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Artificial Sweeteners

If you have a sweet tooth (and who doesn't?), you probably have a close friendship with artificial sweeteners such as Splenda (sucralose), Equal (aspartame), Sweet One (acesulfame potassium), and Sweet'N Low (saccharin). These noncaloric products add a sweet taste to coffee, tea, soda, iced tea, and other products without adding sugar or calories.

Are these sweeteners safe during pregnancy? Yes, say the American Dietetic Association and the FDA. Currently there are no studies that show an increase in birth defects among babies whose mothers used the sweeteners.

Should you use them while you're pregnant? Do what feels right to you. If you believe they're safe, keep artificial sweeteners in your diet. If you don't trust their safety, avoid them or cut down. This will be difficult if you're a diet cola addict, but if it gives you peace of mind, it's worth it.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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