Should Pregnant Women Give Up Coffee?

Many women enjoy drinking coffee each morning. Should they stop when they learn they are pregnant?

Dr. Natalie

Obstetrician-gynecologist, ultrasound doctor

What is the relation between pregnancy and coffee?

Doctors advise that pregnant women monitor their coffee (and caffeine) intake as frequent consumption may provoke arrhythmia in the fetus, and the newborn may experience tremors, vomiting, and irritability. Excessive consumption of coffee also has negative effects on the woman's body.

Coffee can have the following effects:

  • Increases reflex excitability of the nervous system
  • Excites the respiratory center
  • Intensifies cardiac activity
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Provokes insomnia and even panic attacks
  • Causes heartburn, which pregnant women often already suffer from

An integral part of the flavor of coffee is phenol, which prevents the absorption of iron into the blood. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, about 40 % of expectant mothers suffer from anemia, which negatively affects the health of both the mother and fetus.

What research says

There have been several studies on the effects of caffeine on pregnancy. Specifically, there have been concerns about the potential connection between caffeine exposure and the rate of spontaneous miscarriage.

However, most experts consider these studies uninformative and biased, because a combination of factors including smoking, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and more could have led to the miscarriages.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily for pregnant women.

Drink coffee in moderation

An expectant mother should think about her health and the health of her baby first and foremost. Based on what we have outlined, it is important to limit coffee and caffeine during pregnancy.

To minimize caffeine intake, replace your usual strong espresso with a latte, cappuccino, or decaffeinated coffee. Drink no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, and ignore claims that it should be avoided entirely. Also, remember that caffeine can show up in foods, not only drinks.

22 November 2021

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