image001Dairy products especially milk is richly supplied with outstanding nutrients that are helpful for growth of fetus and health of pregnant mother. According to clinical researches, moderate intake of milk in pregnancy is associated with better progress of gestation. U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends pregnant women to consume at least 3 cups of milk or other dairy products per day. Nutrients present in milk can also be obtained from other sources as well. Read on to learn all the benefits of drinking milk and which milk is good during pregnancy.

Advantages of Drinking Milk During Pregnancy

Milk is a vital dietary source of calcium and other nutrients. If calcium intake is not adequate during pregnancy, the fetal body absorbs calcium from maternal bones to meet the requirements, thus it is vital to get adequate calcium for the health of both the mother and baby.

Milk is a reliable source for obtaining proteins; a cup of low fat milk offers 8.22 g of proteins. This extra supply of proteins is utilized for building uterus, remodeling breast and baby’s tissues. Protein deficiency can cause several health problems in a baby including low birth weight. Vitamin D supplied by milk is helpful in preventing low birth weight and neonatal rickets in pregnancy along with other issues.

Research and Studies

According to the conclusion of a CMAJ research, pregnant mothers drinking less than one cup of milk each day delivers smaller babies as compared to pregnant mothers who consume more than one cup of milk per day. The research stated that every cup of milk elevates the birth weight of a baby by 41 g. Another preliminary research stated that pregnant mother consume more milk per day are at lesser risk of giving birth to babies with multiple sclerosis.

Which Milk Is Good During Pregnancy?

Drinking milk during pregnancy can benefit pregnant women a lot. Then, you may wonder what kind of milk you can drink during pregnancy. Here we severs some you can take:

1. Is Whole Milk Necessary?

No it is not necessary to drink whole milk especially in pregnancy; a female can continue her consumption of low fat or non-fat milk. The saturated fat in whole milk is unhealthy for an expecting mommy. To decrease the quantity of saturated fat, add skim milk to your diet. During pregnancy it is good to consume adequate amounts of calcium by drinking 8 oz. non-fat milk daily or consume it from other calcium loaded foods like cheese, yogurt, almonds and fortified orange juice.

2. Is Raw Milk Safe?

Drinking unpasteurized or raw milk or consuming anything prepared from raw milk is not safe during pregnancy. In pasteurization process, microbes that contribute to several diseases are generally destroyed when heated on high temperature. Consumption of raw milk (which is not pasteurized and carries microbes) increases the risk of several diseases. Listeriosis is an infection caused by microbes. Relatively it is rare but according to estimation, in US yearly 1600 people get affected with this. Pregnant woman are more prone to it and this infection is deadly for babies. USDA, CDC and FDA recommend every pregnant woman not to eat foods prepared from unpasteurized milk.

3. Tips and Precautions

What to eat or drink: consume yogurt in afternoon snack. Drink milk in cereal bowl. Consume a cup of skim milk at dinner. Include low fat cheese in salads.

What to avoid: Mould-ripened cheeses like camembert and brie, blue-veined soft cheeses like Roquefort should be avoided during pregnancy. Do not use unpasteurized cheeses obtained from goats or sheep’s milk, as it may contain bacteria – listeria. Avoid using unpasteurized milk during pregnancy as it can cause food poisoning.

How much: consume 3 cups per day, apart from weight, height, stage of pregnancy and physical level of activity

4. Comparison of Different Kinds of Milk

Which milk is good during pregnancy? This answer to this question depends. Here we list different kinds of milk for pregnant women to drink. By comparison, choose the one that suitable for you.

Milk Types


Cow milk



Cow milk is the most demanded and widely used milk, available in fat free, flavored, skimmed and whole varieties.

Nutritional Facts: The amino acids present in cow’s milk are responsible for building cells in maternal body as well as in the baby. Vitamin D guard against gestational diabetes in pregnant mothers. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and keeps away several diseases. Calcium makes bone strong and vitamin A is good for vision and for building strong immune system. A glass of cow’s milk provides 285mg of calcium.

Goat’s milk



A person cannot escape from a typical ‘goat’ taste, but when a person gets familiar with it then its unusual flavor is worthy because of explicit nutritional benefits. Goat’s milk is available in UHT, organic and fresh milk varieties.

Nutritional Facts: It contains higher protein content, smaller butterfat globules, more vitamin B2 as compared to cow’s milk. It contains dietary fats – MCTs which helps is lowering cholesterol and speeding metabolism process. A glass of goat milk provides 283 mg calcium.

Soy milk



Soy milk is prepared by soaking dry soybeans in water and then grinding. It is available in fat free, whole, flavored and fiber or calcium enriched varieties. It contains almost the same protein level as cow’s milk.

Nutritional Facts: It is cholesterol free and supply ample calcium to the developing baby and expecting mother. Monosaturated and polysaturated fat content helps in defending against cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants present in soymilk helps in fighting against cancer. A glass of soy milk provides 300 mg of calcium

Rice milk



It is prepared from ground rice and water. Rice milk is available in flavored, skim, protein or calcium enriched varieties. It is not preferable for diabetic patients as it contains 4 times more carbohydrates as compared to cow’s milk.

Nutritional Facts: Rice milk has lower fat level and higher B vitamins. Enriched rice milk form is an optimize calcium source. It is low in protein, contains more antioxidants, capable of busting disease in the form of selenium and manganese as compare to other milk choices. A glass of unfortified rice milk provides 20 mg calcium.

Almond milk



It is prepared from grounded almonds and water, if a person cannot tolerate soy or gluten then almond milk is the best substitute available.

Nutritional Facts: It is free from saturated fat and cholesterol. It contains folic acid, fiber, protein, B vitamin, calcium, iron and vitamin E. Almond milk is low in calories. Antioxidants present in almond milk have capacity to boost the immune system. A glass of unfortified almond milk provides 7.5 mg calcium.

Oat milk



It has high fiber content which prevents constipation during pregnancy. It controls food craving, monitor level of sugar in blood, helps in transporting oxygen to cells.

Nutritional Facts: It is rich with minerals and vitamins like manganese, potassium, vitamin A& B and phosphorous. It has higher content of protein as compared to almond and rice milk but lower than cow’s milk. A glass or oat milk provides 120 mg calcium.