Is It Safe To Consume Caffeine During Pregnancy?


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Many of us rely on caffeine in our day to day activities. From alleviating fatigue to improving concentration, every one of us uses caffeine. Caffeine when used in excess has side effects and pregnant women need to take an extra care on their intake of caffeine.

Consumption of caffeine during pregnancy has been a thing of debate among pregnant women all over the world. While it is stated that caffeine addicts can indulge in minimal amounts everyday when pregnant, it is always better to limit the intake as much as possible.

Doctors now recommend replacing caffeine with healthier options such as fruit juices, liquids and electrolytes for the health of a growing baby inside the womb.

How Much Caffeine Is Safe During Pregnancy?

Though it is advisable to stay away from caffeine altogether, experts have stated a threshold to the limit that can be consumed by pregnant women each day. This is the standard limit suggested universally, and you can choose to consume lesser than the said amount.

  • Pregnant women can consume less than or equal to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, which equals about less than a full cup of coffee.
  • You can take half a cup of coffee every day to satiate the caffeine cravings inside when absolutely inevitable.

[ Read: Coffee During Pregnancy ]

Effects Of Caffeine During Pregnancy:

It is very important to evaluate the effects of caffeine use during pregnancy so that you can make a clear decision as to whether you would really like to stick on to your addiction while pregnant. The complex compounds present in caffeine may directly affect the progress of your baby’s health inside and may cause possible damage when consumed in excess.

Some of the alarming side effects of caffeine intake during pregnancy include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • An elevated rate of heartbeat in the newborn’s past birth
  • Reduction in baby weight
  • Uncalled preterm labor
  • Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia
  • Insomnia and restlessness in mothers
  • Lesser iron absorption in the body

[ Read: Walnut During Pregnancy ]

Body’s Ability To Absorb Caffeine During Pregnancy:

Experts say as your pregnancy progresses, the body’s ability to absorb caffeine also decreases or slows down significantly.

  • This in turn accumulates all the caffeine in your blood stream.
  • Your body’s speed of absorption and assimilation slow down drastically by the time you hit the third trimester.
  • It is crucial to stay away from caffeinated compounds right from the second trimester to avoid any adverse after effects.

Foods That Contain Caffeine:

While you may mostly relate caffeine with coffee, there are also other foods that you may want to watch out for that have caffeinated compounds. Some of them are listed below:

  • Tea and its related drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Chocolate based drinks
  • Coffee based ice-creams and confectionery
  • Herbal products
  • Donuts
  • Iced Teas
  • Instant sweeteners
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Frozen Yogurt (check the brand and the ingredients)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Soft aerated drinks.

You must always refrain from taking over the counter drugs for pain relief and cold. These drugs contain good amount of caffeine. Doctor’s discretion is recommended.

[ Read: Chocolate During Pregnancy ]

Healthy Options To Get Your Caffeine:

As tough as that sounds, you may want to consider replacing your everyday cup of coffee with more healthy and viable options like fresh juices, milk and fruit. It is indeed difficult to knock off that everyday morning cuppa, but you have to stand firm and make the right choice while pregnant. What more, the healthy options may go a long way in replenishing your body with better nourishment and well being. The switch will be painful and takes time, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Some healthy food options that can help you:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Salads
  • Fresh juices
  • Electrolytes
  • Coconut water
  • Buttermilk
  • Curds
  • Milk
  • Fiber diet
  • Fruit based cookies
  • Nuts

Caution: Some nuts can cause allergic reactions, which are sometimes severe. So it is advisable not to use those nuts if you are allergic to them.

[ Read: Green Tea During Pregnancy ]

The extremely addicted caffeine followers also have the choice of following few ‘DeCaf’ options, but it is vital to discuss these options with your doctor first to gauge the safety.

Hope this article helps you in your caffeine consumption for healthy living during pregnancy. Share your views by commenting below.

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