The tiredness that accompanies pregnancy can be hard to deal with, especially if you are used to downing three cups of coffee first thing in the morning. One of the main questions that you probably have at this point is can you drink coffee during pregnancy?
The answer to this question is somewhat uncertain. While there is much research about how caffeine affects pregnancy, the results are inconclusive, because most research has not been done with humans.
Caffeine is a drug, and its use may or may not affect the health of your baby. This drug is prevalent in coffee, so it is important to make sure you are not drinking too much. However, coffee is not the only thing with caffeine, so you are going to need to ensure you know what is in everything that you are eating.
For example, chocolate naturally has caffeine that can add to your daily consumption if you also drink coffee or even tea. The ability to drink coffee depends on what else is in your diet, and how much of it that you consume.
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What Are the Effects of Caffeine on Pregnancy?
Caffeine will affect you in a certain way depending on how far along you are. It is more crucial to be aware of your consumption at the beginning of your pregnancy. Regardless of what you drink, you are going to have to keep track.
It has been found that caffeine can be linked to miscarriage, but other research has come back inconclusive. It depends on how coffee affects you personally; you are going to have to adjust accordingly.
Coffee During Pregnancy – First Trimester
You should be super careful drinking coffee during your first trimester. This is when your pregnancy is most vulnerable. Miscarriage is much more likely at this time, and if you are drinking a lot of coffee, you are probably going to want to cut down.
Coffee During Pregnancy – Second Trimester
The second trimester is where the risk falls, and you can have a little more caffeine in your diet. Take care not to consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. This is equivalent to about two cups of coffee.
Coffee During Pregnancy – Third Trimester
Just like during the second trimester, coffee will affect your baby if you are drinking too much of it. You can either have less coffee, dilute it, or even switch to tea.
During the second and third trimesters, it takes much longer for your body to clear caffeine, and this results in more of it being transferred to your developing baby. The risk increases the longer you have been pregnant.
Regardless of where you are in your gestation, you should take care to keep track of how much caffeine you are taking in each day.
What About Decaf Coffee?
If you like the taste of coffee and drink it for that, you might wonder if you can drink decaf coffee while pregnant. The answer is yes, but you should still be careful. Decaf coffee has trace amounts of caffeine. Keep it to just a few cups a day to ensure that you are not ingesting too much.
Decaf coffee has approximately two to twelve milligrams of caffeine in each cup. This, of course, is compared to the average 200 milligrams of caffeine that is in regular coffee. This is the content of about two cups of regular coffee.
What Can Go Wrong?
When caffeine goes through your body, it also crosses through the placenta to your baby. Since the baby is still growing, he is exposed to caffeine’s side effects for much longer than you are. This is a good reason to limit your caffeine intake.
Another reason is one that has already been mentioned. The further along in your pregnancy that you are, the less caffeine is processed by your body. Baby still cannot process it the way that you are able to.
Coffee, along with tea, has compounds that can cause your body to have difficulty absorbing iron. Drink coffee or tea between meals to prevent this effect on iron absorption. Iron is an essential nutrient when it comes to pregnancy, and you want to be able to use as much of it as possible.
If you have decided to cut down on your caffeine and you are a java junkie, there are going to be some symptoms. Some of these symptoms are headaches, lethargy, and irritability. Add that to morning sickness, and you are going to feel pretty crappy.
The way to cut down on these symptoms is to ease your way to cutting down or eliminating caffeine altogether. Start by adding more milk to your coffee or drinking less in general.
How Much Caffeine is Safe During Pregnancy?
The caffeine content of coffee and tea is well known, but there are also many other products that can contain it. Some of these are things that you may not expect. From coffee to tea, chocolate to ice cream, all the way to cocoa butter lotion, caffeine may be present.
Cocoa butter having caffeine should not alarm you too much. As it is used by some to treat stretch marks, it should be something to look out for. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about anything regarding your caffeine intake.
So, if you are wondering how many cups of coffee you can drink while pregnant, this article should help you figure that out. Is it good to drink coffee during pregnancy? No. Is it bad to drink coffee during pregnancy? No.
It all depends on your consumption and the other things that you eat as well. No more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day will be just fine. As long as you stay within these parameters, you should be fine to drink coffee.
Whether you drink Columbian or decaf, your love for coffee does not need to be put on hold during pregnancy. However, always make sure you are drinking it in moderation and that you are keeping track of other caffeine sources.