Caffeine is one of America’s most beloved stimulants, and is available in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and desserts. Caffeine intake during pregnancy is often viewed as a controversial topic; some doctors say caffeine is safe to consume in moderation during pregnancy, whereas others warn against drinking coffee at all costs for the safety of your baby. While your OB-GYN is your best source when it comes to learning about the safety of caffeine intake, it’s smart to stay informed so you can fully understand the effects of this stimulant on your body.
The effects of caffeine on your pregnant body
Caffeine functions as both a stimulant and diuretic. As a stimulant, caffeine will increase both your heart rate and blood pressure, both of which are symptoms that could increase your risk for complications during pregnancy. Additionally, caffeine can increase the frequency at which you’re already urinating, which means it’ll be even more important that you stay on top of drinking water all day to prevent dehydration.
Caffeine will also cross the placenta to stimulate your baby. Keep in mind that even just a very small amount of caffeine could cause your baby to experience difficulty with fully metabolizing caffeine, and can also cause them to have erratic sleeping patterns and movements during the later stages of your pregnancy. If your baby’s movements tend to keep you awake at night, avoid caffeine to ensure a more restful night of sleep.
The effects of caffeine on infertility and miscarriage
If you’re trying to get pregnant, the American Pregnancy Association says that some studies have shown a link between delayed conception and high levels of caffeine intake. In regards to the effects of caffeine on miscarriage, studies have been inconclusive in that caffeine has been shown to have both positive and negative effects on pregnancy.
One study in particular published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who consumed at least 200 mg of caffeine per day were at twice the risk for miscarriage than those who didn’t drink coffee at all. However, a different study published in the journal Epidemiology showed that women who consumed between 200 and 350 mg of coffee per day were not at any increased risk for miscarriage. In conclusion, the March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women consume less than 200 mg of caffeine per day to avoid any potential complications.
Caffeine consumption during pregnancy
While recommended caffeine intake during pregnancy can vary depending on the opinion of your OB-GYN or health care provider, it’s generally recommended that the less caffeine you consume, the better the health outcome for you and your baby. As soon as you learn that you’re pregnant, consult with your OB-GYN immediately to determine the amount of caffeine you can safely consume without harming your baby.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.