There seems to be a lot of conflict regarding effects of drinking soy milk during pregnancy. This article throws some light on the connection between soy milk and pregnancy.
Soy milk is a rich source of protein and calcium. It is an ideal protein source for people with lactose intolerance. Many health conscious individuals resort to drinking soy milk due to its very less fat content. Soy milk is often fortified with calcium, vitamin A, which further increases its nutrient content. There seems to be a doubt regarding the health benefits of soy milk. However, when it comes to soy milk and pregnancy, you may get conflicting opinions regarding its safety. In this article, we are going to find out if soy milk during pregnancy is safe or not.
Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Drink Soy Milk?
Pregnancy often adds an altogether new meaning to the word ‘healthy’. Foods that are healthy before pregnancy suddenly disappear from your pregnancy diet owing to their hazard to the fetus. There are numerous foods that are otherwise healthy, but do not form a part of diet of a pregnant woman. The same uncertainty encapsulates soy milk, which is a rich source of nutrients. While some women have taken soy milk all throughout their pregnancy and delivered perfectly healthy babies, certain studies discourage women from consuming soy milk during pregnancy.
Soy milk is rich in lean plant protein. As proteins are considered the building blocks of the body, it can prove to be very useful for the developing fetus. Besides, it can also serve as a source of nourishment for the mother. As the fetus derives its nourishment from its mothers diet, it can also benefit from soy milk. Earlier soy milk was linked to breast cancer in mothers. However, a study has not only proved the correlation wrong, but has also established the fact that soy milk actually reduces the risk of cancer. However, as the study was conducted on only a few subjects, its findings are questionable. Nonetheless, there is also no evidence to suggest that soy milk affects the mother’s health negatively.
The most serious argument regarding soy milk dangers during pregnancy is that it affects the male fetuses. Isoflavone in soy milk is a phytoestrogen, meaning it mimics the role of estrogen in the body. This isoflavone can adversely affect the size of male fetus’s genitalia. The effect of phtyoestrogen on a baby’s penis size is inversely proportional to the soy milk consumed by the mother. Again, there is no solid evidence to back this argument. There is no way of knowing, if phytoestrogen can actually enter the placenta and cause undesirable effects in the baby’s body.
In short, there is no clinical evidence that can support either of the arguments. While it is known that many women drink soy milk without experiencing any undesirable effects, there are still no known cases that suggest negative implications of soy milk. In that regard, the answer to the question ‘is soy milk safe during pregnancy’ is yes. However, you may still want to take some caution and limit your intake of soy milk. This will enable you to derive nourishment from it, without exposing your baby to any unknown hazard of soy milk. Women with known allergy to soy milk should look for other alternatives during pregnancy, so as not to trigger the allergic response. If you intend to give up soy milk and resort to cow’s milk, then make sure you are drinking only pasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk can induce several health risks for mother as well as baby.
Thus, you can be sure that soy milk can be perfectly safe for you and your baby, provided you take it in moderation. Hope this article was resourceful.