Caffeine, Stress and Pregnancy

| February 4, 2014

Caffeine Stress and Pregnancy

Coffee Beans - Caffeine Stress Pregnancy

Caffeine, Stress & Pregnancy

If you love your morning cup of coffee, you may be wondering, “how safe is caffeine during pregnancy?” This topic has been heavily debated in the medical community for decades. Although there is still no consensus on what level of caffeine is safe for pregnant women, research studies have found that a daily consumption of over 200 milligrams of caffeine during pregnancy doubled a woman’s risk of miscarriage.

Why the increased risk of miscarriage if you drink caffeine while pregnant? There are two mechanisms that scientists believe make coffee and pregnancy a potentially dangerous combination. First, caffeine is known to directly cross the placenta. While an adult’s body can metabolize the caffeine, a developing baby cannot. It is too stressful on the baby’s system. The caffeine may directly interfere with the developing cells. Second, high doses of caffeine during pregnancy are known to constrict the blood vessels, and this can decrease blood flow to the placenta and the baby. Both of these mechanisms together may contribute to miscarriage.

Stress on FetusIn high doses, caffeine in pregnancy may also increase a woman’s risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight baby, stillborn, birth defects, and having a baby with neurological problems. These complications are harder to study, so it has not been proven definitely that caffeine during pregnancy increases the risk for these problems.

Recommendations

caffeine colaThe March of Dimes recommends that you consume less than 200 milligrams of caffeine each day when pregnant. This equals the amount of caffeine in one 12-ounce cup of coffee. Stick to this limit, and there will be minimal damage and stress on your pregnancy. If you’d like to eliminate the risks that caffeine has on your baby, consider eliminating caffeine altogether. Think of it this way, what kind of effect would coffee have on a young child whose brain is still developing? A fetus’ brain and nervous system and all of its functioning is still developing while in utero, so the effects will be compounded.

Tcaffeine chocolateo stay on the safe side, you will want to reduce your caffeine consumption as much as possible. The less coffee you drink, the better it will be for your pregnancy and the safer it will be for your baby. Keep in mind that drinking coffee during pregnancy isn’t the only way to decrease your caffeine consumption. Caffeine is also found in teas, chocolates, sodas, ice creams, and even over-the-counter medications. (You should always read product labels carefully for their caffeine content.)

If you want to kick caffeine during pregnancy, do so as quickly as you can. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, you may find that going cold turkey gives you nasty headaches and makes you irritable. To minimize your symptoms, ease off slowly. It may also be a good idea to mix your regular cup of java with decaffeinated coffee. Decaf does contain a small amount of caffeine, but not enough to cause problems.

reflective_momSwitching over to decaf completely doesn’t solve every issue. Although you still get the same taste but without the risky caffeine, decaffeinated coffee is chemically processed.

Ultimately, the stress to the development of the baby is not worth the risk of drinking coffee. However, if you decide to drink coffee during your pregnancy, at least drink certified organic coffee. Since coffee is the heaviest chemically treated food commodity in the world, choosing organic will help reduce the amount of synthetic chemicals to which your baby is exposed.

 

Effective Strategies for Kicking Caffeine Habit

green smoothieIf you are feeling tired, do your best to get extra sleep while your pregnant. Eliminate unnecessary engagements and stressful activities. Also, invest in a juicer or vitamix and learn about the energizing effects of green juices or green smoothies. The minerals from nutrient dense living foods support, nourish and repair the body.

Supplying your body with essential minerals is an effective way to eliminate cravings for chocolate. Plus, fetuses who are exposed to raw fruits and veggies in utero recognize and enjoy them after they are born.

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Category: Diet, Foods to Avoid, Health & Wellness, Nutrition

Tara Bianca

About the Author ()

Tara Bianca is a spiritual and transformational coach, facilitator and author whose inspirational mentorship empowers everyday people to transform their lives to access joy, aliveness, clarity, focus and direction.

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