- Pregnant women are bombarded with suggestions related to food, drinks, lifestyle and other new-mom–related subjects from well-meaning friends and relatives. If you are pregnant, you might be going through the same. Often, these suggestions are conflicting, and you may get confused about what you should actually follow. Some of the unsolicited advice is caffeine-related, with many people suggesting avoiding coffee and tea during pregnancy. What if you like to begin your day with a cup of piping hot coffee or tea?
- Caffeine is the most loved (and socially acceptable) mental stimulant consumed on a daily basis. Other than tea and coffee, it is also found in soft drinks and many other products and is potentially addictive. The amount of how much caffeine one can safely consume differs from person to person, but now that you are pregnant, you need to be extra careful of how much caffeine you consume from your tea, coffee and cola.
- So the best rule to play by to ensure the safety of you and your baby during pregnancy is to ensure you get your facts right and not follow the suggestions blindly. Here is a quick lowdown on the musts and must nots for caffeine intake during pregnancy.
Caffeine Myths vs Facts
Some of the common myths regarding caffeine intake during pregnancy are busted below to help you take the right decision for you and your baby.
- Myth – Avoid any amount of caffeine during pregnancy
- Fact – Although caffeine in higher amounts can lead to some side effects and be harmful to the baby, a moderate amount of caffeine intake is fine during pregnancy. The safe amount of caffeine may vary from 150 mg to 300 mg daily. Generally, two cups of coffee every day can be considered safe for the baby.
- Myth – Caffeine can cause congenital disabilities in babies
- Fact – Many studies report that caffeine leads to premature labour and congenital disabilities; however, all these studies are conducted on animal models. Data on human studies that suggests that caffeine consumption can lead to congenital disabilities or premature labour is not available. However, consulting a doctor and limiting your coffee or tea intake can help prevent any potential risk.
- Myth – Any amount of caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage
- Fact – Two studies conducted in the year 2008 showed varying results for the effects of caffeine during pregnancy. The first study indicated that the ingestion of 200 mg or more of caffeine daily makes you prone to miscarriage when compared to those who do not consume any caffeine. Another study reported that the regular intake of 200-250 mg of caffeine does not increase the risk of miscarriage. As these results do not support each other, it is suggested to limit your caffeine consumption to less than 200 mg daily, which is about 355 mL of coffee every day.
Some caffeine facts you should be aware of if you cannot live without your cup of joe even during pregnancy –
- It stimulates the brain, thereby increasing the blood pressure and heart rate, which is not really safe during pregnancy.
- It increases the frequency of urination and, potentially, dehydration.
- Caffeine crosses the placenta and reaches the baby. As the metabolism of the baby is still not developed completely, caffeine cannot be metabolised by the baby, remaining for much longer in its system.
- It is found in many beverages and products like chocolates and not just coffee; so, always read the label before eating and drinking any packed products.
- American Pregnancy Association suggests avoiding caffeine as much as you can during pregnancy as well as breastfeeding. Sipping just one or two cups of coffee every day is safe for the baby, which is (yay!) good news for you.
- Keeping yourself aware of the facts is as important as gratifying your desires for food. Opting for a healthy diet and lifestyle along with a cup or two of coffee during pregnancy is safe for both, mother and baby. If you get many conflicting opinions about what to do and avoid during pregnancy, talk to an expert gynaecologist on the HealthAssure app and clear your doubts.
Book your appointment at 022-61676633.
Consult an expert and know the facts because your baby’s health is a priority.