Coffee during Pregnancy – What About Caffeine You Need to Know
Coffee during pregnancy, is it safe? What are the potential risks? And what are the most popular beverages that contain caffeine? If you want the correct answers to these questions about caffeine during pregnancy, you might want to read all the sections below.
Caffeine is present in coffee as well as tea. More often than not, they’re the only sources of caffeine in people’s lives. Generally speaking, caffeine is considered to be safe. And even healthy, as a matter of fact. But that doesn’t mean health and medical authorities don’t advise you to keep a check on your daily consumption.
In this article, I’m going to discuss everything about consuming caffeine during pregnancy. In fact, even the benefits of drinking coffee while pregnant. It’s not an anti-caffeine post, after all. All I’m doing is stating the facts. And some of them, in all fairness, are actually in your favor as a caffeine lover.
Coffee during Pregnancy: Is Caffeine Safe for Pregnant Women?
For the most part, caffeine gives you an energy boost. It even has positive effects on your focus and concentration levels. So it goes without saying that caffeinated beverages are healthy, to some extent.
But, at the same time, the stimulant has the ability to produce negative effects during pregnancy. It can pose risks indeed.
Now let’s find out what these potential benefits and side effects are, what say?
Possible Benefits of Caffeine during Pregnancy
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of caffeine benefits is an improvement in energy levels. And focus!
Caffeine does stimulate the central nervous system and brain. And this helps you sharpen your mental alertness and stay awake.
As a matter of fact, caffeine is proven to treat headaches when paired with effective pain relievers. Like acetaminophen.
Possible Risks of Caffeine during Pregnancy
Nobody can deny that caffeine health benefits do exist. However, there are a few concerns about consuming the stimulant in the case of pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant, your body is going to metabolize caffeine comparatively slower. It takes longer for your system to remove caffeine from the body. And here’s something you probably don’t want to hear. Caffeine, in your body, is inevitably going to cross your placenta and enter your baby’s bloodstream. This raises concerns regarding your unborn child’s health.
Now here’s some good news if you can’t get enough of coffee. Consuming less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day doesn’t increase the risks of preterm birth or miscarriage. But does that mean more than 200 milligrams does? I don’t know about preterm birth but it definitely elevates your chances of miscarriage.
There’s some evidence suggesting that low caffeine consumption reduces birth weight. Let’s say that your daily caffeine intake is between 50 and 149 milligrams during pregnancy. Even this much consumption is associated with higher risks of reduced birth weight. To be more specific, 13 percent higher.
Apart from these, there are a few more negative side effects. Such as high BP, restlessness, diarrhea, increased anxiety, rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain, and dizziness.
So what’s the moral of the story here? That caffeine does a great job at boosting your focus and energy levels. But this particular stimulant, when devoured in a high amount daily during pregnancy, increases the risks of low birth weight and miscarriage.
Coffee during Pregnancy: Recommendations for Pregnant Women
Like I said earlier, keep your daily consumption less than 200 milligrams. This amount equals to around 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day. And about 2 to 4 cups of brewed tea.
Don’t just place restrictions on your coffee and tea consumption. As a pregnant mother, you’ve also got to avoid drinking energy-boosting beverages. These energy drinks contain caffeine, no doubt. But they also have huge amounts of artificial sweeteners and added sugars. And these don’t offer the nutrition your pregnant body and baby deserve. In simple words, the nutritional value is NIL.
What’s even more repulsive is the presence of herbs like ginseng. Ginseng is not a safe ingredient to consume during pregnancy. The same applies to a few more herbs that are abundantly added to energy drinks.
Furthermore, not all herbal teas are healthy for the body during pregnancy. The ones you should keep away from are made with fenugreek, licorice, and chicory root.
But the following herbal teas have received the green signal for pregnancy.
What about herbal remedies though? The best advice I can give about this is to talk to your doctor. Medical guidance is always the correct way to go about during pregnancy. So please consult with the doctor about consuming herbal teas if you’re pregnant.
And remember that you can always opt for beverages that don’t contain any caffeine. There are teas without any caffeine content. Or how about decaffeinated coffee? That’s another safe option if you’re a coffee lover.
I would highly recommend you to not gulp down energy drinks at all during pregnancy. And if you want to consume caffeine, keep the intake less than 200 milligrams per day. As for herbal teas, not all are on the safe list. Best you pay a visit to your doctor!
Popular Beverages that Contain Caffeine and How Much
You want access to a proper list, right? So here it is!
Coffee - Every 8-ounce serving of coffee offers 60 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
Brewed Tea - Every 8-ounce serving of brewed tea offers 20 to 120 milligrams of caffeine.
Espresso - Every 1-ounce serving of espresso offers 30 to 50 milligrams of caffeine.
Decaffeinated Coffee - Every 8-ounce serving of decaffeinated coffee offers 2 to 4 milligrams of caffeine.
Energy Drinks - Every 8-ounce serving of any energy drink offers 50 to 160 milligrams of caffeine.
Chocolate Milk - Every 8-ounce serving of chocolate milk offers 2 to 7 milligrams of caffeine.
Cocoa Beverage - Every 8-ounce serving of any cocoa beverage offers 3 to 32 milligrams of caffeine.
Yerba Mate - Every 8-ounce serving of yerba mate offers 65 to 130 milligrams of caffeine.
Soft Drinks - Every 8-ounce serving of any soft drink offers 30 to 60 milligrams of caffeine.
Did you know that caffeine is added to some foods as well? For instance, chocolate contains 1 to 35 milligrams of caffeine every ounce, which is 28 grams. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has a higher concentration.
Even certain medications such as pain relievers have caffeine in them. It’s also found in a few supplements too. For pre-workout and weight loss. So if your concern is to reduce the daily caffeine intake in your diet, do consult with your doctor.
Caffeine in energy drinks, coffee, tea, etc. certainly varies. Some beverages have a high level of caffeine. And a few have the least amount of caffeine. So choose your milligrams wisely. You only get less than 200 of them on a daily basis.
If there’s one beverage that’s consumed worldwide, it’s coffee. And tea, as a matter of fact. But you and I are concerned with the former only. It gives you an energy boost and improves focus.
The health benefits of caffeine shouldn’t encourage you to consume more unnecessarily. Keeping a check on your daily intake, pregnant or not, is crucial. It’s just that when you’re pregnant, the negative effects have an impact on your baby too.
So less than 200 milligrams; that’s the magic number!