When you are pregnant, you will receive a lot of different pieces of advice about what you can and cannot eat or drink during pregnancy. In fact, different schools of medical thought offer different advice on what you should and shouldn’t consume during the period of your pregnancy. One of the products which have been disputed by medical professionals is whether women should drink coffee while pregnant. Some doctors have actually speculated that cutting out caffeine altogether could actually have a negative effect on an unborn child as well, because the body’s cravings for caffeine could induce unhealthy stress and anxiety.
Most doctors now agree that it is safe for women to drink coffee while pregnant as long as they monitor their overall caffeine level over the course of a day and do not exceed a recommended daily allowance. Dieticians and medical experts think that whilst drinking a small amount of coffee (or consuming a small amount of caffeine in any other form) each day is alright, exceeding 200mg of caffeine per day on a regular basis could prove harmful to your baby. Large and consistent intakes of caffeine have been linked with increased risk of miscarriage or lower than average birth weight for the baby at the end of the pregnancy. If you only consume too much caffeine on rare occasions, you should not be overly concerned, as experts believe that the risks posed in these cases are very low.
It is therefore import to control levels of coffee while pregnant, but you should also be aware of other sources of caffeine in your diet. An average mug of instant coffee will contain about 100mg of caffeine, whereas filter coffee contains slightly more -about 140mg in total. A mug of tea can also contain around 75mg of caffeine. The average can of cola will contain about 40mg of caffeine, whilst energy drinks can contain double or triple that amount. If you want to drink an energy drink, it is best to check the information on the can before you consume it. A small bar of plain chocolate will often contain about 50mg of caffeine, whilst milk chocolate will only contain about 25mg. If you want to continue to consume coffee whilst pregnant, you may have to sacrifice cola or chocolate, or spread your “daily allowance” between them. For example, drink one cup of instant coffee, one can of cola and one bar of plain chocolate over the course of a day (around 190mg in total) rather than only drinking coffee.
If you are looking for ways to continue to drink coffee while pregnant, without having to worry about keeping such a close eye on your levels of consumption, try switching from regular coffee to decaffeinated coffee. If you enjoy a number of mugs of coffee a day, but do not want to switch to decaf, only add half a spoonful of coffee to the mug. Although you will end up with slightly weaker coffee, you will continue to get the satisfaction of a warm drink.