unpasteurized or raw milk or consuming anything prepared from raw milk is not safe during pregnancy. In pasteurization process, microbes that contribute to several diseases are generally destroyed when heated on high temperature. Consumption of raw milk (which is not pasteurized and carries microbes) increases the risk of several diseases. Listeriosis is an infection caused by microbes. Relatively it is rare but according to estimation, in US yearly 1600 people get affected with this. Pregnant woman are more prone to it and this infection is deadly for babies. USDA, CDC and FDA recommend every pregnant woman not to eat foods prepared from unpasteurized milk.
Comparison of Different Kinds of Milk During Pregnancy:
1. Cow Milk:
The most common and demanded milk is cow’s milk. It is the most widely used milk and available as whole milk, fat-free milk, skimmed and flavored milk.
Cow’s milk is rick in amino acids that help build cells in maternal body and also that of the baby. Vitamin D present in cow’s milk is essential to ward off diabetes in mothers and also helps in the growth of unborn baby. Vitamin E serves as as an antioxidant and helps keep many diseases at bay. If you want strong bones for you and your baby, then you should rely on cow’s milk for its high Calcium content. A glass of cow’s milk is known to provide 285mg of calcium. Cow’s milk also contains Vitamin A which is good for vision and builds healthy tissues and a strong immune system.
[ Read: Turmeric Milk During Pregnancy ]
2. Goat’s Milk:
You may not particularly enjoy the typical ‘goat’ taste, the explicit nutritioinal benefits of goat’s milk make it worth familiarizing yourself with the unusual flavor. Goat’ milk is available organic, UHT and fresh milk varieties.
When compared to cow’s milk, goat’s milk has higher protein content, smaller butterfat globules, and more vitamin B2. The dietary fats – MCTs in goat’s milk help in lowering cholesterol and speeding metabolism process. It aids in digestion. The high vitamin A content in goat’s milk is directly absorbed by the body. It also contains high levels of vitamin B2 that stimulates the production of antibodies and thereby maintains a healthy immune system. A glass of goat milk provides 283 mg calcium.
3. Soy Milk:
Soy milk is obtained by grinding water-soaked soybeans. Available as fat free, whole, flavored varieties, you will also find varieties enriched with fiber or calcium. Soy milk contains almost the same protein level as cow’s milk.
It is cholesterol free and supplies ample calcium to the developing baby and expecting mother. Monosaturated and polysaturated fat content helps in defending against cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants present in soymilk helps in fighting against cancer. A glass of soy milk provides 300 mg of calcium.
4. Rice Milk:
It is prepared from ground rice and water. Rice milk is available in flavored, skim, protein or calcium enriched varieties. Diabetic patients must not prefer rice milk as it contains 4 times more carbohydrates as compared to cow’s milk.
Rice milk contains high levels of B vitamins. It has low fat content. Rice milk can also prove to be an omptimal calcium source as an enriched variety. Although low in protein, it contains more antioxidants, capable of busting disease in the form of selenium and manganese when compared to other milk choices. A glass of unfortified rice milk is known to provide 20 mg calcium.
5. Almond Milk:
Almond milk makes the best alternative especially for those who are intolerant to soy or gluten. Almond milk is prepared from grounded almonds and water.
It is free from saturated fat and cholesterol. It is rich in folic acid, fiber, protein, B vitamin, calcium, iron and vitamin E. Low in calories, almond milk also contains antioxidants that boosts the immune system. A glass of unfortified almond milk provides 7.5 mg calcium.
6. Oat Milk:
The high fiber content in oat milk prevents constipation during pregnancy. It controls food craving, monitors sugar levels in blood, and helps in transporting oxygen to cells.
It is rich in vitamins A and B and minerals like manganese, potassium, and phosphorous. It contains more amount of protein than almond or rice milk but it is less proteinous than cow’s milk. A glass or oat milk provides 120 mg calcium.
Tips and Precautions:
What To Eat Or Drink:
Dairy foods like yogurt can make a healthy afternoon snack. Drink milk in cereal bowl. At dinner, have a cup of skim milk. Including low fat cheese in salads might make a great choice.
What To Avoid:
Cheese like camembert and brie that are mould-ripened and blue-veined soft cheese like Roquefort should be avoided during pregnancy. Cheese obtained from unpasturised goat or sheep’s milk may contain listeria (bacteria). Avoid using unpasteurized milk during pregnancy as it can cause food poisoning.
Consume 3 cups per day, regardless of what weight, height, or stage of pregnancy you are or levels of physical activities you have during the day.
No matter which type of milk you consume during pregnancy, it is essential to consume the right amount. So that you provide the essential nutrients to your body and to your growing baby.Stay healthy and drink healthy!
Do share your suggestions on how you liked our post on which milk is good for pregnant women with us in the comment section below.
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