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How Much Caffeine is Too Much When Pregnant?from: Maxx Family Life
One item most of women prepare to eliminate from their diet once they get pregnant is caffeine. Many women stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of fear they'll do some sort of damage to the new life growing inside them. These women tend to swear off anything that has caffeine in it, including coffee, soda and even chocolate.
Some women will still drink caffeine, but reduce their intake. Rather than drinking five cups of coffee a day, they may cut back to just one cup of coffee to get them through the day.
Our mothers and grandmothers will probably say they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they weren't pregnant and their children turned out fine. However a lot more research has been done since those days and studies show that too much caffeine can cause some complications, such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.
So, how much caffeine is too much caffeine? Doctors now tell their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine won't harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (8 oz. cup of strong coffee) won't do any harm. Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.
There are also studies that show that women who have over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day tend to have babies with faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.
There are a number of other reasons why women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine during pregnancy. For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there's ever a time to be aware of your nutritional needs, it's when you're pregnant.
Second, caffeine is a stimulant which increases your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches that could put some stress on your growing little one.
Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you've been pregnant before, you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse. Finally, it's a diuretic, which means it can cause you to lose fluids that can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.
While it's not necessary for you to give up all caffeine during the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don't drink it at all. If you cann't handle having only one cup of coffee a day, then you might be better off drinking no coffee at all.
Stick with caffeine free sodas and even decaf coffee. However, remember that decaf coffee still contains small traces of caffeine, so make sure you take that into consideration.
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