Caffeine is widely loved in America. So much that an American adult on average has around 190 mg of caffeine per day. But caffeine and pregnancy do not seem like best friends. Caffeine and pregnancy-related concerns are quite common in America too. If you are pregnant, you must pay more attention to the quantity of caffeine you are having every day.
We don’t realize but we actually drink a lot of caffeinated drinks. For instance, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 95-200 mg of caffeine, a 12-ounce can of cola contains 25-45 mg, and an 8-ounce cup of tea contains 14-60 mg of caffeine.
While tea and coffee are regular drinks amongst the adults, few distinctive health authorities ask us not to consume them when you are pregnant.
Caffeine occurs naturally in more than 60 plants but primarily in tea leaves, coffee, kola nuts (coke and other soft drinks), and cocoa pods (chocolates). Synthetically formed caffeine is also available, which mg in foods, drinks, and certain medicines.
Why Caffeine Could be Harmful
Most of us know that caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulant boosts our energy quickly and makes us alert and attentive (the reason why we take heavy doses of caffeine while at work or studying). The two popular sources of caffeine are tea and coffee. As a stimulant, caffeine raises blood pressure and heart rate; both of these can negatively impact pregnancy. In fact, the worst complication a pregnant woman can face is preeclampsia, caused by high blood pressure, which could harm the baby as well as the mother.
Caffeine also increases the urination rate, which can decrease the fluid levels in your body – one of the main factors of pregnancy-caused dehydration.
What Effects Does Caffeine has on a Pregnant Mother
While some health care providers may ask you to give up coffee completely, others suggest that a limited quantity does not harm the mom and child. This suggestion is based on the status of the pregnancy.
Caffeine Can Cause Birth Defects
Various studies reveal that caffeine has a significant connection with birth defects, premature delivery, low growth, low birth rate, infertility or reduced fertility, and reproductive disorders in mothers.
Caffeine Can Cause Miscarriage and Infertility
Some studies point out that a high level of caffeine can delay conception. Therefore, couples are often asked to not consume caffeine when trying to conceive. On the other hand, two studies were made on the causes of miscarriages in the year 2008.
The first study (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) found that chances of having a miscarriage doubled in women who consumed caffeine in high quantity (200 mg and above) a day.
The second study (Epidemiology) revealed that high dosage of caffeine (200 – 350 mg) did not cause any risk in pregnant women.
Caffeine Can Travel Through Placenta to Your Baby
Caffeine can cross the placenta and reach your baby, unfortunately. While there are various cures for major pregnancy complications for you, all-natural and safe, once something reaches your baby, it becomes hard for the baby to handle. This is because your baby’s underdeveloped metabolism cannot metabolize the caffeine.
As of now, there is no concrete evidence about whether caffeine is safe for pregnant women or not. And, until there are accurate studies, you must try to cut back the amount of caffeine intake.
Alternative to Caffeine for Pregnant Women
Although black tea contains caffeine, it is safer than coffee as per the American Pregnancy Association. You can have herbal tea, white tea, green tea, and peppermint tea. All of these have very low to nil amount of caffeine content.
Broth or Hot Lime Water
If you are looking for the type of comfort that caffeine gives you, you can rely on hot water with lime or some other steeped fruit, or opt for low sodium broth. A soothing beverage is all you need to feel energized and endure the day.
Switching your caffeinated drink with a handful of nuts can give you the required boost of energy that caffeine provides. Keep trail mix, cereal bars, fresh fruits (especially apple), and other recommended healthy snacks for pregnancy handy.
You can also have a glass of sparkling water to refresh your slumping mind.
How Can You Stay Safe?
Experts from Americanpregnancy.org say that moderate quantity of caffeine has no effects on your body and can be consumed by pregnant moms. The margin can vary between 150 mg to 300 mg a day. Since this is a standard measurement, they also suggest you monitor other pregnancy factors, such as BP, heart rate, and gestational diabetes before consuming.
Try the above-mentioned natural alternatives to caffeine to feel rejuvenated.