Caffeine Effects on Pregnancy: Miscarriage, Fetus Development, Recommended Dosage

Caffeine during Pregnancy

Certain food products contains caffeine, a substance that, in addition to being a diuretic that helps eliminate retained liquids, acts as a stimulant of the nervous system. We often associate caffeine only with coffee, but it is also present in soft drinks such as cola, in chocolate, in some infusions and even in some medications. Although there is nothing wrong with consuming it, doing so in excess can cause various side effects that are not at all beneficial to your health.

Taking caffeinated products is also normal among pregnant women. They are consumed by majority of expecting mother, especially to combat fatigue or drowsiness that may occur during the first months of pregnancy. If you are interested in knowing how caffeine affects pregnancy, then continue reading this article.

All About Caffeine During Pregnancy

Caffeine consumption can become harmful when you are pregnant or not, if consumed in excess. But… How much is too much? Generally, doctors advise not to take more than 200 grams of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to about three small cups of coffee. If you are already a consumer of this substance, it is better not to exceed this measure, although the ideal would be to stop taking caffeine during the months of pregnancy.

Miscarriage, Stomach Discomfort, Cardiac Problem & more

Drinking more than 200 grams of caffeine per day can increase the risk of miscarriage, especially during the first months of pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to avoid its consumption whenever possible. This risk occurs because the substance can cross the placenta and directly reach the fetus which, since it still has a tiny and immature metabolism, is not able to eliminate it. Remember that caffeine is considered a soft drug.

The adult body takes up to 6 hours to eliminate the effects of caffeine. But in the case of a pregnant woman, this process can take up to 18 hours, so the risks of side effects can increase to a greater extent. In itself, caffeine can cause stomach discomfort to the mother-to-be, since the substance stimulates the release of acids inside the stomach.

Caffeine acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system. High consumption can cause stress, irritability, gastritis, headaches and cardiac disorders. So it is recommended to reduce it whatever your condition is, but being pregnant, even more so.

Caffeine Consumption and Fetus Growth

Consuming caffeine during pregnancy in large quantities can also alter the proper development of the fetus and its growth. This stimulant substance causes blood vessels to constrict, which can result in the baby having breathing difficulties and not getting enough nutrients.

How Much Caffeine is Recommended

Although doctors recommend avoiding food products rich in caffeine during pregnancy; it is not true that drinking coffee will cause the baby to develop any problems. Remember that a reduced amount of caffeine can be consumed during pregnancy.

The equivalent of the 200 grams per day are the following:

  • 3 small cups of coffee
  • 6 cups of tea
  • 8 cans of soft drink
  • 400 grams of chocolate

Of course, it is not recommended to ingest all these products in their totality. But it is important that if you consume, for example, 2 small cups of coffee you should not eat the same day a 300 grams tablet of chocolate or 2 cans of soda, because you are probably exceeding the recommended dosage.

On the other hand, you should keep in mind that the level of caffeine can vary according to the type of coffee. For example, Arabic coffee contain a lower amount of this substance than Colombian or Mexican coffees. So if you drink any of the latter, you should reduce the portion even more.

Caffeine Substitutes

If you cannot do without your daily dose of caffeine, substitute it with caffeine-free herbs and infusions, such as lime blossom, mint or chamomile. If you wish to continue consuming coffee, chocolate or soft drinks with caffeine, you should get your body used to reducing the dose in small quantity. It is also important that the amount of caffeine be small or non-existent during the breastfeeding period, since you can also transmit it to the baby while breastfeeding. It is best to substitute it with fruit juices, milk or water.

Remember that any thing in excess especially during is bad. Controlling your caffeine intake will contribute to the good development of your baby and will improve your health.

So think before you consume. The below listed diet books for pregnancy available on Amazon are a good source for pregnant mothers.

Nilam Mehta - Author

Nilam is the owner and writer of She is an experienced pharmaceutical professional and believes that many of the health problems can be cured naturally at home. She enjoys reading scholarly medical journals and gets inspiration to write up-to-date practical information and resources and makes sure all of the articles are of the highest quality. The best way to reach her is via [email protected]

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