I'm addicted to coffee...Do I really have to stop drinking it while I'm pregnant?

Posted on 05 September 2012

Every expectant mother knows that there are certain things she should refrain from doing during her pregnancy. Perhaps the most obvious ones are consuming alcohol and smoking. But, other activities like enjoying that morning cup of coffee are a bit more unclear. Should mommies-to-be completely cut out caffeine from their diet? If not, how much is too much?

There has been a lot of research on the topic and many scientists have come to different conclusions. For example, one study in Denmark that lasted seven years found that females who drank more than eight cups of coffee per day had an increase risk of stillbirth compared to women who didn't consume caffeine.

Other experiments have deduced that expectant moms who gulped down more than 500 milligrams of caffeine on a daily basis gave birth to newborns who had faster heart rates and spent less time sleeping than those born to women who cut out the stimulant from their diet.

But, although the findings are different from one analyst to another, one thing's for certain: Caffeine contains no nutritional value. Because it is a diuretic, females who are preggers will find themselves needing to take more bathroom breaks than they usually do and may even notice that they feel more jittery than usual.

With that in mind, medical professionals say that it's a good idea to restrict caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams a day, which is approximately one 12-ounce cup of joe. But, it's important that women understand that stimulants come in various forms other than coffee. Chocolate, green tea, energy drinks and even coffee ice cream all contain caffeine.

If you are expecting, any questions you have regarding your diet should always be directed to a doctor. He or she can provide you with important information on what foods and drinks are okay to consume during those nine months and which should be eliminated.

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