What kind of milk should you drink while you’re expecting?
Or should you be drinking milk at all?
Does it matter if it’s whole, 2%, or skim?
What about alternative milk like soy, almond, or oat?
If you want to get the best nutrition for you and your baby, you need the best milk for pregnancy.
Today, we’ll discuss all the options.
Is it safe to drink milk when pregnant?
If you’ve wondered if milk can harm you while you’re pregnant, you’ve probably heard one of two things.
First, unpasteurized, raw milk is dangerous for pregnant women.
Even if you have your very own cow at home and you’ve been drinking raw milk for years, skip it for the next few months.
It’s important to avoid illness right now.
Second, lactose-intolerant women don’t need to start drinking milk just because they’re pregnant.
Many other options are well-fortified with vitamins and also tasty.
For example, almond milk is good in pregnancy.
Finally, expectant mothers can drink as much milk as they want.
What matters is the amount of fat and sugar they are consuming.
If you have questions about your diet, please talk to a nutritionist or your OB/GYN.
Why it’s a good idea to drink milk during pregnancy
There are at least two reasons why pregnant women should drink milk (or a milk alternative).
To begin with, a study of over eight hundred women found that their teenagers were taller if they drank at least 4 ounces of milk per day during pregnancy (1).
Next, milk is a good source of Vitamin D. Consuming enough Vitamin D means that your baby is less likely to develop allergies.
Even one glass of milk per day was enough to make a difference (2).
Does it matter what kind of milk you drink while pregnant?
Yes, the type of milk matters.
For one, it’s because of the amount of fat (3).
Whole milk has a lot of saturated fat and calories. It’s better to eat healthy fats in cooked fish, olive oil, and nuts.
Instead, drink 1% or skim to lower your fat intake.
Happily, substitute milks like soy and so on usually have Vitamin D and other nutrients added to them.
Now, let’s review the best milk and milk-like drinks for expectant mothers.
Top Milk for Pregnancy
Anmum Materna Plain Reduced Fat Powdered Milk Drink for Pregnant Women
Have you heard of the Anmum powdered milk drink?
It’s quite popular in the Philippines, Malaysia, and other parts of the world.
It was developed as a pre-natal drink with all the nutrients pregnant women need.
Moreover, it has no added sugars, and it’s low fat.
The ingredients include powdered cow’s milk, inulin, prebiotics, essential fatty acids, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
If you consume two glasses of it per day, you’ll have 100% of the calcium and folic acid recommended while you’re expecting.
To prepare it, put three scoops of powder into a cup with hot water.
Natrel Whole Milk
Some people prefer the creamy, rich texture of whole milk.
But not everyone consumes milk fast enough to avoid having it go bad in the refrigerator.
The solution is shelf-stable milk.
Europeans have been drinking it for years.
The fresh milk is ultra-high-temperature pasteurized (UHT). That means it’s heated enough to kill bacteria in seconds (5).
Then, the milk is packaged in a sterile container, which gives it a shelf life (before opening) of months, not days.
Of course, once the container is open, it’s just like regular milk that needs to be consumed within a week.
Natrel’s shelf-stable whole milk is packed with Vitamin D and calcium and naturally free of gluten.
You may notice that they that you don’t microwave the milk. That’s because of the foil-lined sterile container. If you want to heat the milk in the microwave, just pour it into a microwave-safe dish.
Natrel Milk 2%
Cut back on the fat by drinking 2% milk instead.
Like the one above, this one is shelf-stable white milk from cows.
Drink it within a week after opening it.
Natrel Lactose-Free 2%
Are you aware that the majority of adults in the world are lactose-intolerant?
That’s why we’re pleased that Natrel makes lactose-free 2% milk.
They use enzymes or filtration to neutralize the lactose and eliminate the problem.
It tastes the same as regular cow’s milk. Plus, it comes in a shelf-stable package.
Natrel 1% Milk
Skip the fat because you don’t need it.
Try 1% milk instead.
It’s hard to believe, but it has the same nutritional value as whole milk. It’s also a little creamier than skim.
It’s UHT-pasteurized for your health and safety.
Horizon Organic 1 % Low Fat Milk
Pack milk for your afternoon snack. These individual drink boxes contain organic low-fat milk in regular or chocolate flavor.
Each serving has 8 g of protein and 30% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium.
Since it’s organic milk, the cows’ diet is naturally nutritious, vegetarian, and free of GMOs.
Moreover, Horizon Organic has been a leader in the organic dairy business. They support local farmers and sustainable farming practices.
They provide a sanitary environment and compassionate care for the cows. What’s more, the cows have room to roam.
Natrel Skim Milk
Now we’ve made it to skim milk.
It’s the lowest in calories and fat.
If you still want the benefits of calcium, protein, and vitamins but don’t need to gain weight, this is the way to go.
Silk Almond Milk, Unsweetened Vanilla
Let’s switch gears and look at plant-based milk.
You don’t have to drink cow milk to enjoy the benefits of vitamins, protein, and calcium.
I do recommend, however, checking the label.
Some alternative kinds of milk are flavored with sugar. Yes, it makes them tastier. But I’m sure you’re aware that expectant mothers don’t need extra sugar in their diets.
Instead, look for unsweetened products like this almond milk.
It’s made by Silk, a reputable manufacturer. They use non-GMO ingredients.
Almond milk is an important source of Vitamin E and has very few calories. This brand has only 30 calories per serving.
But it has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk.
It’s also free of cholesterol and saturated fat.
If you’ve never tried almond milk, you’re missing out. It tastes great in coffee and cereal.
Silk Unsweetened Organic Soymilk
Organic soymilk is another delicious possibility.
Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that soy is bad to eat when you’re pregnant.
