Should you be drinking coffee and tea during pregnancy?
Dark, roasted and rich – For all you caffeine addicts, this probably reminds you of the love of your life, such as coffee. Unfortunately, there’s bad news for all those going-to-be mommies who function on addictive beverages like coffee and tea.
The caffeine in these tempting and sometimes soothing drinks may have certain adverse effects on your health as well as your baby’s health during pregnancy.
Here, we help you understand in brief why coffee and tea are not the best options when you are pregnant and, if you consume it, how much you should consume.
Why are coffee and tea bad for you?
The placental barrier that protects your child in your uterus is a semi-permeable membrane. Though it protects the baby from toxic substances, caffeine is one such compound that finds its way through the placental barrier.
This makes your baby susceptible to being affected by caffeine and also leaves the baby unable to quickly metabolize it, as it is a complex substance. It may also lead to preterm birth and low birth weight.
Mothers are also affected by caffeine, as it is a diuretic and might tweak your washroom habits, making you very uncomfortable when you have to visit the loo. That’s the last thing you want in addition to your other pregnancy discomforts.
What is the caffeine safety limit?
Caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in tea, chocolate and a few over-the-counter cold and headache medicines. Being cautious in the consumption of these products becomes very important here. Read the fine print on anything and everything you purchase.
Studies have concluded that 200 mg of caffeine is an acceptable daily limit, which should not be exceeded. A mug of instant coffee or two mugs of brewed coffee per day is your only solace and you must learn to comply with it for a healthy pregnancy. Drinking coffee from cafes and coffee bars is highly inadvisable, as espressos and the like at times have more caffeine than the prescribed 200mg limit.
Having a light cup of tea with lots of milk is the safest avenue to consume caffeine if you feel extreme fatigue or weariness.
We know that if you’re a coffee or tea lover, this is not what you want to hear, but it’s only for your safety. There are alternatives to these beverages, like fruit smoothies, that are sure to be just as fun to sip on and even provide you with all the nutrition you need for both you and your child.
So, for the time being, hold on for the sake of your child and you.