10 Effects of Caffeine on Pregnancy
Pregnant women should be aware of their caffeine intake due to the Effects of Caffeine on Pregnancy. Generally speaking, there is no good relationship between caffeine and pregnancy; a large amount of caffeine intake can harm the baby. As a result, you should limit your caffeine intake as much as possible while pregnant to take care of your baby and have a healthy pregnancy.
This article on Hipregnancy covers all you need to know about the effects of caffeine on pregnancy and many other related points. Don’t miss this article and follow it until the end if you are a caffeinated beverage lover!
10 Effects of caffeine on pregnancy
Caffeine is a substance derived from the seeds, leaves, and fruits of various plants. It is a stimulant found in several foods and beverages like chocolate, coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, etc. In addition, some prescription and over-the-counter medication have caffeine.
According to scientific research, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake because it can be harm unborn babies during pregnancy. So, what happens when you drink too much caffeine while pregnant?
The most important effects of caffeine on pregnancy are;
- Increasing blood pressure
- Increasing heart rate
- Increasing the frequency of urination
- Increasing the risk of dehydration
- Causing miscarriage
- Causing infertility
- Changing bay’s normal movement pattern
- Changing bay’s sleep pattern
- Increasing the risk of stillbirth
- Causing low birth weight
Caffeine crosses the placenta into baby’s bloodstream. All the above health issues and effects of caffeine on fetus happen because of baby’s low ability to break down caffeine than adults. Your body metabolizes caffeine intake, but the unborn baby’s body is developing and doesn’t have the enzymes for metabolizing caffeine. So, metabolizing caffeine takes a long time and puts the baby at higher exposure to caffeine.
Consider that the harmful effects of caffeine are more noticeable as pregnancy progresses. Hipregnancy warns you about the relationship between caffeine and pregnancy third trimester, as high caffeine intake during the third trimester can cause fetal growth retardation.
As a result, limiting caffeine intake up to 200 mg per day is recommended to reduce the negative Effects of Caffeine while Pregnant. [1: americanpregnancy]
How much caffeine can you have while pregnant?
Most people like caffeinated drinks and foods like tea, coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate, but pregnant women should balance their caffeine intake not to put their baby at risk and try to limit their caffeine consumption. Limiting caffeine intake up to 200 mg per day is recommended to reduce caffeine’s negative effects during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Experts do not recommend you cut off caffeinated beverages or foods while you are pregnant because caffeine can be useful for you to improve your energy and alertness. But they always warn pregnant women to limit their caffeine intake due to the health issues that high amounts of caffeine may cause for mom and baby. [2: healthline]
Too much caffeine can put infants at risk for rapid weight gain after birth and heart disease, obesity, and diabetes later in life. These are long-term effects of caffeine during pregnancy!
Amount of caffeine in common beverages and foods
If you are a caffeinated drinks and foods fan and pregnant now, you should know about the amounts of caffeine in your foods and drinks. It helps you to manage your consumption during this period. The list below is a collection of the common caffeinated foods and drinks plus their caffeine levels which can guide you to a balanced diet during pregnancy.
* Note that the numbers which are mentioned in the chart are averages. Because the caffeine amounts may change based on the brand, types of ingredients, preparation style, and the way of serving. Take a look at these general guidelines to get more information;
|Drink/Food||Average Amount of Caffeine|
|8 ounces of decaf coffee||2-15 mg|
|8 ounces of instant coffee||75 mg|
|8 ounces of brewed coffee||135 mg|
|8 ounces of instant tea||26-36 mg|
|8 ounces of brewed tea||45 mg|
|8 ounces of energy drink||100 mg|
|1 packet or 3 teaspoons of hot cocoa mix||8-12 mg|
|12 ounces of soft drinks||35 mg|
|8 ounces of chocolate milk||5-8 mg|
|1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup||3 mg|
|1.55-ounce bar of milk chocolate||11 mg|
|1.45-ounce bar of dark chocolate||30 mg|
|1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips||26-38 mg|
The above table can help you in having a better pregnancy caffeine chart. In other words, now you know the caffeine content of each drink or food, so you can manage your caffeine intake while pregnant.
Don’t forget to consult your doctor about the caffeinated foods or beverages you want to add to your diet while pregnant; this is the best and safest way to lower caffeine in pregnancy and care for your unborn baby.
Also read: Best Tea For Pregnancy
No or low caffeine drinks for pregnant women
We have good news for women who do not like to drink caffeinated beverages based on their reason. Maybe some of you don’t like these drinks, or you were a fan of these drinks, but you don’t like to harm your baby. Plenty of alternatives to caffeinated beverages can be used during pregnancy.
It is vital to remember that although these options have no or low caffeine content, they must be taken in moderation. Pregnancy-safe drinks which fall into the category of no or low-caffeinated beverages are;
- Certain herbal teas
- Decaf tea
- Ginger tea
- Mint tea
- Coconut water
- Hot water with lemon and ginger
- Frizzy water with lemon
- Half water, half fresh juice
- Red bush tea
- Decaf coffee
- Hot water with a slice of lemon [4: srnutrition]
Caffeine intake during breastfeeding
You may think that the end of pregnancy is when you get back to your normal life, like before getting pregnant. But the fact is that it is not true. Even after childbirth, you must pay attention to what you want to eat.
As caffeine can pass into breast milk, you should limit caffeine intake while breastfeeding. Your newborn baby can’t break down caffeine, which can put them at risk of health issues related to caffeine intake. Hipregnancy recommends reducing the amount of caffeine in your diet, if you don’t want to face the Effects of Caffeine on Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Pregnant women should pay attention to what they consume during pregnancy, especially caffeinated foods and beverages. They need to limit their caffeine intake up to 200 mg a day to reduce the negative Effects of Caffeine on Pregnancy.
You can drink beverages like water, ginger tea, and coconut water to keep your body hydrated during this period. But if you can’t put aside your favorite coffee, try to take it in moderation.
Are there any missed points about having caffeine while pregnant? If yes, share them with us via comment.