Pregnancy is a vital phase for all women. It is always recommended to consult with the doctor, before taking up a diet, or even cutting out on a particular food. Even though milk is a tried and tested source of calcium and vitamin, is milk good for pregnancy?
Milk during pregnancy is an absolute essential according to the doctors. It not only keeps the mother healthy but also nourishes the body of the developing baby. But like all other foods, even milk and milk products have some restrictions. Also, you cannot drink too much milk, or it might end up badly for your baby! So, this is a burning issue among would-be-moms, is milk good for pregnancy?
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Why Is It Essential To Drink Milk During Pregnancy?
Milk is known to have a very high nutritional content that is very good for growth and maintaining the strength of bones, for centuries. During pregnancy, it becomes a responsibility of the mother to provide a good nutritional diet for her baby because this is the most important time for the baby. This makes pasteurized milk during pregnancy a very essential addition to the diet. It develops its immunity, good posture, strong bones, and a sound mind.
In certain researches conducted, it was found that women who did not consume milk during pregnancy, tended to borne smaller babies, with lower body weight. Also, mothers who are themselves low on calcium, experience a loss of bone mass during pregnancy, as the foetus fulfils its calcium requirements from the mother's body, inevitably. There are several other benefits of milk during pregnancy, and it is recommended to drink milk during pregnancy, to preserve the health of both the mother and the infant.
What Are The Benefits Of Milk During Pregnancy?
Scientists have been researching the benefits of drinking milk during pregnancy, and several studies have shown a positive result for milk drinkers.
‣ Milk is rich in calcium, which is essential for bone strength and development.
‣ Rich in amino acids and proteins, essential for cell division, growth in general, and development in muscles, teeth, brain, etc
‣ Milk contains folic acid, which is known to prevent neural tube disorders in the fetus, and miscarriages.
‣ Vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E are present in high quantity in milk. Vitamin A is very essential in the prevention of night blindness, and also promotes good vision. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and protects the infant against gestational diabetes.
‣ Several women suffer from gastric problems and issues like heartburn, during pregnancy. Consuming milk for pregnant women is absolutely essential because it also has the ability to ease heartburn and acidity.
‣ The nutrients in milk prevent neonatal rickets and low birth weight in infants.
‣ Certain tests have also yielded to the fact that drinking milk during pregnancy, can give rise to a taller, healthier and smarter infant.
What Kind Of Milk Should Be Drunk?
This is the most sought-after question by mothers. What kind of milk is to be drunk? All kinds of milk are not safe, and yet the one to be consumed must have all the nutritional requirements to get the benefits of milk during pregnancy and to fulfil the needs of both the mother and the baby.
Here are a few types of milk that are good for pregnant ladies.
This type of milk is obtained from the lactating cow and is high in calcium and vitamin (A, D and E) content. This is the most abundant and easily available animal milk. Vitamin D is very critical for calcium absorption in the fetus's body. Milk products made from cow milk also possess similar qualities.
This is highly nutritious and has more fat content compared to cow milk. Some people might not like the taste of it, but it's very high in vitamin B2 content. The dietary fats in goat milk help to lower excess cholesterol in the
Vegetarians who avoid animal milk, and also mothers who are allergic to gluten, can choose almond milk as an alternative. It is made from ground almonds and water and is extremely beneficial for IQ development. This increases the benefits of milk during pregnancy tenfold. Although almond milk is low in calcium content, it is high in folic acid, which is another absolutely essential nutrient for pregnant ladies.
This is another plant-based product and is obtained by soaking soybeans in water and later grounding them. It is almost similar to cow milk in calcium content, and also rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
The milk to be drunk must be pasteurized and skimmed. Pasteurized milk for pregnancy not only safeguards the mother from unwanted animal fats but also reduces the stress on her heart.
What Kind Of Milk Should Be Avoided?
‣ Raw milk, directly obtained from a cow or goat should not be drunk without boiling at least.
‣ Boiling kills the harmful bacteria in the milk and prevents the bacteria from entering the body.
‣ Unpasteurized milk with unwanted enzymes and animal fats should be avoided.
‣ Pasteurized milk for pregnancy is very essential as it not only kills the common bacteria, but also kills the heat-resistant bacteria, and hence is an absolute essentiality.
‣ Low-fat, skimmed milk is the ideal milk during pregnancy.
‣ Very thick milk with minimum water content can be difficult to digest and cause acidity and heartburn.
‣ Milk needs to be thinned before consumption, and be in the ratio of 2:1, with water.
Milk Products Essential For Pregnancy
Milk and milk products should be consumed in a calculated and measured way, especially during pregnancy. A 1000mg calcium (that is 3 cups of milk) uptake every day during pregnancy should be enough. 2 cups of paneer during pregnancy (cottage cheese) should be consumed daily. It is low in lactose content and can be safely consumed by pregnant ladies with lactose intolerance.
‣ Yoghurt is another beneficial milk product during pregnancy.
‣ 1 cup of cheese during pregnancy every day helps support your baby’s growth and development.
‣ Mozzarella, parmesan and other processed cheese can also be safely consumed.
It is definitely a good idea to plan your pregnancy, and have an idea of your diet, but it is also very important to consult with your doctor and let him decide your nutritional requirements and plan your diet likewise.
Now if anybody asks, is milk good for pregnancy or if someone questions the safety of milk for pregnant women, then you already know the answer! You should be able to tell them the right thing, and also don't forget to suggest to them to go and visit the doctor before deciding for themselves if they can consume pasteurized milk during pregnancy.
So, no more worries, just go ahead and enjoy your pregnancy!