July 17, 2024

The luscious cranberries are powerhouses of nutrition that can be enjoyed in several forms, such as juices, sauces, and desserts. You may wonder, can pregnant women drink cranberry juice? It is not easy to resist the temptation, especially if you are craving this tasty drink. Keep reading this post to find out whether or not consuming cranberry juice is a good idea for pregnant women, its benefits, and also its possible side effects.

Is Cranberry Juice Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to consume cranberry juice but in moderation. Cranberry is a nourishing fruit that contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols (1). It is also considered effective in treating urine infections during pregnancy. However, too much of the fruit could have adverse effects on you.

Also, your body may not accept certain fruits. If you observe such reactions with cranberry juice or if your doctor asks you to avoid it, then you should refrain from consuming the fruit or its juice.

Benefits Of Cranberry And Cranberry Juice During Pregnancy

Cranberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. These tasty and petite fruits can be consumed in any form to reap health benefits.

1. Prevents urinary tract infections

Bladder infection is one of the common problems in pregnancy. Eating fresh cranberry fruit or drinking freshly made cranberry juice could help in preventing UTI. The fruit contains certain compounds that do not allow bacteria to hold onto the urinary tract (2). According to a meta-analysis published in PlosOne, the consumption of cranberry-based products has been shown to exhibit a substantial decrease in the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) among vulnerable groups. Specifically, in women who experience recurrent UTIs, there was a noteworthy relative risk reduction of 32%.

protip_iconprotip_icon Research finds
A study suggests that pregnant women showed significant reduction in bacteriuriaiXIncreased presence of bacteria in urine and recurrent UTIs after drinking about 240ml of cranberry juice daily until delivery (7).

2. Reduces risk of kidney stones

Brushite and struvite are rare kidney stones known to occur in pregnant women. But these could be problematic to manage during pregnancy. Nonetheless, cranberry juice could help prevent or reduce the risks of formation of these stones (3).

3. Boosts immunity

The immune system tends to get weaker when you get pregnant. Consuming cranberries, which are filled with antioxidantsiXSubstance that protects cell damage caused by free radicals , could help you fight infections and cut down bad cholesterol from the body. You can have dried cranberries or blend fresh cranberries to enjoy a glass of cranberry extract (4).

4. Improves oral health

Cranberries have a molecule named NDM or non-dialysable material, which is known to be effective in preventing dental caries (2).

5. Prevents stomach ulcers

As per a few studies, cranberries help in preventing bacteria (H. pylori) from holding on to the walls of the stomach. The bacteria are responsible for causing stomach ulcers, which can be prevented by eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice (2).

Cranberries can be had as fresh fruit or juiced. Some prefer dried cranberries as they are easy to carry and consume as snacks.

Can You Have Dried Cranberries During Pregnancy?

There is no evidence in favor of or against the consumption of dried cranberries during pregnancy.

Dried cranberry is made by dehydrating the fresh fruit. Some of the dried cranberries available in the market are plain, while others are sugar coated. Both the forms can be consumed when you are pregnant, as no harmful effects have been observed. However, buy from a reputable brand to stay safe.

protip_iconprotip_icon Nutrition fact
Each 100 g of dried cranberries contain about 24.4g of protein, 4.3g of total dietary fiber, and abundance of minerals (8).

Is Too Much Cranberry Juice Bad?

Anything consumed in excess is not good for your health. When you are pregnant, you should have a balanced diet, which means moderate portions of anything you are eating or drinking. Drinking a lot of cranberry juice during pregnancy could upset your tummy and might also result in diarrhea. Diabetics need to take extra precautions while having juices even if they dont drink them often.

Your doctor knows well about your pregnancy health. So you may ask what quantity of cranberry would be safe to include in your prenatal care routine.

1. Can I take cranberry pills during pregnancy?

Cranberries or cranberry supplements are believed to prevent UTIs and other ailments, and cranberries are often consumed during pregnancy. However, pregnant women should consult their Ob/Gyn before taking any cranberry supplements (5).

2. Can cranberries cause a miscarriage?

No, cranberries are not known to cause pregnancy complications, including miscarriages. However, you must consult your doctor to prevent complications in case of any doubt (6).

3. Are there any other natural remedies that pregnant women can use to prevent UTIs besides cranberry juice?

Other possible natural remedies used to prevent UTIs in pregnant women include adequate hydration, avoiding drinks that might irritate the urinary bladder, such as coffee, alcohol, and citrus beverages, and avoiding using feminine hygiene products that might irritate the urethra. In addition, wipe the intimate area in a front-to-back direction after using the toilet to prevent the risk of infections (9).

4. Can consuming too much cranberry juice be harmful to the developing fetus?

According to a study, there have been no reported side effects of consuming cranberry juice during pregnancy on the fetus (6). However, it is recommended to drink it in moderation or consult a doctor about the right amounts to drink cranberry juice.

Having fresh cranberry juice during pregnancy is considered safe, and there are currently no studies that state otherwise. In addition, cranberries are known to prevent urinary tract infections, improve oral health, and decrease the risk of stomach ulcers during pregnancy. However, it is advised to consume it in moderation since excessive consumption may cause diarrhea. Further, if you prefer consuming dry cranberries, ensure you buy them from a reliable brand. If you notice any side effects after consuming cranberries or face any discomforts, consult your doctor.

Infographic: Benefits Of Cranberry And Cranberry Juice During Pregnancy

The tangy and sweet cranberries can be a healthy and tasty option to curb your pregnancy cravings for something sour. Besides being a delicious snack, it also provides a ton of benefits that can help you stay free from health complications. The infographic below highlights the reasons to include the berry in your diet.

why cranberry and cranberry juice in pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Download Infographic in PDF versionDownload Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Pregnant women can consume cranberry juice, but in moderation.
  • Cranberries contain antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols and are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
  • Cranberry juice can help pregnant women prevent bacteriuria, recurrent UTIs, kidney stones, infections, bad cholesterol, dental carries, and stomach ulcers.
  • There is no evidence against or in favor of consuming dried cranberries during pregnancy.
  • Consuming too many cranberries may cause diarrhea.

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