Caffeine is the most loved stimulant and preferred energizer of almost everyone. And while there are contradicting facts on the effects of excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy, it has undeniable effects that can put your pregnancy at risk.
Caffeine is a diuretic; therefore caffeine consumption during your pregnancy can lead to dehydration. As a stimulant, caffeine increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are both not suggested on pregnancy. The most important thing to note as well is that caffeine crosses the placenta and gradually metabolized by the fetus. And while you can handle the effects of caffeine, your baby can’t, which can probably lead to some complications.
In general, caffeine causes heartburn and increases the possibility of developing insomnia. This can’t be good on your pregnancy since you need a lot of sleep and rest to stay healthy. Other effects of caffeine associated on pregnancy also include increase rate of miscarriage, low-birth weight babies, giving birth to male babies with undescended testes, babies born with faster heart rates and breathing during the first few days, and stillbirths.
All of the above mentioned risks were proven studies with women who drank excessive caffeine per day (normally around 300mg or more). But despite these alarming studies relating caffeine consumption to higher rates of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications, most experts agree that pregnant women can still safely consume up to 200 mg of caffeine per day. This equates to one 12 oz. cup of regular coffee. On the other hand, women who are just starting to plan on getting pregnant are advised to consume no greater than 200 mg of caffeine on a daily basis, since caffeine has been shown to decrease fertility rate.
Knowing the amount of caffeine in various food and drinks can greatly help you monitor your caffeine consumption. For instance, the average caffeinated drink has 37 mg of caffeine while a bar of chocolate has 11 mg. An 8 oz of black tea on the other hand contains 48 mg of caffeine.
Due to the many possible effects of caffeine on pregnancy, it is best to avoid consuming caffeine-enriched food and drinks all together. There are other foods that you can still eat and drink that will give you the same energy and keep your body healthy. Nine months of sacrifice is nothing, compare to giving birth to a healthy baby.