If you are pregnant, it is fundamental to consume healthy food and drinks to provide the right nourishment for the baby growing inside you. Getting enough vitamins and minerals is critical for the baby’s development. A women body goes through an immense amount of change during the nine months of pregnancy so it is important to monitor dietary intake and choose nutritious foods and drinks which will support the growth of the fetus. In particular, milk has proven to be a rich source of calcium and provide the baby with essential nourishment that is vital during pregnancy. A common question asked is whether or not it is okay to drink cold milk at night during pregnancy. Whilst the research is limited; there have been no problems or negative impacts found associated with drinking cold milk at night. We will provide a guide into the importance of milk during pregnancy and both the positives and negatives of drinking cold milk at night. 

 

Essential Nutrients:

The trait of drinking milk at night dates back to centuries ago when humans first domesticated cattle. According to the international nutritional guidelines, approximately 2-3 glasses of milk should be consumed every day during pregnancy regardless of if it is hot or cold. This may vary depending on your overall health, and it is essential to consult a doctor for the exact amount you should be consuming. Studies have revealed milk consumption during pregnancy is positively correlated with the baby’s development. Milk is a vital source of calcium, iodine, potassium and protein. Additionally, milk also contains oxygen and iron that will help develop the movement of oxygen from the mother to child.  

 

Calcium is particularly important in helping build strong bones and teeth in the growing baby. Drinking milk during pregnancy also provides Iodine for the baby. Iodine is significant because it enhances the child’s brain development and increases IQ in the long-run. The study conducted by the America Academy of Neurology revealed that mothers who drink milk during pregnancy lowers the risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. This is because milk contains high quantities of Vitamin D. 

 

Easing Heartburn 

A burning feeling inside the chest can be highly uncomfortable and frustrating throughout pregnancy. For many women, heartburn is a major symptom of pregnancy, which can start around the second month but can last till the baby is born. According to many studies conducted, about 30-50% of pregnant women experience heartburn and claim that it worsens as the pregnancy progresses.  

 

A great advantage of drinking cold milk is that it is acid-forming because it has a P.H. level of approximately 6.7. Cold Milk provides a cool effect to the stomach lining, reducing the abdominal pain or cramps that are giving discomfort.  

 

Cold milk can provide rapid relief from the burning sensation that usually occurs during acidity or acid reflux. The excess acid that is processed by other food is absorbed by milk, therefore providing instant relief in the stomach because it assists in better digestion.

 

Aim to drink milk approximately 1-2 hours before going to bed and make sure not to lie down and sleep after consuming milk as this could deprive you of the essential nutrients. A study revealed that food ingestion in an upright position increases amino acid availability in comparison to lying down.  Try not to sleep immediately after consuming milk as this also has a negative impact on the digestive system and can cause bloating.

 

 

Better Sleep & Glowing Skin: 

The vitamins and minerals present inside milk benefit mothers to be because it is known to act as a cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Pregnancy hormones may cause acne and breakouts because the pores emit excess oil. Heat rashes are also a common symptom that causes extreme discomfort. They can occur on the face, legs and hands. The vitamin present in milk is known to improve new skill formation and help reduce inflammation and skin disorders.

 

Although it is widely acknowledged that a hot beverage at night can lead to better sleep quality, cold milk can be a great hydration source and an alternative for water before bed. Milk is also known to help the body unwind and relax because of the abundance of vitamins and minerals it contains. In one particular study, published by the European Neurology Journal it was found that calcium is directly linked to our sleep cycle.  Milk can soothe your muscles and nerves, making you feel more relaxed. 

 

 One of the benefits of drinking cold milk is it contains many antioxidants leading to the skin becoming more clearer and giving a ‘pregnancy glow’. Milk contains vitamin B12, which can support the body in providing a more youthful appearance because it enhances cell production. B12 also helps prevent the loss of skin’s elasticity and collagen. 

 

Other factors to take into consideration

Weather & Climate: 

Consider the climate when choosing whether you consume hot or cold milk. During the summer weather, cold milk may be soothing and comforting. However, drinking cold milk during the winter months is not advisable as it may cause the common cold or throat infections. Conversely, warm milk during the winter months with a little turmeric and ginger has anti-bacterial properties which will boost the immune system and is commonly used as a remedy to prevent nausea. 

 

Pregnant mothers should try to protect their immunity and the overall health of their infant. Some mothers-to-be worry about how the temperature of the milk will affect the baby. The stomach both heats and cools things as we digest to suit body temperature. The baby isn’t exposed to the temperature as it is down in the uterus. Therefore, both hot and drinks are safe to consume during pregnancy. 

 

Types of Milk: 

Many pregnant women do not prefer the taste of plain milk and worry about whether flavoured milk has a negative impact on the baby’s development. Flavoured milk is safe to drink in small quantities because it still contains all the essential nutrients but just may have more sugar content. It is important to get sugar levels tested with your doctors regularly. Some doctors recommend adding extra protein powder into milk if your intake is not adequate or enough for the baby. Additionally, Saffron milk in small quantities is prevalent in many South-Asian countries as it is known to be a muscle-relaxant and improve mood. Adding honey to milk is another remedy to relieve constipation and aid in digestion. 

 

Many expectant mothers may be lactose intolerant or don’t drink milk due to health or religious reasons. Some mothers opt to have calcium supplements to ensure their baby is getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins. Other substitutes include oat, soy milk or almond milk. Essential calcium can also be derived from leafy green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. Many women even choose to consume non-fat or low-fat milk options. Whole milk can occasionally cause gestational issues and bloating, leading to extra weight gain.   

 

Irrespective of whether the milk is hot or cold, raw milk is not safe during pregnancy as it can cause many bacterial infections. Cold milk must be pasteurized before consuming. Pasteurization refers to the process of heating milk at a specific temperature for some time to kill harmful bacteria. The research by the Committee of Infectious Diseases and Committee on Nutrition Research suggests that raw milk consumed without the boiling process may cause infections such as Salmonella, Brucella and Listeria Monocytogenes

which can cause defects or fatal miscarriages as a result. 

 

 

To Conclude:

 

As discussed above, there is still only a minimal amount of research conducted on whether or not it is okay to drink cold milk at night during pregnancy. There are both positive and negative effects of both warm and cold milk consumption during pregnancy. Milk contains many vital nutrients and minerals which are essential for the baby’s development. There are many different pregnancy symptoms experienced by women, and it is important to keep in mind each person’s body reacts differently. Cold milk has particularly proven to be beneficial for women suffering from heartburn by providing a cooling effect to the stomach lining, reducing abdominal pain. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your dairy intake, it is important to seek professional help.