That’s partially true. An excessive amount of soy could block nutrient absorption or alter hormone balances (6).
But if you’re only drinking a cup or two of soy milk per day, there shouldn’t be any problem. Check with your doctor if you’re uncertain.
Soy is an excellent source of heart-healthy protein and calcium. You can get 7 g of protein per serving.
This particular product is free of GMO ingredients and has no added sugars or flavoring.
So Delicious Dairy-Free Organic Coconutmilk Beverage, Unsweetened Vanilla
Coconut milk is creamy and delectable.
It’s scrumptious by itself, in baked goods, with cereal, or coffee.
This brand is organic and gluten-free. There is no artificial flavoring or added sweetener.
Califia Farms Unsweetened Oatmilk
Oat milk is handy for latte art. After all, most pregnant moms can consume a little caffeine each day.
It’s made from whole, rolled gluten-free oats.
It’s sugar-free and doesn’t contain stabilizers or gums, either.
The ingredients include water, oats, sunflower oil, minerals, and sea salt.
Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk
Go exotic with macadamia milk. It’s a favorite choice for the keto diet.
This one is made from raw, not roasted, macadamias.
The ingredients are non-GMO. Even the macadamia nuts are farmed in a way to rebuild the health of the soil.
Furthermore, each serving has 50% more calcium than cow’s milk, and it’s rich in vitamins D and B12.
Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Hazelnut Milk
Hazelnut milk, in this case, is simply pure nuts and water.
It’s created with a zero-waste process. The process gives it a creamy, nutty flavor without the need for additives.
Try it in your coffee, tea, or cereal. It’s also great for smoothies.
Elmhurst Cashew Milk
Another alternative milk is made from cashews and pure water.
The Elmhurst brand uses up to four times the nuts per serving than the competition. Plus, they never add fillers, oils, or gums.
Also, the carton is recyclable.
RICE DREAM Enriched Original Organic Rice Drink
Rice Dream makes my favorite rice milk.
Most rice milk is pretty thin if you compare it to soy or dairy milk. That’s why it’s enriched with safflower oil.
It’s still a good source of vitamins.
In addition, the brown rice and safflower oil are kosher, certified USDA organic, and non-GMO.
The only downside is that it also contains Vitamin A palmitate. If your diet already has a fair amount of Vitamin A, you want to be cautious about how much rice milk you consume.
Good Karma Plant-Powered Flaxmilk
Flax milk comes in unsweetened or vanilla lightly sweetened versions.
It has a flavor that may take some getting used to at first. But those who love it prefer it to soy or rice milk.
Each serving has 70 calories with 8 g of protein from plants.
More importantly, each serving also has 1200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
The base is filtered water and cold-pressed flax oil. But there are also fillers to give it texture. These include tapioca starch and sea salt. Check the label if you have dietary restrictions.
Pacific Foods Hemp Original Plant-Based Beverage
Like flaxseed milk, hemp milk also has a unique taste. It’s almost nutty.
But if you enjoy it, it’s packed with omega-3 and omega-6 plus amino acids.
Luckily, you can choose from unsweetened, vanilla, or chocolate.
NOW Foods, Organic Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
But what about milk powder?
Does that count as drinking milk?
Of course it does. It’s very convenient for storage purposes. It can last for months or longer at room temperature.
It’s handy for baking, too.
Each eight-ounce serving has about 60 calories.
NOW Foods dehydrates pure dairy milk from organic sources to make this powder. It’s a product of the USA.
Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk
If you’ve never tried goat milk, you’re in for a treat.
It has a distinctive flavor that’s enjoyed by over half of the world’s population.
It’s much easier to digest than cow’s milk as well. It has smaller particles of fat that breaks down more quickly in the stomach. It’s also lower in lactose.
This powdered goat milk is free of preservatives and antibiotics. Each serving has 7 g of protein.
To drink it, mix it with a little hot water until it blends well. Then keep adding cold water until you’ve made enough liquid.
If you put it in the fridge overnight, it tastes even better.
This is a product of the USA. The manufacturer has been in the goat milk business since 1934. They are proud to announce that dairy goats have a smaller impact on the environment as they produce twenty times less methane than dairy cows.
Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
What about a pregnancy milkshake?
Some protein powder shakes can replace meals if you’re struggling to eat properly.
This powder features plant-based protein from around rice, peas, and Chia seeds. Each serving has 160 calories with 6 g of fiber and only 5 g of carbs.
It’s gluten-free and doesn’t have lactose or added sugar.
Blend it with dairy milk, soy milk, or your favorite milk alternative to make a delicious smoothie.
It’s available in peanut butter, chocolate, and other flavors.
Due to all the changes in your body right now, you might have trouble eating as you used to.
Try a different kind of milk to keep eating healthy.
Both dairy and plant-based alternatives will fulfill your dietary requirements.
Mix it up to keep your diet interesting. Maybe you’ll discover something you’ll want to share with your child in the future.
1. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/everything-pregnancy/milk-does-a-pregnant-body-good/ by
Patty Adams Martinez, accessed February 21, 2020
2. https://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/pregnancy/0212/surprising-benefit-of-drinking-milk-during-pregnancy by Maura Hohman, published February 12, 2016, accessed February 21, 2020
3. https://www.babycenter.com/404_should-i-drink-whole-milk-during-pregnancy_2520.bc by Julie Redfern, RD, LDN, accessed February 21, 2020
4. https://wicworks.fns.usda.gov/wicworks/Sharing_Center/ND/Milk.pdf accessed February 21, 2020
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-high-temperature_processing accessed February 21, 2020
6. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/nutrition/is-soy-safe-during-pregnancy/ by Amy Paturel, accessed February 21, 2020