Can I drink coffee during pregnancy?

 Suitability of coffee for expecting mother during pregnancy. Health benefits,nutrition value as well negative side effect of drinking coffee during pregnancy.d

Coffee in general is not a healthy drink for the pregnant women. Many gynaecologists in Singapore as well as many institutions around the world like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends limiting your caffeine consumption to fewer than 200 milligrams (mg) per day. That is about one cup of coffee having a volume of 300ml. Exceeding that amount could pose danger to both expecting mothers and the growing fetus.


Why is it harmful to drink coffee during pregnancy?

Coffee contains two major compounds caffeine, polyphenols which are very unhealthy to the expecting mothers and the growing fetus.


Harm effects of Caffeine and polyphenols

Increase the blood pressure

Caffeine is a stimulant. It causes an increases in the blood pressure and heart rate of the expecting mothers, both of which are undesirable during pregnancy.


More frequent urination

Caffeine is a diuretic and it will increases the frequency of urination. Many expecting mothers experience frequent urination due to the growing fetus. Caffeine makes the problem even worse. Increasing frequency of urination also lead to a reduction of body fluid levels and can lead to dehydration.


Caffeine and polyphenols makes it harder to absorb iron

Anemia is very common during pregnancy due to a greater demand of blood to support the growing fetus. Caffeine can make the problem worse as it makes the body harder to absorb iron – a mineral that is needed for the red blood cell formation.


Miscarriage and premature birth

A study conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that pregnant women who consumed more than 300mg of caffeine a day were more likely to give birth to babies who were small for their gestational age.


In 2008, one study released by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who consume 200mg or more of caffeine daily are twice as likely to have a miscarriage as those who do not consume any caffeine at all.


Change in your baby’s sleep pattern

Caffeine can cross the placenta to your baby. Expecting mothers may be able to handle the amounts of caffeine, but the growing fetus cannot. Baby’s metabolism is still maturing and cannot fully process the caffeine and discard it.


Any amount of caffeine can also cause changes in your baby’s sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy. Remember, caffeine is a stimulant and can keep both you and your baby awake.


Should I give up coffee completely?

Most of the studies have indicated daily consumption of 200mg of caffeine is acceptable and the health risk will be minimal. Usually two cups of coffee, each having a volume of 150ml, will have about 200mg of caffeine.


Decaffeinated coffee is one in which the caffeine content is significantly less. You can safely opt for this healthier type of coffee when you are pregnant.


If withdrawal of coffee causes headache in you, you can consider having one cup of coffee daily.


Other drinks or food that contains caffeine

Caffeine not only presents in coffee, but also in other drinks or food.

1. Tea: tea contains small amount of caffeine.

2. Cola Drink: All cola drinks should be avoided, as they contain high amounts of caffeine.

3. Chocolate:  Chocolate also contains some amounts of caffeine.


In conclusion, it is better to avoid coffee and other food or drink that contains caffeine. If you cannot give up coffee completely, you should minimize the consumption to one or two cups a day. 

Have concern about other food during pregnancy, check can I eat during pregnancy?

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