Typically a doctor will tell their patients that consuming just a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their baby. Anything less than 300 milligrams a day, which is approximately an 8 ounce cup of strong coffee will not do any harm. However, caffeine does cross the placenta, so the baby could be affected. Any amount over 300 milligrams a day will put the baby at risk for lower birth weight and there are studies that indicate that women who consume more than 300 milligrams a day during the first trimester have a slightly higher risk of miscarriage.
There are studies that also indicate that women who consumed over 500 milligrams a day delivered babies who had faster heart rates and faster, more shallow breathing rates. The babies also had more awake time during the first few days of life rather than sleeping more as most babies do.
Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy
Doctor’s advice against caffeine consumption in a pregnancy, although it’s harmful effects have yet to be proved conclusively. It is always better to be safe than sorry, therefore it is advisable to either limit or stop an intake of coffee during pregnancy. According to medical experts, permissible limits of caffeine consumption per day must not exceed two hundred mg. This includes caffeine from all sources like:-
- Soft Drinks
An average cup of coffee contains nearly one hundred mg of caffeine particles. Together with caffeine from other sources, it easily crosses the actual permitted limit. Is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant has become a personal preference also; as everyone is aware of its effects and now, the choice has become theirs to make. Can I drink coffee while pregnant is answered by following:-
- Coffee consumption results in heartburn as it motivates the discharge of acid in abdominal area
- Coffee works as a stimulant and therefore increases rate of heartbeats
- It also causes a jittery feeling and often leads to insomnia
- Coffee results in an increase in levels of blood pressure
- Caffeine contents results in frequent urination. This reduces levels of body fluids and can lead to dehydration
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Coffee and Unborn Baby in Pregnancy
Following are some effects of coffee consumption on an unborn child-
- Can you drink coffee while pregnant is easy to answer because after an intake of caffeine, a pregnant woman will feel an increased movement from baby, It is because caffeine contents have traveled through the placenta and affected its movement.
- Excess of caffeine results in low weight at time of birth.
- Excessive contents of coffee can lead to a case of miscarriage.
- As caffeine easily reaches the baby , it reduces flow of blood in placenta by twenty five percent.
- Drinking coffee increases risk of stillbirth compared to those who avoid coffee intake during pregnancy.
- As coffee is a stimulant it can cause changes in a baby’s sleeping pattern by keeping it awake.
Giving Up Caffeine Completely
Some females undertake to give up caffeine content altogether for the sake of their baby as caffeine in pregnancy and while breastfeeding causes harmful effects. Some withdrawal symptoms are as follows:-
- Difficulty in concentration
- Feeling of tiredness and fatigue
Alternatives of Coffee During Pregnancy
Drinking coffee while pregnant is not a safe option; hence, it is better to replace them by alternatives that are beneficial for both mother and unborn baby. Some replacements are as follows-
- Decaffeinated coffee – It is easier to switch to this form of coffee as it retains the coffee flavor to some extent
- Water – Drinking lots of water is beneficial in pregnancy as it helps in removal of toxins through urination
- Fruit juice – A healthy diet includes intake of fresh fruit juice as it is beneficial for both expectant mother and her baby
- Milk – Milk is a very healthy nutrition during pregnancy and one of best alternate in pregnancy
- Herbal or Green Tea – Herbal tea or Green Tea is also an alternate option you can try while you are pregnant.
Drinking Coffee While Breastfeeding
Answering can you drink coffee while breastfeeding has to be a ‘no’ as caffeine contents reaches a baby through mother’s milk. This affects the health of a baby to some extent and it is sensible to avoid it for first few months.