Can drinking diet soda or anything with artificial sweetener in it while pregnant harm my baby?

Alexander Kofinas M.D.

There are several types of artificial sweeteners on the market today. The most popular to date has been Equal (Aspartame), though there is also the new sweetener known and Splenda (Sucralose) as well as the familiar brand SweetÕnÕ Low (Saccharin). Concerns have been raised about the possibility that such sweeteners may in fact cause fetal defects, reproductive complications, and cancer. Unfortunately, limited studies have been conducted with human subjects, and those, which have been conducted, failed to show any specific risks during pregnancy. However, since research in this area has yet to be exhausted and the results up to this point do not offer any guarantees, we would suggest that you abstain from any excessive use of these products during the course of your pregnancy. Saccharin has been in use for more than 40 years and to date, there have been no scientific studies in humans to indicate any harmful effects from its use.