A pregnancy book once quoted that if you want to figure out whether your female colleague is pregnant, keep a tab on their caffeine intake- if they have discreetly switched their regular cuppa with tea and smoothies, chances are they are carrying the bun in the oven. Caffeine during pregnancy is really frowned upon but honestly, so many of us are caffeine addicts that starting the day without a hot steaming mug of coffee can leave us with a persistent headache.
Whether caffeine is really bad for pregnancy or not, it has still not been established. Since decades, numerous studies have been conducted and conclusions drawn on basis of incidences, but to actually zero in on a yes or no kind of answer, there is no concrete study to prove that-yet.
Some studies have shown that the chances of women miscarrying almost double in those who consume more than 6 cups of coffee per day. Another Denmark-based study too casted their favor against caffeine citing that the study threw light on the topic from a different angle altogether- the number of stillbirths of women who were avid caffeine drinkers was more than double when compared to those who stuck to moderate amounts.
From a general health point of view, caffeine does spike up your heart rate and can lead to heartburn during pregnancy. Insomnia is another side effect of this analeptic drink. One effect of caffeine that can directly harm a pregnant woman is the fact that caffeine acts as a diuretic, which means that consuming large amounts of caffeine can cause a loss of fluid from the body making you dehydrated. During pregnancy, women need a lot of water and dehydration can lead to problems in the fetus. Also, as a diuretic, caffeine can affect the amount of nutrition the fetus obtains from the mother, and can influence the movement of the fetus as well.
So, how much caffeine is too much? It is difficult to determine this considering that apart from coffee, there are other sources of caffeine like chocolate, energy drinks, cola, certain type of nuts. If you are strictly speaking of coffee, then the safe quantity has been set at 12 ounce per day. You should try to cut down on the other sources of caffeine, especially colas. A lot of women tend to eat anything they can get their hands on during pregnancy. Remember, pregnancy isnt really your ticket to eat everything, and you even need to lose the mummy tummy later.
So, how do you quit caffeine? You dont need to quit. Just reduce the amount, and even if you want to completely forgo caffeine, make sure you do so gradually. Quitting would not happen overnight, if you do try to use all your will power and say no to caffeine, chances are you would start experiencing withdrawal syndrome- nausea and headache.
Stick to your morning dose of caffeine and switch to healthier alternatives throughout the day, along with stealing one or two cups of coffee in between. Another option is to reduce the size of your cup, so that subconsciously you feel that you are having the same amount of caffeine as before.