Caffeine is a staple in many people’s diets. This stimulant helps keep us alert and prevents us from being tired and groggy all day. Caffeine is one of the most common psychoactive substances present in coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also found in many headache medications. Many of us can attest that there is nothing better than a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning to help start your day. However, now that you are pregnant, you may be wondering if these caffeinated drinks are safe to consume.
Since everyone is different, we recommend asking your physician about drinking coffee during your pregnancy. In August 2018, the March of Dimes made a statement about conflicting information pertaining to caffeine intake during pregnancy, so the recommendation is to consume less than 200mg of caffeine per day until more studies are done. One cup of 12-ounce coffee has approximately 200 mg, which is considered a moderate amount of caffeine. However, just to be cautious, make sure to ask your personal physician their opinion about caffeine intake during pregnancy. There are some physicians who will recommend for their patients to avoid caffeine as much as they can while they are pregnant and/or nursing.
The concern is that caffeine can cause dehydration and frequency of urination. In addition, caffeine gets absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. For pregnant women, the caffeine will pass easily into the placenta and fetal which could make it hard for the baby to metabolize. If the levels are too high or build up, this can restrict the fetal growth causing low birth weight. Additionally, caffeine can alter the baby’s sleep pattern during the pregnancy since it acts as a stimulant.
While drinking coffee while you are pregnant is considered okay in general, if you absolutely need the caffeine to help you through your day, make sure to consume it in moderation. A tip for those trying to conceive – drinking less caffeine (and alcohol) could increase your chances of getting pregnant.