Pregnancy and Coffee: is it OK to have a cuppa?
Are you thinking twice about drinking coffee because you are pregnant? With increased attention drawn to nutrition and health, many women wonder if it is safe to consume products that contain caffeine during pregnancy.
Women can now put their minds to rest as recent research supports moderate consumption of caffeine for women in general, including pregnant women.
What does research say about coffee and a pregnant women’s health?
- Coffee and fertility:Although a few earlier studies suggested that consumption of caffeine could delay conception, recent scientific research indicates that moderate consumption has no effect on the ability to conceive. Delayed conception could be due to other factors such as excessive exercise, stress or other dietary habits.
- Coffee and morning sickness:Morning sickness is a common experience during early pregnancy. During a normal pregnancy, hormone levels are high thus increasing the likelihood of nausea. Therefore, some nauseated pregnant women may not desire certain foods and beverages including those that contain caffeine! Doctors usually advise pregnant women who experience nausea to consume bland foods and beverages such as crackers and water.
- Coffee and breastfeeding:Women should also take note of what they eat while breastfeeding to ensure healthy milk production. Limited caffeine consumption has no effect on breastfeeding as the amount of caffeine passed to the infant through breast milk is minimal and will not affect the baby. However, large amounts of caffeine may lead to increased wakefulness and poor feeding for the baby. Therefore, it is best to take coffee in moderation.
How much coffee can you drink during pregnancy?
- It is solely based on you as an individual and varies from one person to another. For any clarifications, you can check with your doctor.
- The general nutrition recommendation is to consume coffee in moderation and that’s equivalent to two cups of coffee per day.
If you are a big coffee drinker, here’s what you should do:
- Gradually decrease the number of cups you drink per day
- Try to replace some of your coffee with decaffeinated coffee. A good idea would be to put half of the quantity of coffee in your cup as decaf and the other half as normal coffee
- Do not exceed 2 cups of coffee during your pregnancy, and if you want more, you should opt for decaffeinated coffee.
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