Coffee and Pregnancy

Are you one of those people who cannot live without your latte or diet coke or don’t feel like yourself before two espressos in the morning? If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, it might be an idea to look into how much caffeine you are consuming daily. This is not meant to make you feel guilty for each cup of coffee or tea – most research shows that you can consume small amounts of caffeine, so there is no need to stay away from a freshly brewed latte for nine months. Maybe cut back a little, for the benefit of you and your baby.

Most studies show that caffeine can be associated with several prenatal risks. So there is general agreement among the medical faculty that pregnant women and those trying to conceive should avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine.

Caffeine has been linked with increased rates of miscarriage. Most cases are linked to high doses of caffeine, but it is still worth thinking about. Other physical side effects from caffeine are:

increased heart rate increased blood pressure increased sweat production. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, you lose fluid from your body, which can leave you dehydrated and fatigued. Sometimes in the late stages of pregnancy dehydration can promote early labor, false labor and frequent Braxton Hicks. In labor, dehydration can cause frequent and uncomfortable surges and you are more likely to get an IV once you check into the hospital.

Although researchers debate how much caffeine is acceptable during pregnancy, there is evidence that any amount will cause some physical effects on your baby. Caffeine passes through your placenta and is absorbed by your baby. You are able to break down caffeine quite quickly, because of chemicals inside our body. Your developing baby can’t do this as efficiently, and caffeine will be stored inside of his/her blood for a longer period of time and can therefore reach high levels. In this way caffeine may directly affect his or her developing cells. Remember that your body breaks down caffeine more slowly as your pregnancy progresses, which means a higher level of caffeine in your bloodstream and in your baby’s.

The amount of caffeine in coffee and tea can vary depending on whether the coffee grounds or tea leaves are brewed or instant, weak or strong. Colas and other drinks vary in caffeine content, too. Here is a list of average caffeine amounts in some common foods and beverages. You might be surprised how easily you can get a large dose of caffeine.

1 mug of instant coffee = 100mg·

1 cup of brewed coffee = 100mg·

1 cup of instant coffee = 75mg· 1 cup of tea = 50mg·

1 can of “energy” drink = 80mg·

1 can of cola = 40mg·

1 x 50g bar of plain chocolate = up to 50mg·

1 x 50g bar of milk chocolate = up to 25mg

What I recommend to all my clients is to consume everything in moderation, we live in a society that is all about quantity and not as much into quality. A little bit will go a long way and will not make you feel ‘deprived”.