Starting a day off without a cup of coffee is quite uneasy. Especially for the coffee lovers! But since you’re pregnant, get in the habit with this uneasiness because coffee in pregnancy can possibly put adverse health effects on gestation.
Well, that doesn’t mean to put a stop to caffeine entirely. You can still have coffee but only in a limited manner.
What’s this “limited manner” however? How much coffee while pregnant is, okay? And what can be the probable effects of caffeine intake during pregnancy. Let’s find out!
CAN YOU DRINK COFFEE WHILE PREGNANT?
You can drink coffee while pregnant but only in a limited quantity. Having coffee or other caffeinated drink in moderation which is under 200mg each day cannot affect pregnancy.
However, too much consumption of caffeine can possibly lead to threatful outcomes including miscarriage, reduced blood supply to the fetus, light weight baby and major birth defects.
IS COFFEE DURING PREGNANCY SAFE?
How much coffee in pregnancy is safe has always been a controversial topic? While the official recommendation of caffeine intake in pregnancy is 200mg or less than that, some experts state otherwise.
According to them, having caffeine even in a limited quantity can be vulnerable. For example: the researchers at the national institute of health did find that women that used to drink lesser than 200mg of caffeine in a day while expecting had slightly smaller babies in comparison to non-caffeinated drinkers.
But fortunately, most of the studies found no link between moderate caffeine intake and birth defects in pregnant women.
In conclusion, caffeine intake within 150 to 200 milligrams or about 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day is safe for expectant women.
WHY IS COFFEE BAD IN PREGNANCY?
In general speaking, consuming caffeinated coffee is bad in pregnancy. It can expose you and your baby into greater dangers. It typically happens for two major elements present in it. One is caffeine and the other one is polyphenols.
As for caffeine, it takes too much time to break down, especially in pregnancy. This is why it is more probable to reach your unborn child. Since the baby’s organs are still developing, it can face problems processing the caffeine.
This factor can reduce the blood supply to the baby, inhibiting its proper development of the baby. Therefore, caffeine hampers the growth and development of the fetus.
Polyphenols present in caffeine, on the other hand, can introduce harmful fetal abnormalities. It is responsible for causing intrauterine fetal ductus arteriosus (DA) constriction.
This is why coffee is bad to have in pregnancy, mostly when taken in larger quantities.
Other than only these harms, caffeine is believed to constrict the blood vessels present in the uterus and placenta.
The behavior put down by caffeine, can lower the blood flow and ultimately lesser nutrient supply to the growing fetus. Therefore, hampers its development of the infant.
Thus, you have to limit your caffeine intake no matter what. But, do you know what the problem is? Caffeine is found in most beverages, foods and drinks.
That’s why you’re more likely to intake caffeine without even knowing.
Therefore, it’s crucial to know what foods contain caffeine, more importantly in what quantities.
SOURCES OF CAFFEINE IN FOOD AND DRINK
There are plenty of foods and drinks that contain high dosage of caffeine in them. These substances, however, include:
- Energy drinks
- Certain supplements
- Some medications
- Soft drinks
QUANTITY OF CAFFEINE PRESENT IN DIFFERENT EATS
|1.5 ounces of espresso||65mg|
|1 cup of black tea||47mg|
|1 cup of espresso||100mg|
|1 cup of tea||30mg|
|A can of cola||49mg|
|250ml can of energy drink||80mg|
|100g of milk bar chocolate||20mg|
|12 cup of plunger coffee||80mg|
QUANTITY OF CAFFEINE PRESENT IN DIFFERENT EATS
So, this is the corresponding amount of caffeine found in different foods and mostly in drinks.
Despite only foods and beverages, there are some medications that contain caffeine As well. These medications include
|Medication’s||quantity of caffeine|
|Pain reliever plus tablets||65mg|
|Aspirin free Excedrin caplets||65mg|
|Goody’s headache powder||32.50mg|
medications that contain caffeine
These are the medications that contain caffeine.
WHY IS CAFFEINE BAD FOR PREGNANCY?
Intake of caffeine in pregnancy isn’t bad. But having too much caffeine can obviously have a bad impact on pregnancy. The overconsumption of caffeine can cause dramatic issues. For example: miscarriage, low birth weight of baby, preterm labor and delivery and significant birth defects.
Not only that. Caffeine can also have bad impacts on mother’s health as well. The higher intake of caffeine can cause increased heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety and trouble in sleeping.
