Caffeine and Early Pregnancy
on Oct 20, 2012
by Lindsey Zaldivar
Whether it comes from soda, tea, coffee, Red Bull, or even chocolate, how does that need for caffeine affect your pregnancy?
Caffeine. Whether it comes from soda, tea, coffee, the occasional Red Bull, or even chocolate, most of us need that boost every now and then, and some of us (like me!) need that boost at least once or twice a day! It’s a normal part of our culture, and most of us don’t think twice about sipping a latte’ or a Pepsi when we feel like it. But, how does that need for caffeine affect your pregnancy? Today we are going to do some research and find out. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
There have been a few highly publicized studies that suggest that women who consume more than 200mg of caffeine each day had double the risk for miscarriage than women who did not drink caffeine at all. There are also studies that indicate that mothers who consume a lot of caffeine also have smaller babies. But, again, none of these studies have been conclusive. So, no one knows for sure, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Of course, no mom wants to risk her baby’s health, so how do we know if caffeine is safe during early pregnancy?
Most doctors recommend keeping your caffeine intake under 200mg per day, just to be safe. Although 200mg doesn’t sound like much, it should be plenty for most women who normally drink caffeine. One 12 ounce cup of coffee is around 150-200mg of caffeine, a diet Coke around 50mg of caffeine, a Red Bull contains around 75mg of caffeine, and one ounce of dark chocolate contains 23mg of caffeine, on average. So, as you can see from this list, it is pretty easy to keep your daily totals to less than 200mg like most doctors suggest. If you have questions about the caffeine content in other foods or drinks, a quick web search should be able to help you find a comprehensive list of caffeine amounts for you to use as a guide.
Of course, if switching to this 200mg per day restriction sounds crazy to you, you might need to start thinking about cutting back on your caffeine intake, just to be safe for your baby. However, cutting back on the caffeine can be easier said than done. Cutting out caffeine, or even cutting back, can cause you to feel tired, lazy, or just plain “out of it”. Caffeine withdrawals (yes, they are withdrawals, even if they are just from coffee or diet cokes!) can cause headaches, and irritability as well (Think constant PMS-yikes!). It can be really difficult to go from a lot of caffeine to just a little bit, or from just a little bit of caffeine to none at all. The truth is, you probably aren’t going to be able to quit the caffeine habit cold turkey! You can try switching over to non caffeinated products slowly. Maybe mix a little bit of decaf in with your regular coffee, or mix some non caffeinated soda in with your regular. For me personally, cutting back on the caffeine was one of the toughest things for me to do during my pregnancy. It takes some getting used to for sure, but keeping your baby safe is well worth it!
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Lindsey lives in Roselle, Illinois with her husband and son Harry. In between keeping up with a busy toddler, she enjoys blogging about parenting, cooking, crafting at The Accidental Wallflower.