Do you crave for a hot mug of coffee after a day of hard work? If yes, then you are not alone. Coffee is a known stimulant and many people prefer drinking coffee regularly. Juggling home and work, and many other stresses are often the triggering factors, which contribute to the urge to drink coffee.
During pregnancy, many women are faced with a dilemma- to have or not to have coffee. While they do not want any harm to their growing babies, they also find it difficult to give up their daily coffee fix.
Let’s check out the fears associated with drinking coffee during pregnancy and learn how to handle them.
Why is It Harmful To Have Coffee During Pregnancy?
Coffee contains two major compounds that are toxic to growing foetuses.
Caffeine is the major component of coffee which can cause cardiovascular toxicity as well as being carcinogenic in high amounts.
Polyphenols interfere with the body’s capacity to absorb iron from food leading to anaemia.
In pregnancy, these two can compound problems leading to-
- Miscarriage – High amount of coffee intake can cause miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Growth Retardation – High coffee intake can lead to low birth weight of baby in the later stages of pregnancy.
- Anaemia – Consumption of caffeine during pregnancy is linked to anaemia, which itself is a causative agent for many health risks and complications associated with pregnancy.
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So Should You Completely Give Up Coffee?
Indeed not. It is not necessary to completely give up coffee, as long as you are drinking in moderate quantity. Experts recommend a daily safe consumption of 200 mg of caffeine, which roughly translates into two cups of coffee, with each cup being about 200 ml.. Larger mugs will mean more quantity of coffee- so the capacity of the mug should also be taken into consideration.
The type of coffee and the way it is brewed are some important factors to be taken care while consuming the drink during pregnancy-
- Instant coffee is better than filtered one.
- Home brewed coffee is better than those available at commercial cafes, for obvious reasons.
- Go for cup of regular coffee rather than a decaffeinated one.
- In any case avoid coffee that has been brewing for a long time, because the amount of caffeine in such cases increases.
Are There Any Other Drinks That Contain Caffeine?
Yes, here we’ve put down a list of drinks which contain caffeine. Exercise caution before reaching out for them.
- Tea – You probably already know this- tea contains small amount of caffeine. Expectant mothers can consume little amounts of tea as they are good and contain antioxidants. Larger quantities of tea should also be avoided.
- Cola Drinks – Yes, all cola drinks should be avoided, as they contain high amounts of caffeine.
- Carbonated Drinks – Carbonated drinks include aerated soft drinks, soda and even the seemingly harmless fresh lime soda- and these contain good amounts of caffeine. A better option would be to go for fresh lemon juice instead.
- Chocolate – Chocolate too, contains some amounts of caffeine. So it’s best to avoid all products containing chocolate, such as chocolate bars, candies, ice-creams, pastries and indeed hot chocolate.
- Pain Relieving Medication – Some pain relieving medications especially those meant for cold and flu medications contain caffeine to counter their sedative effects. It is therefore; best to avoid these during pregnancy. Learn to read the composition of medications before you take them, and even better is to avoid OTC medications. You must seek your practitioner’s approval before taking any medications.
Are There Any Alternatives?
While it is best to give up coffee entirely while you are pregnant, a moderate consumption will not do any harm. However if you do wish to reduce your consumption or give up entirely, there is no reason to panic. There are other safer alternatives you can choose which have a markedly reduced amount of caffeine.
- Green Tea – Green teas or herbal teas are as such low in caffeine. Then again, they are barely even brewed so these are your safest bet.
- Instant Coffee – Rather than filtered coffee, go for instant coffee. Half a teaspoon of coffee with milk will be a better option than filtered coffee.
- Decaf – Decaffeinated coffee is one in which the caffeine content is markedly reduced. You can safely opt for this type of coffee when you are pregnant.
So the result of is coffee good during pregnancy discussion is that – coffee consumption during pregnancy is not completely wrong, but you should keep a tab on the amount of coffee you are having in a day. In a doubt, always consult your doctor. Hope you have fun learning the various aspects of coffee and how to enjoy this amazing drink during your special nine months.
Have a happy pregnancy!
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