No one ever disturbed me while I had my morning cuppa. That was my ‘private time’; just the two of us – me and my coffee. Simply divine! ………………….But suddenly things changed when I conceived. I could no longer stand the smell and taste of coffee. And having it first thing in the morning? Absolutely No!
Women undergo a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. Some follow the usual eating patterns while others develop aversions towards certain foods. Nature is truly a caregiver. While there has always been caution towards consuming excess caffeine in pregnancy, moms-to-be usually do not like the taste of tea and coffee in the first trimester. For those who still can’t live without their cup of tea in pregnancy, you have to keep the consumption in check.
We are here to guide you why excess consumption of caffeine in pregnancy could be harmful for you and the developing fetus.
Sources of caffeine you should be aware of Teas, coffee and all aerated drinks contain some amounts of caffeine. Your Espresso definitely has more caffeine content than a cappuccino or the mocha, so you should try and avoid that. Decaffeinated beverages are an option, though moderation is a must.
Chocolates and cocoa drinks are all sources of caffeine but minimal amounts are perfectly safe for consumption. Avoid consuming energy drinks as apart from caffeine, they also contain other harmful ingredients.
How caffeine affects the fetus
When a pregnant lady drinks a cup of coffee, the caffeine enters the baby’s bloodstream, crossing the amniotic fluid and subsequently the placenta. While the mom’s body metabolism works to get rid of the caffeine, the body of the foetus is weak and in the developing stage, therefore, it has to struggle to remove the caffeine from the bloodstream. And since the caffeine stays longer in the baby’s body, it is more susceptible to the harmful effects of the chemical. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, recommend the daily caffeine consumption to be less than 200 milligrams. That’s a little more than one standard cup of coffee.
Risks associated with high consumption of caffeine For the foetus
If you cross the recommended level of caffeine in pregnancy, it could lead to complications like preterm delivery, miscarriage, foetal defects, and impaired foetal growth.
These complications could also arise due to a combination of other factors like age, health issues, or smoking. Also different teas and coffees have varied levels of caffeine so check the levels in the package before buying your tea/coffee.
For the mom-to-be
Though we feel the cups of coffee and tea could keep us refreshed in pregnancy, it might be secretly harming our body. Are you facing problems of high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and frequent urination? It could be attributed to too much tea/coffee drinking. And not to mention the acidity and heartburn that keep you uncomfortable all day.
The caffeine in your coffee could also be the reason you are awake all night. Caffeine is a diuretic and a stimulant, it is best to limit its intake in pregnancy. Go for herbal options which are not only safe, they will keep you energised and relaxed during the uncomfortable days.
If you are expecting, chances are that you have already developed an aversion towards caffeine foods. That’s luck by your side! But if you are still addicted to tea/coffee in pregnancy, limit it to one cup a day, and keep in mind it should not be very strong. Herbal caffeine free herbal teas for pregnancy not only keep you refreshed, they also contain beneficial herbs, which provide the body with added nutrients to keep the mom and baby nourished and healthy.