Coffee and Pregnancy: Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?
Coffee has become part of our everyday lives. It is a beverage that comes in handy when we are having a long and difficult day at work. Coffee lovers who happen to be expectant always have the question on the safety of the coffee for their unborn child. Questions like: “Is coffee safe during pregnancy?” “Are there any alternatives?” are common among expectant women.
The safety of coffee during pregnancy
Small amounts of coffee during pregnancy are not bad. However, consuming too much coffee can increase the concentration of the two main components of coffee in your system. These components are caffeine and polyphenols. Caffeine takes time to break down especially during pregnancy. Therefore, it is highly likely that it will reach your unborn child. The caffeine passes through the placenta to the baby. Since the baby’s organs are still developing, the processing of caffeine delays.
Consumption of caffeine during pregnancy could cause side effects like:
According to some studies, taking more than two cups of coffee during pregnancy could lead to a miscarriage. During the first trimester, you should avoid taking coffee.
When caffeine passes through to the unborn child, it could cause an increase in their heart rate, arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. All these conditions endanger the survival chances of your unborn child.
Caffeine can hinder the brain development of your baby. It can adversely affect the brain processes which means that the baby’s growth is affected. You may find that you give birth to a baby with birth defects.
Inconclusive studies show that high amounts of caffeine in your system and hence your baby’s system could lead to cancer in the fetus. It such a situation, it is unlikely that the baby will survive and if they do, thy will have a myriad of health challenges.
Anemia is the deficiency of red blood cells in the body. A deficiency of red cells means a deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood. Caffeine cause anemia because it reduces the capacity of the body to absorb iron from food. This can be a health risk during pregnancy.
In some studies, it has been shown that women who consume high amounts of caffeine give birth to lightweight babies, unlike women who consume low amounts. Furthermore, lightweight babies are prone to health issues when they grow older.
How much coffee is safe to drink during pregnancy?
It is not that drinking coffee is dangerous as long as it the right quantity. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, expectant others should restrict their consumption of coffee to 200 mg per day. This is approximately two cups of 100 ml each. Don’t use larger mugs because those mean more coffee consumption.
Alternatives to coffee during pregnancy
- Take a lot of water if you will be taking small amounts of coffee
- Choose a latte if you need a caffeine boost
- Choose homemade juices over caffeinated drinks
- Add some herbal tea
- Consume vegetable juices
Coffee is not bad as is everything else as long as it is taken with moderation.
Have you announced your pregnancy yet?
If not, here are a few creative ideas for pregnancy announcement: