Diet soda and pregnancy is an issue that still has not been completely decided. The main issue here are the artificial sweeteners such as saccharin in pregnancy as well as caffeine during pregnancy. Different diet sodas use different artificial sweeteners, and one sweetener may be considered safe during pregnancy while another may not, so it is important to know which sweetener is used in which diet sodas.
Some artificial sweeteners are so new that there have been no conclusive or long term studies concerning their safety during pregnancy. Diet soda also contains caffeine, another substance that can be harmful during pregnancy in large amounts. The different sweeteners include Aspartame, Saccharin, and Sucralose.
Aspartame is also know as NutraSweet, and this form of artificial sweetener has been around the longest, which means that it has the most studies done and long term effects noted. Most doctors agree that when used in small amounts, diet soda containing Aspartame is safe for pregnant women, but no more than one or two eight to twelve ounce servings should be used each day, as the maximum limit.
Another artificial sweetener commonly used in diet soda is saccharin, and these sodas should be avoided completely in all stages of pregnancy. Scientific studies have shown that large amounts of saccharin consumed by lab animals during pregnancy can cause birth defects in the babies, so it is best to avoid any food or drink that contains saccharin while pregnant to avoid any risks of birth defects.
Sucralose is the third artificial sweetener commonly used in diet soda. This sweetener is the newest one available, and because of this there have not been many studies done on the safety of this sweetener during pregnancy. Because of this, it is better to avoid soda that contains this ingredient while you are pregnant, until more conclusive long term scientific studies are done regarding safety in pregnancy. It is better to avoid unsafe diet sodas while pregnant, so make sure you know which artificial sweetener is used before you drink diet soda while pregnant.