pregnant woman holding a glass of juice

Caffeine intake and its risks

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According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), caffeine intake must be limited to less than 200 mg per day or, ideally, cut it out completely. Caffeine traspases through the placenta, meaning your baby is completely exposed to it. Besides, it takes your little one much more longer to process it, so {he/she} is exposed to its effects much longer than you. Studies have shown that consuming over 400 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy acan cause cleft palate, low birth weight and preterm birth. Consuming it in smaller doses is associated with baby’s increased heart rate and increased activity; it’s also associated with lower calcium and iron levels, which are already low during pregnancy.

On the other hand, reducing your caffeine intake will also help you avoid insomnia, headaches and heartburn. The longer you’ve been pregnant, the longer it will take for your system to process caffeine, which means that its effects will be stronger than usual. We know that giving up coffee can be hard. The good news is you don’t have to give it up cold turkey. You can still enjoy one or two cups of coffee or caffeinated tea a day, just make sure not to surpass the limit of 200 mg of caffeine. You could also try drinking decaf to curb cravings, but keep the amount of caffeine consumed low. Remember that decaf still contains some caffeine although a lot less than regular coffee.

Some caffeinated foods or beverages include: tea, coffee, sodas, energy drinks, chocolate and desserts. To guarantee your baby’s healthy development, lower the intake of any caffeinated food and beverages. If you’re big on tea or coffee, you could start reducing your intake or try decaf. Remember that sometimes there’s caffeine in food you’re not expecting to contain it, so it’s better to double check and keep track of your daily caffeine intake.


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