Are fizzy drinks harmful in pregnancy?

Is it OK to drink fizzy drinks like cola, lemonade, Tango, and Dr Pepper when pregnant?

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In a nutshell

Yes, they are safe 

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The expert view

We may be advised to stick to drinks like water and milk, but sometimes that need for a Fanta or Sprite can be overwhelming during pregnancy!  

Nutritionist Dr Rana Conway suggests that rather than knocking back cans of pop, switch to fruit juice if water or milk won’t satisfy your craving

“Fruit juices have received a lot of bad press recently because of the sugar they hontain, however it is absolutely fine to have the odd glass,” she explains. “Juices also provide more vitamins than sugary or diet drinks so it’s not all bad. Orange juice mixed with sparkling water is a healthy choice at meal times as the vitamin C it contains will increase iron absorption. You can also experiment with different mocktails.” 

And while it is perfectly OK to have the odd fizzy drink,  the NHS advises not to indulge too often as those with a high sugar content could cause weight gain and high blood pressure. 

Unfortunately, sugar-free options are not the answer either, as researchers discovered in a study of 60,000 pregnant Danish women

The scientists found that those who drank one serving per day of artificially sweetened fizzy drink were 38% more likely to give birth before 37 weeks and those who had four servings a day were 78% more likely to have their baby prematurely.

Meanwhile, the high caffeine content in drinks like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and energy drinks can soon add up to the 200mg of caffeine a day limit. 

  • Can of cola: 30mg caffeine
  • Can of Red Bull: 80mg caffeine 

On the plus side, if you are suffering from nausea, many mums swear by fizzy drinks for relieving the sickness! 

Mums on our forum say

“I had very severe hyperemesis gravidarum with my baby, he’s 6 months old now. I was admitted to hospital 26 times in the first 27 weeks! I still have the marks from all the drips they had me on! I found that strangely fizzy drinks really helped. I know they’re unhealthy, but even a mouthful of them could stop me being ill. My best tip is to take a bottle to bed and have a few mouthfuls before you even think about getting up!” Kerri Kerby

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“I just love drinking fizzy drinks – it’s the feeling of the bubbles in my mouth – I find it so refreshing! I’ve been drinking fizzy water, as I’m not really a soft drink fan – and have even been commenting to DH [darling husband] about how amazing the bubbles feel. Odd…” BrewingNumberTwo

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