I am one of the many people who have been using coffee, and its ingredient, caffeine, to wake me up in the morning, and keep focused throughout the day. The aroma alone is just so inviting and awakening! But for pregnant moms like me, unfortunately, the chemical processes by which caffeine gives that boost are not really healthy for us or our baby while we’re pregnant.
But I wonder, how can caffeine really hurt pregnant women?
Even though caffeine seems to naturally give you a bunch of energy, the chemical processes it uses to do so are not so great for you while you’re pregnant. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it’ll increase the frequency with which you need to pee, which is usually already elevated during pregnancy. This can lead to dehydration.
Caffeine is most often used as a stimulant to help get you up in the morning, however this can give you difficulty in sleeping. Like other stimulants, caffeine raises both the heart rate and blood pressure, which can put you in serious harm during pregnancy. High blood pressure during pregnancy is associated with the dangerous complication preeclampsia which can lead to liver or renal failure and future cardiovascular issues. While an elevated heart rate can be dangerous for both you and your baby overall.
How can it hurt the baby?
Baby totally depends on you for vitamins and nutrients while you’re pregnant, and she tends to eat, drink or breathe whatever you have. Babies have more trouble processing caffeine than adults, so it can affect them very seriously. Some research suggest that babies of women who drink excess caffeine while pregnant may be at an elevated risk for low birth-weight, birth defects, and miscarriage.
Drinking a limited amount of caffeine a day (under 200 mg, or about 1 small cup of coffee) will probably not result in any developmental disorders or miscarriage, but all women are different, and so are all babies. Women who want to completely eliminate any threat posed by caffeine should abstain, though simply limiting the caffeine intake should be enough to mitigate any risk.
As for me, I stopped drinking coffee since I learned I was pregnant with Ysha. Oh, the struggle was real! But I had to do everything I could to keep my baby healthy. And not drinking coffee wouldn’t kill me, right? I started having coffee again when she was 9 months old. Oh! The taste of heaven in my mouth once more!!!
Generally, coffee is not really that bad for pregnant women. My OB even said one cup a day won’t hurt. It was my personal decision to be safe and just totally quit it. So if you are a preggy momma who’s a coffee addict like me, just remember to always be sure to check the amount of caffeine in any coffee, tea, or soda. Let’s stay healthy for both ourselves and for our baby!