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You are here : home > Pregnancy > The Normal Pregnancy > Caffeine Addiction (Coffee, Tea, Cola's)

Caffeine Addiction (Coffee, Tea, Cola's)

Caffeine Addiction (Coffee, Tea, Cola

Caffeine Addiction (Coffee, Tea, Cola's)

Too much caffeine can cause your baby to have a low birth weight, higher heart rate and rapid breathing. Get simple tips to restrain or quit your caffeine habit; know more about the sources of, and side-effects of too much caffeine; all in the following article.

If you are pregnant there are so many things you are
 advised to steer clear of. Don’t drink alcohol; don’t eat unpasteurised cheese; don’t eat raw food! But the most annoying ‘Don’t’ for most women is: Don’t drink too much coffee!

Caffeine: Its Sources and Content

The primary issue doctors have with coffee is its caffeine content. Sources of caffeine include not just coffee, but also teas (including green tea), fizzy drinks, chocolate, as well as chocolate and coffee ice-creams. 

There are many conflicting reports as to how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy. While some doctors recommend a maximum of 100 to 150 mgs of caffeine, most doctors and dieticians allow a maximum of 200 mgs of caffeine.

200 mg of caffeine equates:

  • Two cups of instant coffee;
  • One cup of brewed coffee;
  • Two mugs of tea;
  • Six cans of Coca-Cola; and
  • Four 50g bars of chocolate.

It is important to note that a coffee from a cafe may contain more caffeine since the level of caffeine in a coffee varies according to the type of bean used, and its method of roasting and brewing.

Women are advised to read labels before purchasing any herbal products or over-the-counter drugs such as headache, cold, and allergy pills as caffeine may be present in many of them.

Moreover, it is suggested that teas and coffees are best drunk between meals as these beverages can otherwise decrease the amount of iron a pregnant woman absorbs from her food.

Side-Effects of Too Much Caffeine

Some studies indicate that women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine doubled their risk of miscarriage. Other research indicates that drinking more than 8 cups of coffee doubled the risk of stillbirths. Yet other studies have shown that in the case of women who consumed more that 500 mg of caffeine per day, their newborn babies had higher heart rates, rapid breathing and were more awake than is the norm in the first few days after birth. There is also a high risk that the baby will be born with a low birth weight which increases their risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes in adulthood.

Effects of Caffeine

The Effects of Caffeine on the Expecting Mother and Foetus are detailed below:

  1. Caffeine is a Stimulant

    Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it will make you feel more alert and jittery by increasing your heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism. It can cause insomnia and can make your baby feel unsettled.

  2. Frequency of Urination

    Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect which means that you will need to pee more.  This can cause dehydration due to the reduction in your body fluid levels.

  3. Heartburn

    Caffeine stimulates the secretion of excess stomach acid which causes heartburn.

  4. Absorption of Iron

    Most women suffer from iron deficiencies during pregnancies. Coffee and tea contain compounds known as Phenols that further hamper the absorption of iron in pregnant women.

  5. Difficulty in Breaking down Caffeine

    As pregnancy progresses; your body's ability to break down caffeine slows, leading to a more concentrated level of it in your bloodstream.

  6. Blood Flow to the Placenta

    Caffeine reaches the baby through the placenta. Because the baby’s metabolism is under-developed, it cannot fully process the caffeine thereby increasing the level of stress hormones. High amounts of caffeine can reduce the blood flow to the placenta, which restricts the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your baby.

Restraining or Quitting your Caffeine habit

If you need to cut down or completely eliminate your caffeine intake, you taste buds may do the work for you. During the first trimester, most pregnant women suffer from nausea which changes their sense of taste. The yearning for that morning cup of coffee may vanish on its own.

If you need to reduce or quit your caffeine intake, you can try the following tips:

  • Switch to decaffeinated products. Decaffeinated coffee tastes almost like normal coffee and your body may get fooled into thinking you're getting a caffeine hit! You could also try decaffeinated teas and sodas.
  • Switch from brewed to instant coffee as it contains a lower amount of caffeine.
  • Make your coffee weaker by using only half a teaspoon of coffee.
  • Brew you coffee for a shorter time.
  • If you are a tea drinker, steep your teabag for just a minute instead of five minutes to decrease the caffeine content by almost half.

For habitual coffee or tea drinkers, quitting caffeine is difficult. They may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness, fatigue, and weakness. They are therefore advised to cut back on the caffeine gradually; by reducing half a cup or teaspoon each day until they reach the recommended and desired intake level.

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Malini.5 years ago
I was a coffee addict but stopped with great difficulty. I've started taking green tea and now i do not need coffee... Just try green tea leaves added to hot water, stain and drink. It will refresh you and also build your immunity.
samaira.8 years ago
i need more details on this particular it possible for u people..
Amar.9 years ago
we are family planing from last month. Last month we might have tried 4-6 times. Please suggest can we still have intercourse? Is that Safe?or i should wait for the result and what are the symptoms of initial stage as she has got got her periods yet 15 days pass by.
Pooja.10 years ago
Side effects of Caffeine.
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