Pregnancy often spells sacrifice for women because of all the things they have to give up on. Sweets, alcohol, smoking (for those who have the vice), staying up late and those extra hours on the couch. The question many ask is: is coffee (or caffeine) on that list as well?
Many people love to start their day with a hot cup of joe while mulling the day’s coming events. It’s relaxing and a part of many mothers’ routine before they start the busy day ahead. So sometimes being told you got to lose that precious morning cup for your little bundle as well can be very disappointing.
But take heart, more recent studies proclaim that a moderate intake (200 mg) a day will not harm your growing little one. If your small coffee cup doesn’t have more than 12 oz worth of caffeine, then you can go ahead and enjoy that morning cup.
It must be noted though that coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine around. Aside from coffee it is also found in chocolates, tea, coffee ice cream, soft drinks (carbonated drinks) and some over the counter drinks. So even if you do get some coffee intake allowance, you gotta be extra sure of everything else that you eat and drink and their caffeine content.
The next question to ask then would be: how exactly does caffeine affect your baby? If you miss that 200 mg limit or choose to go beyond the moderate level of caffeine intake these are the risks you will be taking for both you and your baby:
Compromised Nutrition. It’s the pregnancy mantra to be of optimal nutrition when pregnant. Drinking too much coffee can compromise this. Caffeine constricts the veins (yours as well as your baby’s) and this limits the blood and nutrition delivered to your baby. It especially compromises iron absorptions which is vital for your baby’s development
Higher Risk of Miscarriage. Baby Center publishes that studies have shown that those who have caffeine higher than 200mg double their risk for miscarriage. A study done on 1000 cows made to drink the equivalent of 300 mg in humans also had higher cases of stillborns and underweight calves.
Caffeine Addiction. Since caffeine is both a stimulant and an addictive substance, exposing your unborn child to more than a moderate level could tax his liver (during digestion) and his heart (because it increases his heart rate as well as yours), and he may also develop an addiction for it and may suffer from withdrawal syndromes once he no longer gets caffeine.
At the end of day, nobody will oppose if you decide to be on the safe side and avoid caffeine altogether. But as mentioned, no need to feel guilty about that morning cup or occasional can of fizz. As long as you know your limits and check your caffeine intake, you and your little nudger will be fine.
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