Is It Safe To Drink Soy Milk During Pregnancy?

check_icon Research-backed

Image : Shutterstock

IN THIS ARTICLE

The consumption of soy milk in pregnancy can provide you with several essential nutrients. It is rich in folic acid and protein, besides other nutrients, which help in the physical development of the fetus.

This nutrient-rich natural milk substitute is made with soaked soybeans and can boost your energy and enhance immunity during pregnancy. However, excess consumption may have adverse effects on you and your baby.

Despite its benefits, the consumption of soy milk during pregnancy should be in moderation. It will let you reap the benefits while mitigating any potential risks for your baby. If you had never consumed soy milk before or consumed it occasionally, you may consult your doctor first.

This post will tell you about soy milk, including its benefits, side effects, and recommended daily intake for pregnant women.

Health Benefits Of Soy Milk During Pregnancy

Though there may be some discrepancies about consumption of soy milk in pregnancy, here are some benefits that cannot be actually ignored:

  • Soy milk is rich in folic acid that offers necessary nutrients in pregnancy. Regular intake on folic acid improves growth of nerve cells and optimizes development of your fetus.
  • Vitamin B1, A and E are some of the vitamins that you need the most at this stage. Vitamin E offers you adequate energy that helps you stay healthy. Soy milk, which is a rich source of vitamins, helps you complete the required vitamin needs.
  • It is known to be rich in protein that ensures good health of different organs in your body. Protein ensures organs of your unborn child to develop well. Some of the proteins that you can find in soy milk are threonine, arginine, isoleucine, glycine and lysin.
  • It is rich in vegetable fats that are good for you and your unborn child in pregnancy.
  • Soy milk contains carbohydrate that boosts up your energy levels in pregnancy. It contains high levels of calcium and protein. Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth, while protein helps build muscles. Both of these elements are beneficial for pregnant women.
  • Soy milk is rich in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Iron is needed for healthy blood formation and red blood cells. Zinc is necessary for proper immune system function, and vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function.
  • Low in saturated fats and cholesterol, soy milk helps reduce your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is present in animal products–meat and dairy.
  • Soy milk is a good source of fiber that is known to help lower cholesterol and prevent constipation.

Side Effects Of Soy Milk For Pregnant Women

Despite the high nutritional content, probable side effects of soymilk cannot be ignored completely. Here is a closer look at some of them:

  • Soy milk contains isoflavones that mimics estrogen.
  • Experiments conducted on animals taking high doses of soy milk found development of tumors or other physical deformities in the unborn child.
  • Some pregnant mothers are known to develop allergic symptoms like rashes, swelling, breathing troubles, vomiting and nausea due to regular consumption of soy milk.
  • Soy milk consumption in rare cases also resulted in anaphylaxis.
  • There has been no conclusive report so far that completely disapproves intake of soy milk in pregnancy. However, it is better to avoid consumption of soy milk in excess to avoid birth defects in babies.
  • Isoflavones contained in soybeans are also said to trigger migraine headaches.
  • Soy milk contains high levels of sodium, which may lead to increased blood pressure.
  • Pregnant women who consume large amounts of soy milk may increase their risk of having babies with birth defects. This is due to the phytoestrogens contained in soy milk. These compounds mimic estrogen and can interfere with hormone production.

Recommended Dosage For Drinking Soy Milk During Pregnancy

Since soy milk is packed with essential nutrients that you need in pregnancy, when taken in moderate quantity it causes no harm to the baby developing inside you.

  • You can safely consume around four servings of soy milk daily.
  • If you are not allergic to soy milk, one cup of soy milk is safe for your consumption.

Soy beans, no doubt, are good for your pregnancy, provided you have it in moderation. It is recommended to check with your doctor regarding soy milk consumption during pregnancy, as your immune system weakens during this time. Wrong consumption may develop risk of developing food borne disease for you as well as your unborn child.

Consuming soy milk during pregnancy may provide folic acid, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients. These nutrients boost your energy levels and help better develop the fetus. However, it is important to consume soy milk in moderation because excess of it may elevate the estrogen in the body, increase the risk of defects in babies, and trigger migraine headaches. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming soy milk during pregnancy, especially if you have never consumed it before and want to introduce it while you are pregnant.

Reference : 1

The following two tabs change content below.

Reda Elmardi

Reda Elmardi is a registered dietician, certified nutritionist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist trainer. The 32-year-old is a certified nutritionist from the UNC's Online MPHwWith Nutrition concentration, with more than 10 years of experience. Reda has been an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Trainer since 2015 and owns thegymgoat.com. He shares sports nutrition tips and gives guidance on... more

Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.