It’s incredible how something so simple can be so relaxing, yet a nourishing drink swirls refreshment and peace into one little cup. Pregnancy is often a time when the focus is on food, but healthy drinks can help you pamper yourself while benefitting your body and your baby at the same time. Here are a few nourishing drinks for pregnancy to consider:
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
If you’ve been exploring natural birth for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of red raspberry leaf tea. Women’s herbalist Susan Weed notes this traditional pregnancy herb is a wonderful uterine tonic (meaning it prepares the uterus for birthing!).
Most pregnancy teas today have red raspberry leaf mixed in with other herbs believed to be helpful during pregnancy. You can buy tea bags at most health food stores, or you can buy bulk mixes or even simply buy bulk herbs to mix your own blend. If you use a pre-made blend, check it over and make sure you feel comfortable with each herb included.
Once you’ve found a favorite, feel free to drink hot or mix up a pitcher to have cold. 2-3 cups daily is a refreshing way to prepare yourself and baby. Most midwives say to start around 20 weeks or so.
Nourishing Broths & Stocks
Bone broths are made by slowly cooking bones from poultry or beef at a low simmer over the course of several hours (usually 24-36). Vegetables such as roughly chopped carrot, onion, and celery are often added to the stock to enhance flavor and nutrition. The slow preparation of the stock pulls minerals out of the bones and vegetables to create a rich, nourishing broth.
You can use this versatile broth in soups very easily, but you can also enjoy the broth in a mug. Add salt to taste and a pat of butter or spoon of coconut oil for a rich, satisfying drink that provides many minerals and micronutrients needed by you and your baby.
Kombucha tea is a cultured drink made with tea and a sweetener. The sweetener in the drink is actually eaten by the kombucha scoby (similar to a “mother” for sourdough).
This creates a fizzy, flavorful drink that’s really refreshing! It’s good especially if you’ve decided to give up sodas or other unhealthy drinks. It provides a similar effervescence without all of the sugar, corn syrup, and other additives.
Kombucha can have detoxifying effects if you’re not used to it and start drinking a lot at once. It’s recommended that you begin with small glasses each day (3-4 ounces), and work up to a full glass if you haven’t started before pregnancy. Think of kombucha more like a condiment than something to drink bottle after bottle.
Kefirs are another cultured drink, these using a similar culture to yogurt. The finished product is thinner than yogurt, and quite tart, making it a very refreshing, stimulating drink.
Homemade kefir is very easy to start and maintain, so it’s ideal if you’d like to begin making a cultured food at home but aren’t sure where to start. It’s filled with beneficial bacteria, which creates healthy flora in your body. That gives your baby lots of healthy bacteria during birth, which means a great start to his or her immune system.
If you find that the tart taste of kefir isn’t easy for you to drink, feel free to add it to a smoothie, or let it strain through cheesecloth in the refrigerator to make a delicious, safe soft cheese (enjoy within a day or two of straining).
Smoothies are one of a pregnant mama’s best friends. Use yogurt or kefir, not water, as a base to start your smoothie with protein and beneficial bacteria. Then add fruit (berries are especially nutrient-dense) and perhaps some healthy fat like avocado or coconut milk.
You can also add extra heavy cream and pastured egg yolks to give your baby a brain-boosting dose of healthy fats and choline! Nut butters can add flavor, fat, and protein.
Smoothies are an easy way for moms-to-be to get nutrition in on a busy morning. They’re also good if you’re experiencing morning sickness, or if you need a simple way to add more protein to your daily diet.
Do you have a drink that’s become a favorite during pregnancy? Go ahead and share below!