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There is nothing like the smell of coffee to get you out of your slumber in the morning. Most of us develop an addiction for caffeine unknowingly. So the question is, “Is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant?”. As soon a you’re pregnant, all things that you love undergo a safety examination. Drinking coffee during pregnancy needs a little moderation of dose. This is because caffeine is a stimulating drug when taken in a higher dose. It can affect the mental development of your baby.
But it is not that you need to complete abstinence from coffee during pregnancy. NHS states that taking less than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day will not affect your newborn. The statement says caffeine and not coffee. So you need to reduce the consumption of other caffeinated products. If you want to continue drinking coffee during pregnancy, you are allowed only a 12 ounce cup. Other items like chocolates and soft drinks also have caffeine. You need to stop taking them completely. Soft drinks harm your health adversely whether pregnant or not. They are carcinogenic. Dark chocolate has some benefits for you like the alkaloids.
What does coffee have?
Coffee has caffeine. The actual problem is not coffee and instead caffeine.
Caffeine has two properties that make it unfit for consumption during pregnancy.
- Caffeine is a stimulant: A stimulant drug causes increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Pregnant women are at risk of Preclampsia. During Preclampsia the blood pressure goes up and proteins start coming in urine. This condition is also called toxemia. During pregnancy and stimulant drug is very harmful for both, mother and baby.
- Caffeine is a diuretic: A diuretic drug causes increase in urination. This can lead to dehydration. Loss of fluids is not good in any case. During pregnancy dehydration can cause you to faint. Falling can give you severe injuries. It is important that you replenish your body’s water. If you decide to take caffeine during pregnancy then drink a lot of water.
Another thing about caffeine is that it will cross the placenta. There are only few things that cross placenta and are safe. Most things that cross placenta like Mercury are not safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Caffeine during pregnancy: Facts and myths
Other than coffee, many food items have caffeine. Chocolates, soft drinks, few biscuits, and headache medicines have caffeine. As we are discussing safety of coffee during pregnancy, we’ll use the word coffee.
- Coffee increases the risk of preterm labor and miscarriage.
- Drinking more than moderate dose of coffee can cause low birth weight.
- Coffee drinkers are prone to infertility.
- Caffeine causes birth defects.
- Coffee can damage your baby’s heart.
Coffee during pregnancy may not affect you. Your baby doesn’t have the metabolism to be able to handle caffeine. Thus caffeine will not break down in her body. She will continue to have the caffeine in her body for long. Permissible dose of coffee during pregnancy is less than 200 milligrams. This is not safe for baby’s age.
Is drinking coffee safe during pregnancy?
Many women face withdrawal symptoms of caffeine just like a drug. They have constant complaints about headaches and are unable to concentrate on work. Mood swings get worse due to inadequate caffeine consumption. Caffeine acts a brain stimulator. The reason we don’t feel sleepy after taking coffee is due to its stimulant action. Overtime higher doses produce the same effect. So you need to take more and more cups of coffee. Some women and men don’t feel their day started without coffee. It also has a psychological aspect to it. Eating dark chocolate with same amount of caffeine doesn’t curb the craving. Only a cup of coffee during pregnancy does that. Not only coffee, even tea has the same effect. Drinking coffee empty stomach is the worst you can do to your baby. If you drink enough water and eat fruits to compensate for harmful effects then you’ll be at less risk.
The brain chemistry greatly depends on how you tune it. If you are used to a big cup of coffee every morning then no matter what you do you’ll find it very hard to leave it. One needs to balance the irritability and the effects of caffeine.
Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy? As mentioned there is no harm in taking less than 200 milligrams caffeine a day. But make sure that either you prepare the coffee or ask someone trustworthy to do it. When you go to cafe there some drinks might have a higher amount of caffeine. Taking more than recommended caffeine a day during pregnancy can affect the baby. Not drinking coffee can affect the mother’s mood. It is difficult to manage this situation because either way some changes will happen.
Morning sickness doesn’t allow you to get out of bed already. Not drinking their regular coffee can cause fatigue and headaches. There is another option to coffee for pregnant women. It is Decaf coffee. It has a placebo effect.
Is it safe to drink Decaf coffee while pregnant?
Decaf coffee is like a candy without sugar. As the name suggests there is less amount of caffeine in Decaf coffee. Absolutely no caffeine is not possible because then coffee won’t be possible. A 12 ounce Decaf coffee cup has about 12-25 milligrams of caffeine. So you can drink about 8 cups of Decaf coffee which is enough for any coffee addict. This makes Decaf coffee ideal for pregnant women. There are no side effects of Decaf coffee during pregnancy. This is because the side effects of coffee during pregnancy are actually side effects of caffeine. You can easily replace your second cup for the day with a Decaf coffee.
Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy? The answer to this might not be as satisfying until Decaf coffee came. You can drink as much coffee you want if it is Decaf. But it is best to gradually reduce the number of cups of coffee during pregnancy. This is easy to do with Decaf coffee. Take your regular morning cup of coffee followed by one or two Decaf coffee cups. Gradually reduce the amount of coffee powder added to your morning cup. Drinking coffee while breastfeeding is a controversial subject as it can cause problems for the baby. So it is best to gradually wean yourself off coffee during pregnancy. One can start doing this when she is trying to get pregnant. This will make it easier to cope with it during pregnancy. When you are pregnant you have already long list of things to avoid. You cannot play few sports and have to stop eating some fishes. Morning sickness, leg cramps and insomnia already create havoc in life. Leaving coffee during pregnancy will be tougher than before getting pregnant.
Green bean extract during pregnancy
The extract of coffee that is not roasted is called Green Bean Extract. Green cocoa beans undergo roasting to become coffee beans. After roasting many chemicals form in the cocoa beans to give a rich taste and flavor. Green bean extract has many compounds that make them ideal for many diseases. They are useful for diabetic patients and heart diseases. They boost metabolism and thus are good for weight loss. Many dieticians recommend people to drink green beans extracts for slimming. During pregnancy any such weight loss food can be harmful. Doctors strictly prohibit mothers to be for dieting.
Green bean extract can even affect the baby while breastfeeding. It is best to avoid green bean extract during pregnancy and until breastfeeding. Green bean extract unlike coffee is not addictive.
You must check with your doctor about all such food items that you regularly consume. Drinking coffee during pregnancy is safe till you consume less than 200 milligrams a day. You need to take few precautions along with it. Drink a lot of water and add milk to your coffee. Opt for milk latte and not black coffee.