Coffee and other caffeinated beverages are among the products that are recommended to be consumed in moderation during pregnancy. In this article, we will learn more about coffee’s impact on you and your baby and determine if it is good to consume coffee during pregnancy.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is one of the most commonly used stimulants.
It is found in various foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa products, energy drinks, and soft drinks.
Caffeine is also often found in cold, flu, and headache medications, as well as in weight loss, central nervous system stimulants, and other medications.
Are coffee and caffeine dangerous during pregnancy?
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages should be used cautiously at the beginning of pregnancy. To know the exact time of your pregnancy, use a due date calculator. At that time, it is recommended to either completely give up caffeinated drinks or limit yourself to 1 cup of weak coffee.
· Caffeine is a stimulant. It can simultaneously speed up the heart rate and increase blood pressure. Women with gestational hypertension (high blood pressure) should avoid or severely limit coffee;
· Can cause insomnia and increase nervousness;
· Heartburn (stomach acidity) may increase. Caffeine stimulates acid production;
· Coffee and tea interfere with iron absorption: anemia in pregnancy is not so rare. So, for this reason, caffeinated beverages are best consumed outside of meals;
· Caffeine stimulates the release of fluids, and with them, minerals are removed, so drinking more caffeinated drinks can lead to dehydration and some mineral deficiencies. That is why, after drinking a cup of coffee, it is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses of normal or weakly mineralized water;
· Consuming too much caffeine is thought to increase the chance of miscarriage.
Effects of caffeine on the fetus
Caffeine easily crosses the placenta and enters the amniotic fluid and bloodstream. A pregnant woman’s body absorbs caffeine better and removes its residues, while the developing fetus needs much more time to process and remove caffeine from the body.
Because caffeine increases the mother’s blood pressure, there is a theoretical risk of preterm birth with high caffeine consumption.
However, it is possible that caffeine can affect the weight and height of the newborn: it is believed that caffeine can constrict the placenta’s blood vessels so that the fetus is less well supplied with both nutrients and oxygen.
During the third trimester of pregnancy, the fetus’s nervous system becomes sensitive to caffeine, so the baby may be restless and more nervous.
How much are coffee and caffeine safe during pregnancy?
Doctors have not yet come to a unanimous conclusion on what amount of caffeine is safe for pregnant women.
The most common recommendation is to consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine daily. There are 200 mg of caffeine in a medium-sized cup of medium-strength coffee.
Of course, each person’s body breaks down caffeine differently, so for some, a higher amount of caffeine may not have any negative effects, while for others, the same amount may cause unwanted side effects.
The bottom line about drinking coffee while pregnant
Indeed, try to avoid caffeine and take care of yourself the natural way – make sleep and healthy eating a priority (which we know can be very difficult right now). Although coffee is a stimulant and keeps you wide awake, the only natural way to increase your energy levels is with a balanced diet and adequate sleep. Eat enough during the day and choose energy-giving foods (for example, oatmeal with strawberries and banana or hummus with cucumber), but do not overeat.