Artificial Sweetener During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Nutrition is, of course, one of your primary concerns during pregnancy. You don’t want to put anything into your body that could cause a problem with your pregnancy or that could harm your baby. The fact of the matter is that there are a great number of products out there on the market whose effect on pregnancy isn’t known, and there are many others which are known to have a potentially detrimental effect on your pregnancy.

We’ll take a look today at some of the different kinds of artificial sweeteners and whether or not they’re considered safe for use during pregnancy:

  • Nutritive sweeteners. There are a number of nutritive sweeteners that may contribute calories to your diet, but aren’t generally considered to be dangerous. They include things like sugar, dextrose, corn sugar, fructose and more. There are also sugar alcohols, including Sorbitol and Xylitol, that are used as sweeteners and are considered safe. The other sweeteners listed below are considered “non-nutritive” and are usually what we consider “artificial” sweeteners.
  • Aspartame. This sweetener is found in Equal and NutraSweet. It’s common in soft drinks, and according to the FDA it’s safe for use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
  • Sucralose. This one is found in Splenda, and it’s made from sugar. It is safe for consumption by pregnant women according to the FDA.
  • Saccharin. This is the sweetener in Sweet ‘N Low. This one isn’t used as often today as in decades past. There are some studies that show saccharin can cross the placenta, and it’s safety during pregnancy is questionable.
  • Cyclamate. You’re not likely to find this artificial sweetener in any products on the shelf in the US, because it’s currently banned in the US. It’s not considered safe for anyone due to its cancer-causing properties.

If you’re unsure about a given artificial sweetener, feel free to talk to your health care provider. She may have access to some of the most recent information about certain products and may be able to steer you in the right direction.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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