How Much Caffeine Can I Have While Pregnant?
Maybe this is one of the most frequent questions a pregnant mother who loves to consume caffeinated product would ask. But how much really caffeine a pregnant could have?
Caffeine as one of the most popular stimulants in America that can increase blood pressure and rate. It can also boost one’s energy and makes more alert. These effects should be avoided when one is pregnant as it may affect the baby. The mother might be able to safely process her caffeine intake but her baby does not have the same ability as its metabolism is still developing. No matter how small the amount of caffeine it would be, it still can cause in the baby’s sleep pattern and abnormal pattern in the later stages of pregnancy. It can keep both awake the mother and the baby.
Caffeine crosses placenta and enters the baby’s bloodstream, and may affect baby’s health. According to American College of Obstetricians Gynecologist, moderate amount of caffeine is less than 200mg per day but not linked to an increase miscarriage risk. There are evidences as well that suggest low intakes of caffeine may result in low birth weight. With the study conducted, it was noted that low intakes of 50-149mg per day during pregnancy were associated with 13% higher of risk of low birth weight.
Caffeine levels can vary widely based on the type of bean, on how long it was roasted and brewed. Rich, dark roast coffee contains less caffeine than light roast. Why? Because beans roasted for much longer burn off more caffeine.
Research says that caffeine stimulates your brain and central nervous system to keep you awake and sharpen mental alertness. Aside from its potential benefits, it has harmful risk as well when consumed during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant and consumed caffeine, she metabolizes caffeine more slowly. It can take 1.5-3.5 times longer to eliminate caffeine from the body.
Caffeine is not only in coffee but also in tea, chocolate, energy drinks or even medications. Though it has benefits it can cause negative side effects as well and may pose risks during pregnancy. Frequent consumption of caffeine can increase frequent urination, causing decrease in body fluid levels and even results to dehydration.
How Much Caffeine Can I Have While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, experts recommend limiting caffeine intake to 200mg per day or less. Though it varies on type and preparation of method, this is the same as 1-2 cups (240-580ml) of coffee or about 2-4 cups (240-960ml) brewed tea per day.
The less caffeine you consume, the better. If you consume more than 150mg of caffeine per day is too much, while others say more than 300mg a day is too much. But how much caffeine can you have while pregnant?
Avoiding caffeine as much as possible would be the safest course of action. Scientist says that the key for determining which caffeinated products are safer than others is to be aware of the caffeine content. That’s why when you consumed too much caffeine during pregnancy, you’re not the only one who gets affected but your baby too. It can lead to baby’s heart beat faster or irregular heart rhythm.
Another beverage that contains caffeine is energy drink. It is strictly prohibited for pregnant to drink energy drinks during pregnancy. This kind of drink contains high amounts of added sugars, which lack nutritional value.
But not all coffee have equal caffeine content. It has various caffeine content depends on the type and method of preparation. General rule says that expectant mothers can have two small cups of coffee a day. Be mindful also of other sources of caffeine such as pop, chocolate, and even the size of the cup as there are some mugs hold caffeine for about two cups of coffee. There are certain medications like pain relievers may contain caffeine and used as supplement for weight loss. Better check with your doctor for safer and healthier advice. If you want a healthy pregnancy, it takes planning and preparation such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Omega-3 fat diet
- No gadgets
- Stress-free lifestyle
- More Vitamin D intake
- Regular exercise
Instead of caffeinated drinks, pregnant woman can drink ginger root, peppermint leaf, raspberry leaf, and lemon balm. Since caffeine is also present on some pain relief medicines which is over-the counter, authorities or health care professionals especially FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires labels on these medicines on the amount of caffeine. If you’re pregnant better consult your health care provider before taking any medicine with caffeine including prescription or over-the-counter medicine.
As with any herbal remedy, it is still best to consult your doctor.