The main reason comes from the risks of caffeine to the fetus’s health; although not always happening, no one dares to risk a child’s life. Therefore, the advice for pregnant women is to limit the habit of drinking coffee as much as possible, even stopping altogether.
So, in a nutshell: Can Pregnant Women Drink Coffee?
In general, pregnant women can still drink coffee. However, the amount of coffee (as well as the percentage of caffeine) loaded into the body needs to be paid attention to as closely as possible to avoid causing unpredictable consequences on the fetus’s health.
According to ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), pregnant women must limit caffeine intake to less than 200mg/day, equivalent to an 8oz cup if it’s everyday coffee.
The Safest Guide to Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy
Still, the limit set is that the amount of caffeine should not exceed 200 mg/day, but that does not mean that pregnant women will always be safe when reaching this threshold.
In contrast, pregnant women are advised to drink as little coffee as possible because sometimes, even a tiny amount of caffeine can be risky depending on the physical characteristics of each person.
Some previously published results show that in mothers who consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day, the fetus in pregnancy often has a lower body weight and condition than usual.
On the other hand, research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US also proves that pregnant women who consume less than 200mg of caffeine per day still have the same effect, just to a lesser extent.
To explain this, scientists conclude that caffeine can cause constriction of the blood vessels of the womb (uterus) and placenta, thereby reducing the amount of blood carried to the fetus and providing fewer nutrients—nutrition for fetal development.
Anyway, the level of risk is temporarily stopped there, as there is currently no strong evidence that caffeine intake of less than 200mg/day can cause more severe consequences, such as fetal malnutrition, premature delivery, or miscarriage.
Therefore, the medical community still recognizes that the caffeine threshold of less than 200mg/day is “fine” for pregnant women to drink coffee.
3 Harmful Effects of Caffeine on Pregnant Women
Can pregnant women drink coffee- It affects the health of the fetus?
When entering the mother’s body, caffeine will gradually go to the placenta, through the amniotic membrane, and into the fetal blood circulation system.
For the mother, the body’s metabolism will gradually react and process this caffeine, but it is not so simple for the fetus because the organs are not fully developed yet. Therefore, caffeine’s consequences or harmful effects on the fetus will be prolonged and have greater severity.
Sensitive response to stimuli
Some mothers are often confident about their ability to “bottle” caffeine, possibly because they have long been drinking coffee daily. However, that situation can suddenly reverse when they become pregnant.
Significant physical changes during pregnancy can make a woman more sensitive to the stimulant effects of caffeine. Heart palpitations, high blood pressure, chest tightness, restlessness, and insomnia… can all happen so suddenly that they don’t anticipate it.
The later stages of pregnancy are reached, the more susceptible the mother’s body is to the effects because the ability to metabolize caffeine has become less efficient. On average, when pregnant from 3 to 6 months, the mother’s body often processes caffeine twice as slowly as usual. The rate can be three times slower when reaching 6-9 months of pregnancy.
When the mother’s body cannot process caffeine quickly and stably, the amount of caffeine that remains in the blood and continues to be transmitted to the placenta will be higher, directly affecting the fetus. So even a tiny amount of caffeine for pregnant women can bring unpredictable risks.
Inhibits absorption of substances
This effect does not come directly from caffeine but is closely related to the source of the beverage containing this substance.
Specifically, popular drinks with caffeine (such as tea and coffee) often contain other specific compounds that can disrupt and hinder the effective absorption of iron – one of the essential substances for the body…
Scientists recommend that if you cannot break the habit of drinking tea or coffee, drink it a few hours after eating. The body can absorb more or fewer nutrients, such as iron, at that time.
Can pregnant women drink coffee- 3 Effective Ways To Limit Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy
Quitting coffee entirely before, during, and after pregnancy is certainly not easy, especially for those who have formed a habit that is difficult to stop. Here are four effective measures to help mothers achieve this goal.
Giving up gradually
If you’re finding it too difficult to give up your preference for tea or coffee (both popular beverages contain caffeine), take it one step at a time, gradually reducing your intake over time. Of course, reducing caffeine intake to less than 200mg/day is imperative and should be achieved as soon as possible.
Some simple ways to reduce caffeine intake without making it feel too “sudden” include:
- Mix decaf coffee with regular coffee so that the cup’s caffeine proportion becomes more saturated.
- If mixing fresh milk with coffee, increase and decrease the coffee.
- When making tea or coffee through a filter/filter, do not steep for too long in boiling water, which helps reduce the amount of caffeine extracted.
Switch to decaf coffee completely.
Ready to put aside the euphoria caused by caffeine stimulation and enjoy the distinctive flavor of coffee enough? So don’t hesitate to switch to decaf coffee right away. They still contain caffeine but in tiny, almost insignificant amounts.
Create new healthy habits.
This method is often for those who have “awakened” to high self-control, realizing that caffeine isn’t necessary to help the body feel full of energy.
Instead, practice a healthy physical and mental healthhabit for yourself, such as sleeping early and getting enough sleep, controlling rest time and working in moderation, exercising… This seemingly small thing always has a more significant effect than we think, especially for pregnant women.
Can pregnant women drink coffee – Frequently Asked Questions
Should you drink coffee while pregnant?
If “preparing for pregnancy” means that you are not pregnant or have not entered the process of forming a fetus in the mother’s body, women can completely keep their coffee-drinking habits without worrying about affecting their health. Fetal health.
Can breastfeeding drink coffee?
Even after giving birth, mothers should still not drink coffee while breastfeeding. Caffeine can be thoroughly mix into breast milk while breastfeeding – certainly not good for the baby’s digestive system and general health.
How long after giving birth can you drink coffee?
After giving birth, mothers should wait until their baby is wholly weaned before drinking coffee again. As mentioned, caffeine can still be passed from mother to baby while breastfeeding. So to avoid even the slightest risk of caffeine affecting your baby, wait until your baby can feed himself and get nutrients from sources other than breast milk.
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