Coffee has numerous health benefits such are preventing heart diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. But is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy? If you are used to drinking a cup of coffee every morning or occasionally, you will definitely have this question. The major concern of coffee is the caffeine content which affects the body in various ways.
If you want to drink coffee, you can’t avoid caffeine in any way. Even after decaffeination, the coffee will still have some caffeine. Other coffee-based drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, and espresso still have caffeine.
This article offers all the information you need to know about drinking coffee during pregnancy. It will cover whether it’s right to drink coffee and the concerns involved.
Once you are pregnant, it’s advisable to minimize the consumption of caffeine. So how much caffeine should you consume? There have been many studies dedicated to determining the amount of caffeine that is safe for pregnant women.
However, these studies have not delivered a precise answer to the amount of caffeine that a pregnant woman should consume. Due to this fact, some women tend to avoid coffee completely since it contains high levels of caffeine. This decision might be right but wrong to some extent.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) holds that during pregnancy, a woman should minimize their caffeine intake to under 200 mg per day.
This is equivalent to approximately one 11 ounce cup of coffee. This guidance advises women to avoid consuming a lot of coffee in a day. Thus, if you were drinking 2 or 4 cups of coffee per day, you will have to limit the amount to one cup.
After all, you can increase your coffee intake after delivery and nursing the child to a given age. The idea is to avoid coffee at a time when you have a delicate condition.
Does caffeine reach your unborn child when you consume coffee?
When you eat any food or take any drink, it crosses the placenta into the amniotic fluid as well as your child’s bloodstream. The caffeine in the coffee follows the same route. Your body is equipped with mechanisms of eliminating the caffeine from the blood system. However, the child’s body is still developing, so it takes a longer time to get rid of the caffeine. Thus, your baby is exposed to the impacts of the caffeine for an extended time. There are potential effects to your baby due to this exposure.
The concerns about drinking coffee during pregnancy
Researchers have also tried to identify the effects of caffeine to the unborn child and the mother. According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine is not harmful. This amount of coffee doesn’t result in premature birth or miscarriage.
Nevertheless, one study found that females who consumed more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day during pregnancy had a potential of premature death. They were chances of giving birth to babies who were still in their gestation period.
There is the fact that a pregnant mother won’t feel better if they consume a lot of coffee per day. Caffeine in the coffee increases body activity by stimulating body systems, heart, and muscles.
So caffeine will raise the heart rate as well as blood pressure. Caffeine can also make a pregnant mother feel jittery and even result in insomnia. In some instances, caffeine can result in heartburn by stimulating the production of stomach acid.
You will notice these effects of caffeine as the pregnancy progresses. This occurs since your body’s capacity to break down caffeine declines, so you will eventually have a high level of caffeine in the bloodstream.
In the second trimester, it will take twice as long to get rid of caffeine from your bloodstream as when you were not pregnant. In the third trimester, getting rid of caffeine will take almost three times as long.
So the caffeine will take more time in your body as your pregnancy progresses. It will also take longer in the baby’s body than in yours. Once you give birth, the caffeine is also passed to the baby through breastfeeding. This occurs for the first few months. So you should still limit the amount of coffee which will lower caffeine in your body.
Apart from limiting coffee due to the time it takes in the bloodstream, there are more reasons. Caffeinated coffee limits the body’s ability to absorb iron which is required during pregnancy. Thus, limiting the amount of caffeine will be of great importance during pregnancy. Remember no to exceed 200 mg of caffeine per day.