Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
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 milk, 2%, or skim?
What about alternative milk like soy, almond, or oat?
If you want to get the best nutrition for you and your unborn baby, you need the best milk for pregnancy.
Today, we’ll discuss all the options.
If you’ve wondered if milk can harm you while you’re pregnant, you’ve probably heard one of two things.
First, avoid unpasteurized, raw milk it 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 during pregnancy.
Many other milk options are well-fortified with vitamins and also tasty.
For example, almond milk is good than raw milk in pregnancy.
Finally, expectant mothers can drink as much milk as they want.
What matters is the amount of sugar levels and fat content they are consuming.
Also make sure to drink milk in moderation when you are expecting.
If you have questions about your pregnancy diet, please talk to a nutritionist or your OB/GYN.
There are at least two reasons why pregnant women should drink milk (or a milk alternative).
First, 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 growing baby is less likely to develop allergies.
Even one glass of milk during pregnancy per day was enough to make a difference (2).
Yes, with so many different types of milk available, the kind of milk you drink matters.
For one, it’s because of the amount of fat content. (3).
Whole milk has a lot of saturated, full fat and calories. It’s better to eat healthy fats in cooked fish, olive oil, and nuts.
Instead, drink 1% or skim (fat free) to lower your fat intake.
Happily, substitute for professional milks like soy milk and so on usually have Vitamin D and other essential nutrients added to them.
Now, let’s review one of the best milks and milk-like drinks for expectant mothers.
If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.
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 essential nutrients pregnant women need.
Moreover, it is a low fat milk and has no added sugars.
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.
Many 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 calcium and Vitmain D and naturally free of gluten.
You may notice 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, pour it into a microwave-safe dish.
Cut back on the fat by drinking 2% milk instead.
Like the one above, this white one is shelf-stable cow’s milk.
Drink it within a week after opening it.
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.
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.
This is UHT-pasteurized milk for your health and safety. So you can drink this milk during pregnancy without any worries!
Pack milk for your afternoon snack. The individual drink box of milk contains 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 low-fat organic milk, the cows’ diet is naturally nutritious, vegetarian, and free of GMOs.
Moreover, Horizon Organic has been a leader in making organic dairy products. 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.
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, then you should consider drinking this milk during pregnancy.
Let’s switch gears and look at plant-based milk.
You don’t have to drink cow’s 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.
Organic soy milk is another delicious possibility.
Perhaps you’ve heard rumors that soy is bad to eat when you’re a pregnant woman.
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. That’s why you can consider drinking this milk for a healthy pregnancy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is super nutritious to drink this milk during pregnancy.
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.
Also, the brown rice and safflower oil are kosher, certified USDA organic, and non-GMO.
The only downside is that this milk 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.
Flax milk comes in unsweetened or vanilla lightly sweetened versions.
This plant based milk 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 amino 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 before drinking this milk during pregnancy.
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.
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.
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 low 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 this whole milk 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. So you can drink this milk during pregnancy without any worries!
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 dairy products alternatives 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 and keep eating well for a healthy pregnancy.
Both dairy and plant-based milk 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
Join our newsletter for the latest updates!