How Does Caffeine Affect pregnancy
Caffeine belongs to the xanthine chemical group.It is actually a drug, much like nicotine and alcohol.Caffeine is also addictive, which is why so many people crave their coffee and cola! Caffeine, also known as guareine and mateine, is a naturally-occurring substance found in a number of plants, beans, and seeds.It is also found in a number of foods and beverages, including: tea, coffeecolas, hot chocolate,chocolate, various nuts,etc.
Caffeine is also found in certain medications, particularly those for migraine headaches, and in some dietary supplements.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. In moderate doses, caffeine can:
* increase alertness
* reduce fine motor coordination
* cause insomnia
* cause headaches, nervousness and dizziness
* increased heart rate
* increased blood pressure
* increased sweat production
* cause symptoms of nausea and lightheadedness, as well as respiratory problems
In massive doses, caffeine is lethal. A fatal dose of caffeine has been calculated to be more than 10 grams (about 170 mg/kg body weight) – this is the same as drinking 80 to 100 cups of coffee in rapid succession – not an easy thing to do.Most health care providers suggest eliminating all caffeinated foods and beverages from your pregnancy diet. Yet, some pregnant women find this especially difficult, particularly because so many food items contain small amounts of caffeine. If you are finding it hard to eliminate all caffeine from your diet, one caffeinated beverage or food item once in awhile probably won’t make much difference to your baby’s health. However, it is important to realize that caffeine does pose a risk to your little one, especially in large amounts, so work to reduce that caffeine intake.
The table below shows the studies of Caffeine and birth weight and duration of pregnancy
The following info displays common caffeinated products and the amounts of caffeine they contain:
Drink/Food/Supplement | Amt. of Drink/Food | Amt. of Caffeine
SoBe No Fear | 8 ounces | 83 mg
Monster energy drink | 16 ounces | 160 mg
Rockstar energy drink | 8 ounces | 80 mg
Red Bull energy drink | 8.3 ounces | 80 mg
Jolt cola | 12 ounces | 72 mg
Mountain Dew | 12 ounces | 55 mg
Coca-Cola | 12 ounces | 34 mg
Diet Coke | 12 ounces | 45 mg
Pepsi | 12 ounces | 38 mg
7-Up | 12 ounces | 0 mg
Brewed coffee (drip method) | 5 ounces | 115 mg*
Iced tea | 12 ounces | 70 mg*
Cocoa beverage | 5 ounces | 4 mg*
Chocolate milk beverage | 8 ounces | 5 mg*
Dark chocolate | 1 ounce | 20 mg*
Milk chocolate | 1 ounce | 6 mg*
Jolt gum | 1 stick | 33 mg
Cold relief medication | 1 tablet | 30 mg*
Vivarin | 1 tablet | 200 mg
Excedrin extra strength | 2 tablets | 130 mg
*denotes average amount of caffeine
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Soft Drink Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and can have its effects as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. Once in the body, caffeine will stay around for hours: it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated.
Though researchers debate how much caffeine is acceptable during pregnancy, there is evidence to suggest than any amount will cause some physical effects on your little one. This is because caffeine passes through your placenta and is absorbed by your baby. Adults are able to break down caffeine fairly quickly, thanks to chemicals inside of our body. However, your developing baby can’t do this as efficiently. This means that caffeine will be stored inside of his blood for longer periods of time, and could reach dangerously high levels.
Caffeine also affects other aspects of your baby’s health. It is known to increase your baby’s heart rate and may affect how much he moves in utero. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it can also affect the nutrition your baby receives from you. Caffeine intake may cause you to absorb less iron and calcium from foods, a possible detriment to your baby’s overall fetal development.
Recent studies have focused on the effects of coffee intake during pregnancy. A large-scale Danish study polled more than 80,000 pregnant women regarding their coffee intake. This study found that women who drank large amounts of coffee during pregnancy were more likely to experience a miscarriage. Women who drank more than 2 cups of coffee a day had a slightly increased risk of miscarriage, while those that drank 8 or more cups experienced a 59% increase. This is why it is so important to watch your caffeine intake during pregnancy.
Interestingly, this Danish study found that this considerably greater risk of miscarriage was specific to coffee. Other caffeinated beverages and foods did not present the same significant increase, leading researchers to believe that other chemicals contained in coffee could possibly play a role in causing miscarriage.
To quit smoking and drinking can be difficult, to eliminate caffeine from your daily diet can also be hard. However, you can do something to reduce your caffeine intake and ensure that you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
* Exercise regularly to help combat any withdrawal symptoms and to stay energized.
* Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help you manage cravings and fatigue.
* Cut back on your caffeine intake slowly. Going cold turkey can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and nausea.
* Try replacing your caffeinated beverages with non-caffeinated ones, like decaf coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Caffeine and fibroids?
I love coffee and tea. I usually drink 1 cup of either per day, I am moderate. But I keep on hearing caffeine aggravates estrogen levels in the body and can contribute to the develop of fibroids. Fibroids run in my family so I’m wondering if I should cut out caffeine altogether?
1 cup of day – that’s not bad at all. Most things aren’t harmful in moderation like that. There are some caffeinated herbal teas that are supposed to help with hormonal balance and keep fibroids from growing any larger – if I can find the link again I’ll come back and post it.
Nutrition and Uterine Fibroids?
Hi All! I’m hoping someone can guide me in the right direction for improving my nutrition while trying to treat my uterine fibroids. I may need surgery, but in the meantime, I’d like to make sure I’m helping with my diet (or at least not aiding growth.) I’m aware that I should be avoiding meat products, sugar, spicy foods, dairy and caffeine. Those are the no-brainers. But, I’m getting conflicting info on foods such as: apples, cherries, plums, peanuts, brown rice and oats. These, and others, are on both the “avoid” and the “add to your diet” lists. Anyone have any info and/or suggestions on places to get info? Thanks all.
Breast pain relief?
I am NOT pregnant lol and this problem comes and goes. I saw a doctor about it years ago and was told it was fibroids or something? And that drinking caffeine will make it worse.
I’ve not had a major problem in a long time so I got lazy about watching my caffeine intake and now I’m suffering.
Any women out there with a similar problem who know of something that might help me now or who know more about the condition and other things to avoid?
Thanks for all the answers so far
The links have been VERY educational and helpful.
As for bras… I’m not very “endowed” lol and loathe the things. I’ve always called them torture devices invented by men
I took a long, hot shower last night and that helped a great deal.
Low fat and high veggie diet.