Once there is pregnancy confirmation, most women say goodbye to caffeine. Many can stop their habit right away without hesitation while other moms to be, shrink their caffeine intake by cutting back on their habits. Why do pregnant women do this? Why do doctors suggest not to drink caffeine? It is important to note that research shows that too much caffeine can cause complications like preterm labor or low birth weight. Some reasons to completely avoid it are:
- It has no nutritional value.
- Caffeine is a stimulant and it will increase your heart rate and may cause insomnia and headaches which in turn puts stress on your baby.
- Caffeine causes heartburn. As we have mentioned in one of our previous articles, pregnancy may come already with heartburn, so adding caffeine may worsen those symptoms.
- It is a diuretic, which will make you lose fluids that can put you at risk of becoming dehydrated. This will also affect your sonograms as it will be harder to get good 3D, 4D and 5D pictures of your baby.
So, you may be wondering… what if I can’t cut it completely? Am I having too much caffeine? Some doctors tell their patients that moderate consumption of caffeine will not harm the baby, but how much is moderate? Some things to consider is that caffeine does cross the placenta, but anything less than 300 milligrams a day (which is equivalent to an 8-ounce cup of strong coffee) will not harm your baby. Anything you do over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk. On the other hand, women that drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine during the first trimester have a higher risk of miscarriage. Studies also link 500 milligrams or more a day with babies that have faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies spend more time awake in their first few days of life instead of sleeping after their journey from the womb to the outside world.
In conclusion, it is not necessary for you to completely give up all the caffeine during your pregnancy, although it is encouraged. If you can’t, then watch your intake amount. If you are hooked to coffee flavor, you may want to consider decaf coffee, but know that it may contain small traces of caffeine. Also stick to caffeine free sodas.