Is Coffee Bad for Pregnancy? Discover the Truth Now!
As a coffee lover, I had a hard time adjusting during the times I was pregnant. I have always been advised to limit or completely cut off my caffeine intake. Accordingly, it is not good for my pregnancy. Caffeine is said to affect the baby inside a woman’s womb.
However, there are some claims that there is really no connection between coffee and bad pregnancy. So, does this belief even have a scientific basis? Does it even make sense? How do we tell which claims are myths and which are facts? Let us all answer these questions one by one as we proceed with our discussion today. Let us begin!
Things You Need to Know
What is in a Coffee?
Coffee is probably the most popular caffeinated drink, topping soda and tea. Likewise, caffeine is a widely popular stimulant around the world. It is also a diuretic; so, with these properties, it increases blood pressure and heart rate. At the same time, it reduces blood fluid levels as it causes urination frequency. Effectively, it results to dehydration.
Increased blood pressure and heart rate, and dehydration are not good for pregnant women. They may compromise not just your health but that of your baby as well.
How Does It Affect the Baby?
As coffee crosses the placenta, it can decrease the blood flow. Keep in mind that your baby has a very delicate metabolism that is just beginning to form. It is still so immature that it may not be able to handle a drink as strong as coffee. As a result, this could change your baby’s movement and/or sleeping patterns during the late stage of your pregnancy.
When you drink coffee during pregnancy, it is not just your heart rate that rises. Your baby’s increases as well. This can lead to a more serious condition, arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat.
As you consume coffee regularly, it is also possible for your baby to develop a dependence on it. So, when you give birth to him/her, he/she may experience withdrawal symptoms since he/she will no longer have access to coffee like the usual.
Caffeine intake among expectant mothers is also said to cause low birth weight. This could pose serious or even fatal consequences for your baby. Low birth weight is one of the factors causing high infant death. Also, chronic diseases during adulthood have an association with low birth weight.
Is Decaf a Good Alternative?
Decaf coffee is not completely decaffeinated. There is still a minimal caffeine content. However, this means that you can consume more cups of it than regular coffee. So, if you cannot live without your daily dose, you might want to opt for decaf as an alternative. It could help, especially if you think you will suffer from withdrawals.
Are Other Caffeinated Drinks Safe?
Soda and tea have about the same caffeine content as coffee. So, these drinks must also be avoided or at least, the intake kept at a minimum.
On the other hand, energy drinks are completely not good for pregnant women. They contain relatively greater caffeine than regular coffee. Moreover, they have other ingredients that are harmful to you during pregnancy.
Aside from beverages, some cold and flu medicines also contain caffeine. You must be careful about the medications you take. If you are unsure, always consult your doctor first. Like what we always say at a crucial time like pregnancy, it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
What Does Science Have to Say?
There are several studies involving animals when it comes to the link between caffeine intake and pregnancy. Some of these have proven that drinking too much coffee during pregnancy can lead to several health problems. Some of these include the following:
- Birth defects;
- Premature labor;
- Preterm delivery;
- Reduced fertility; and
- Other reproductive health issues
However, these involve animals. Further studies involving actual humans need to be conducted, in order to come up with more conclusive results. Why? So far, studies show conflicting outcomes.
In some studies, the relationship between caffeine intake and delayed conception or infertility has been established. Accordingly, if you consume more than 200 mg of coffee every day, you have twice as much chances of suffering from the miscarriage as those who do not. Then, there are also studies showing that there is no relationship between coffee consumption and pregnancy risks.
To Sum It Up…
Given these, physicians recommend that it is better to be safe than to be sorry in the future. So, they believe that it is best for pregnant women to stop drinking coffee or any caffeinated drink— at least until some time after they give birth. Taking a break from coffee during the first trimester is highly recommended. There is a greater miscarriage risk during this period; so, it is important that you really avoid coffee.
If cutting off is really difficult, limiting caffeine intake to less than 200 mg a day is a great compromise. Keeping the caffeine intake in moderation is the key to enjoying both your favorite drink and healthy pregnancy.
Until more conclusive studies are completed, there really is no way of knowing how much coffee is safe enough for pregnant women. It is really a struggle especially if you are a coffee lover like me, but of course, you always have to put the safety of your baby first.
Pregnancy is an extremely sensitive and crucial period in your life as a woman. It is not just all about you; it is, more importantly, about another life growing inside of you. Everything you do during this period has a significant effect on your baby. So, eating a balanced diet and staying away from the big “no-nos” mean a lot. The last thing you would want to do is to put your baby at risk; so, always watch what you eat.
What do you think about these studies? Based on your experience, does coffee really affect pregnancy? Let us hear your thoughts!
About the athur
Sterling Lopez has always been passionate about writing. So, when she learned that there was a way to reach a massive, global audience through the power of the internet, she strived to master all there is to master about blogging. Although relatively new in this digital world, she wants to maximize this technology to inspire her fellow moms. She believes that motherhood is the best and the most noble duty there is; so, she wants to be of help, especially to first-time parents. Nothing delights her more than kids, and that is exactly what motivates her to keep blogging— to help others raise their kids well.