Are you ready for a Caffeine free Pregnancy? Scrambling out of bed, for your morning cup of tea or coffee sounds like an everyday thing. But what if you are pregnant? Is caffeine safe for the baby? Do you need to quit it? Wait, should you first consult your doctor for permissible caffeine limits?
Join us as we help clarify some of these common queries and more.
But first, what is caffeine and how does it affect pregnancy. Caffeine is a natural nervous system stimulant aiding to stay awake, alert and energetic. It is most commonly found in coffee, teas, sodas, soft drinks, cocoa, chocolate, energy drinks and in certain over the counter medications.
Why is Caffeine not safe during pregnancy?
- Being a stimulant, caffeine increases blood pressure and heart rates.
- As a diuretic, it could lead to increased urination causing loss of body fluids.
- The time required to digest caffeine in the pregnant body is longer, leading to acid reflux, heartburn and dizziness.
- It is the culprit for disrupted sleep patterns of the mother and the foetus, alike.
Caffeine crosses the placenta into the amniotic fluid and the foetus’ bloodstream.
- The foetus’ developing metabolism cannot process caffeine, as your body can.
- It also reduces folic acid absorption, resulting in stunted/ delayed growth and health risks for the foetus.
Studies show that high Caffeine intake during pregnancy poses major risks for the mother and the foetus. Miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, birth defects, irregular heartbeats, low birth weight, growth retardation, anaemia, reduced fertility and other reproductive issues have been linked to caffeine intake.
Although the studies are not conclusive, it is still wise to err on the side of caution while pregnant.
We do make lifestyle changes once we find out that we are pregnant. One such major change is limited caffeine consumption. The lesser the better! It’s ideal to cut it out entirely.
However, for those who cannot stay away, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) advices to limit to under 200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 350ml of coffee) per day.
Now, remember that the amount of caffeine in your drink will vary on the quantity, brand and the brew. The amount of caffeine from other foods and drinks throughout the day adds up, too. So limit foods which contain caffeine, if you need your preferred tea or coffee in the morning.
Consider these yummy, healthy and safer alternatives that also inhibit your coffee cravings and have a happy, caffeine-free pregnancy!
- Ginger in hot water is a go-to drink to help with morning sickness. Steeped with the calming flavours of ginger, this is surely going to be a favourite.
- Try herbal teas such as the Tea For Acidity Relief that are ideal for heartburn, indigestion and pregnancy acidity. The combination of Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Peppermint and Blackcurrant makes for a calming and refreshing treat.
- Replenish your body’s vitamin and mineral levels with milk and milk products. Curd, flavoured yoghurt, lassi, milkshakes with fruits and dry fruits, turmeric milk, the options are varied.
- Tender Coconut water to keep fluids and electrolytes balanced in the body. And the potassium in it keeps blood pressure in check.
- Fresh homemade fruit and vegetable juices are a must have for your body that is working twice for maintaining nutrient levels and fibre.
- Water – Goes without saying. This drink is what our body is composed of and the more you drink, your body will thank you back. Make water interesting by consuming fruit infused water. Double the benefits!
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase where the mother and the baby grow in tandem. Give the gift of health to your baby. Cut out on all possible complications and side-effects by enjoying your favourite drinks in moderation.Take a look at Pregnancy Diet & Food: What to Eat & What to Avoid.