Now that you are pregnant, do you have to stop drinking coffee and other beverages that have caffeine, like tea?
There is a general understanding that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and those trying to become pregnant should not consume coffee and tea, at least in large quantities. However, after decades of medical studies, controversy, and conflicting reports, we are still no closer to a 100 percent consensus about how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy.
To be a little bit more cautious, many organizations and medical groups advise that women who are pregnant, about to become pregnant, or breastfeeding do their best to limit their caffeine consumption to less than 200 milligrams a day. This amount is equivalent to one cup of 12-ounce coffee (that also depends on the type of coffee since different kinds have varying amounts of caffeine). Ex: dark roast coffee has less caffeine than light roast coffee. You can also do research to find out how much various foods and drinks have in terms of caffeine.
Why are people concerned about consuming caffeine during pregnancy?
In 2008, there was a highly publicized study that stated that women who consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day had twice the risk of a miscarriage than those who drank little to no caffeine. However, not every study showed a connection between elevated levels of caffeine consumption and an elevated result of miscarriage.
Findings from a study from Denmark stated that when pregnant women consume more than eight cups of coffee a day, their risk of having a stillbirth more than doubled.
Some medical studies found that there is an association between heightened caffeine consumption as well as a baby’s reduced body weight; however, the majority of studies done on the subject do not find this to be true.
You might want to slow down on the coffee and tea consumption during pregnancy for the reason that you do feel the effects a lot more during this time. You body is not able to breakdown the caffeine and more of it makes its way to your bloodstream. It can take two to three times as long to break down the caffeine during pregnancy versus not being pregnant. Also, it can be harder to absorb iron during this time.
After giving birth, if you are not breastfeeding, then go ahead and return to drinking plenty of single cup coffee.