However, these are only the touch ups of coffee in pregnancy because the drawbacks of caffeine while pregnant are yet to be discussed.
Read on mindfully to get clear over the effects of coffee during pregnancy.
HOW COFFEE AFFECTS PREGNANCY?
how coffee affects pregnancy info graphic by pregarlybody official
There are multiple ways that coffee affects pregnancy. For example, it can certainly cause
- Low-birth-weight baby
- Higher blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Cardiovascular toxicity in baby
- Carcinogenic in fetus
- Growth retardation of the baby
Well, it’s really tough to process that only caffeinated coffee in pregnancy can lead to these unbelievable consequences.
But the thing is, how can it do that?
One of the miserable effects of drinking coffee while pregnant is facing miscarriage.
It has thoroughly been observed that having coffee in unlimited amounts is dramatically linked with early pregnancy loss by 74 percent.
More particularly, consuming 100 mg caffeine or more than that in a regular basis is twice as likely to experience miscarriage compared to those who don’t consume it.
This happens because the molecules of caffeine can easily surpass through the placenta to the fetus which is expected.
But the concern is, it can be difficult for the baby to metabolize caffeine due to its undeveloped metabolic system.
Caffeine can also minimize placental blood flow, consequently resulting in miscarriage.
A study of WebMD associates caffeine with delivering underweight babies.
It reports that having 200 to 300 mg of caffeine in a habitual manner is associated with raising the risk of babies being born small by between 27% to 62%.
It can also result in growth retardation of the foetus as well.
3.INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE
There are significant effects of high blood pressure in pregnancy.
For example: decreased blood flow to placenta, premature birth, low birth weight, placental abruption and more.
And to the fact, there are significant effects of coffee on your blood pressure too.
Caffeine intake is responsible for causing short but sharp increases in blood pressure, even if you don’t have high BP at all.
Although it’s not clear why it does that, still, it does that significantly.
4.RAPID HEART RATE
Observing a rapid heart rate is a common early pregnancy symptom- an indication of the vast hormonal shift.
And it’s even normal and expected.
Staying under a lot of stress and feeling anxious can cause that too.
However, caffeine is also a risk factor that leads to that racing heart.
Having abnormal heart functions like flutter, race and skipping a beat can be fatal at any point of life, especially in pregnancy.
As you already counted, there are a host of reasons to avoid caffeine in pregnancy still there is another one to count-dehydration.
Since water is essential for pregnancy, getting a lack of it can possibly influence the baby’s required development.
It can lead to lower production of breast milk, lower levels of amniotic fluid or worse preterm labor.
But, I wonder here, how caffeine causes dehydration anyways?
Well, just to inform you, caffeine is diuretic. That means that it can make you urinate more often.
So, the more frequently you pee, the sooner your body will be dehydrated.
That’s why caffeine can be troublesome for your body’s hydration status at this crucial period.
6.CARDIOVASCULAR TOXICITY IN BABY
Consuming a higher amount of caffeinated drinks in pregnancy can cause cardiovascular toxicity in babies.
For example, caffeine can lead to rapid heart rate; arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat in an unborn baby.
Caffeinated drinks are likely to cause anemia in pregnant women for inhibiting iron absorption in the body.
It can occur for the polyphenol contents present in them.
Anemia, however, is a condition where the deficiency of red blood cells appears in the blood.
This condition can cause various health risks in gestating women.
Besides these effects, the overuse of caffeine in pregnancy can cause increased anxiety, restlessness, and dizziness, abdominal pain, racing heart, sleeplessness and diarrhea.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE DURING PREGNANCY
Typically, the effects of caffeine include miscarriage, underweight babies, anemia and more.
But that’s not all.
Along with these ill effects, having too much caffeine can give rise to some long term effects on a baby’s health.
Unexpectedly enough, it can cause long term effects including growth retardation of the baby.
Caffeine can also cause carcinogenic effects that can lead to cancer in a baby’s later life.
HOW TO AVOID COFFEE ADDICTION IN PREGNANCY ?
Coffee addiction is stubborn. It demands a lot to actually get rid of it. But that does not mean it’s beyond possible.
Most pregnant women stop drinking coffee on their own by virtue of food aversion in early pregnancy.
Because of its heightened taste and smell they get rid of it easily.
