Coffee during pregnancy – do you really have to give up your daily caffeine boost?
The first thing the majority of grown-ups do in the morning is heading to their coffee machine. For many people, coffee is THE wake-up par excellence and many can’t or don’t want to imagine a start into the day without it. Many of us drink coffee several times a day. So far unproblematic. But this changes abruptly when a coffee drinker becomes pregnant.
Many pregnant women have a guilty conscience when they drink coffee during pregnancy or think they have to completely do without caffeine. But is coffee safe for pregnancy? If so, how many cups of coffee are allowed?
What effects does coffee have on my child? What are the risks of drinking too much coffee and are there alternatives?
If you are pregnant and over 40, click here and read more about the topic.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up coffee completely!
The most important first – you don’t have to completely renounce coffee even if you get pregnant. According to recommendations, a daily amount of 200 to 300 mg of caffeine is harmless for the unborn child, but should not be exceeded.
One cup of instant coffee contains about 75mg, while one cup of filter coffee contains about 100mg caffeine. The exact values vary, however, depending on the manufacturer or roasting.
But what effects does my coffee consumption have on my child?
Although the general effects on children and coffee-drinking mothers have not yet been fully researched, some facts are undisputed.
Growth dysfunction or delay
In a study, scientists from Scandinavia found out that the consumption of caffeine by expectant mothers means that children are often lighter at birth than children of those mothers who gave up caffeine during pregnancy.
The consumption of caffeine during pregnancy means that children are on average up to 90 grams lighter at birth. For children who are born on the calculated date of birth, this may not be dramatic. In the case of premature births, however, every gram of body weight can be decisive.
Coffee during breastfeeding doesn’t boost only the mothers
A lot of people drink coffee because they want to wake up. They want to get their metabolism going. Drinking coffee before pregnancy is not a problem. But during breastfeeding, caffeine has a similar effect on the baby as it does on the mother. One difference is that the child’s organism is not yet able to break down the caffeine. The result is a restless, whining child, abdominal pain or perhaps even a small child with sleep disorders.
The recommendations of the experts not to follow can have serious consequences
Those who regularly exceed the specified maximum dose of 300mg caffeine per day play with the life of the child. Children are often born far too early or, in the worst case, as stillbirth, because the fetus is unable to break down the caffeine absorbed. Excessive consumption of coffee during pregnancy can also interfere with blood circulation in the placenta, which can also lead to massive damage.
Read the latest WHO recommendations about caffeine consumption in pregnancy.
What you can do to avoid caffeine or reduce it to a minimum
On the subject of caffeine – how much is healthy is the spirits divide. During pregnancy, one thing is clear: to do without caffeine would be the healthiest thing, at least for the unborn child. Although 1-2 cups a day are still considered harmless, coffee caffeine-free or a completely caffeine-free version would, of course, be best. If you want to try to completely do without the beloved waxer, here are a few good alternatives.
- decaffeinated coffee or coffee substitutes
- water with lemon
- Rooibos Tea
Of course, for all those who absolutely do not want to do without coffee, but want to avoid caffeine, the first attempt is coffee in the decaffeinated version. It has a similar taste to normal coffee but it is definitely a safer option.
A fresh smoothie with fresh fruit and milk is a vitamin boost for both mother and child and can definitely replace morning coffee with its invigorating effect. An additional positive effect: the morning vitamin kick prevents colds and co. and can thus alleviate or even avoid flu, colds or the like.
Water with lemon
A glass of water with a dash of lemon stimulates the circulation, similar to coffee, and helps to start the day refreshed and awake.
If you like to drink coffee to relax or to take a break and hope for a soothing effect, you should try Rooibos tea as a decaffeinated alternative. This tea lowers blood pressure and cramps.
So if you are pregnant and try to avoid caffeine, there are some alternatives to name a few above. But if you realize that without your good morning coffee you can’t find your way into the day, treat yourself to your coffee every day. Although the consumption of caffeine is seen critically, a small consumption is relatively harmless. In addition, a happy and balanced mother is the most important thing for a child. No matter whether before or after birth.