However, some folks like you may find it difficult to avoid coffee.
Aiming to that concern, let’s get through the tips that will assist you in the long journey of avoiding coffee in pregnancy.
1.CUT BACK SLOWLY
Cutting back on caffeine all of a sudden can be devastating.
So, instead of doing that, cut back on it slowly.
The very moment you get to know what you are expecting now, reduce your daily dose of energy by half a cup each time.
But that’s not only in the case of coffee; implement this strategy with the other beverage that has caffeine.
At a certain point, you will find yourself not drinking coffee at all by the help of this simple habitual method.
And that’s good.
2.REPLACE CAFFEINATED DRINKS
Why only rely on coffee when you have a whole bunch of options?
In fact, there are some healthier drinks you can invest in.
Have a look at the substitutes of coffee during pregnancies that can keep your health in check.
WHAT TO DRINK INSTEAD OF COFFEE WHEN PREGNANCY ?
The following ones are the safer alternatives of coffee for pregnant women.
- Low fat milk
- Vegetable and fruit juices
- Herbal coffee
- Rasa coffee
- Dandy blend
- Mommee coffee
- Herbal tea
- Coconut water
3.DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
As you know, coffee can make you dehydrated. And dehydration can be vulnerable to pregnancy.
So, in case you are having some coffee, make sure that you will be well hydrated.
Always keep a water bottle handy to be in charge of your hydration levels.
All things considered, these are what you can do to trick coffee out of your pregnancy.
BENEFITS OF COFFEE IN PREGNANCY
When taken in moderation, coffee can lead to some benefits as well.
Caffeine in only occasional and minimal amount can help you to:
- Enhance mood
- Improve focus
- Relieve headaches
But for these benefits, I strongly recommend you to avoid coffee in pregnancy, since it is a food that can cause miscarriage.
Coffee in addition, has been through great controversies whether to be taken in pregnancy or not.
So, why take any risk when you are exposed to other healthful alternatives to choose from?
DECAF COFFEE DURING PREGNANCY
Decaf coffees are known to contain caffeine in a minimal amount.
That’s why it is safe to drink in pregnancy.
However, there are no official guidelines on decaffeinated coffee and pregnancy.
Decaf coffee has been through controversies in causing miscarriage too.
So having decaf coffee isn’t also a good choice indeed (In my opinion).
COFFEE WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Coffee and caffeinated drinks are considered safe to drink while breastfeeding your baby. However, you better keep it under limitations.
Experts suggest mothers limit caffeine intake to 300 milligrams per day unless it will terminate with bad outcomes.
It is suspected that over consumption of caffeine while breastfeeding can possibly affect the nutritional quality of your breast milk.
So, it is obviously long that you haven’t drunk caffeine in a satisfactory amount by virtue of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean to get overwhelmed.
Limit your caffeine intake while breastfeeding your baby.
DECAF COFFEE WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Decaf coffee is absolutely fine to have while breastfeeding. Corresponding to its name itself it contains caffeine in a slim to none amount.
So it will not cause any bad impacts on your breast milk.
Decaf coffee, in fact, can benefit you by providing lots of antioxidants.
As for consumption, the moderate intake of decaf coffee is referred to as the safest way to take while breastfeeding.
FAQS ABOUT COFFEE DURING PREGNANCY
When to stop in pregnancy?
Coffee can cause serious damage in pregnancy. You should stop having coffee the very moment you get to know what you are expecting now.
Is coffee healthy in pregnancy?
Typically coffee is seen to have good impacts on health such as it can aid diabetes, promote heart health, depression and more. But, it could be harmful during pregnancy. Caffeine intake can lead to miscarriage, anemia, underweight infants and more.
How harmful is coffee during pregnancy?
The over consumption of caffeinated coffee can lead to severe damage including miscarriage, underweight infants, high blood pressure, dehydration and growth retardation of the baby.
FINAL WORDS FROM PREGARLYBODY
So here the article finally terminates. I appreciate that you are still tuning in.
Pregnancy is the miracle of life that requires some little sacrifices which includes some foods, some activities as well as a daily dose of energy- a cup of coffee.
The above analysis clearly states why you should cut back on caffeine and I firmly, am advising you to avoid it in pregnancy.
Besides, I hope that you came to know a lot about how to reduce coffee during pregnancy and why.
All at the end Pregarlybody wishes you a healthy pregnancy ahead.