// How much caffeine is allowed during pregnancy?//
If you love a daily dose of coffee #coffeholic or are a heavy #tealover, you will definitely have asked yourself this question once finding out you are pregnant. It sure was one of the first questions I had. Books and google are a great little helper when it comes to pregnancy questions and assist in finding out what is good for your body and therefore your baby. But let’s cut to the facts of how much caffeine is allowed during pregnancy:
1. // Yes, you can drink coffee
No need to worry. If you are drinking more than two cups of coffee a day, you will have to start limiting yourself and cut down on that caffeine intake. There is still no clear answer on how much caffeine you are allowed to have but the general amount of caffeine suggested during pregnancy sums up to less than 200mg per day. That equals to an amount of around one cup of coffee, Starbucks brewed! While a latté at the same coffee shop will only have about 75mg of caffeine. So you should be ok in drinking around two cups of that. Per day that is!
2. // Interesting facts
Now you have a first idea as to how much caffeine is allowed during pregnancy, there is more you should know: As an #espressolover, I was worried, the high caffeine contained within an espresso may be dangerous BUT you need not worry: An espresso only contains about 75mg of caffeine, therefore making it pretty ok to drink at least one (if not two) a day!
3. // Tea is ok too
Black tea is the one containing the most amount of caffeine so do limit your intake here as well. Up to three cups a day are ok but try not to let the tea brew for too long. If you are looking for healthier alternatives, green tea is a real aid as it contains much less caffeine than black tea and can be enjoyed during pregnancy. If you are more into herbals then even better: Most herbal teas are generally safe to drink during pregnancy.
Though some herbs are meant to be better than others and some should be avoided (please check with your healthcare provider first), I suggest you opt for mint- or fennel-tea while pregnant. Mint will leave you feel energised and refreshed while fennel works wonders against bloating and bowel problems. These are the two options I go for on a daily basis.
4. // Don’t overdo it
Though a limited intake of caffeine is ok during pregnancy, don’t overdo it! Caffeine is stimulant, it raises your heart and blood pressure, sometimes even causing heartburn or insomnia. And know this: Everything you eat and drink, your baby receives a great portion of as well.
During pregnancy your body will slow in breaking down the caffein intake meaning that during the second trimester it will take twice as long and within the third trimester it will take about three times as long to break down the caffeine in your system – compared to when you are not pregnant.
5. // Why too much caffeine is bad for you and the baby
A general study has found that woman who had a much higher intake of caffeine than 300mg a day, gave birth to babies with a much lower weight. Some were born premature or were born small for their gestational age. Also: having too high of a caffeine intake will make it harder for your body to absorb iron,which is so badly needed during pregnancy, leaving you feel sluggish.
I hope this little bit of information on how much caffeine is allowed during pregnancy has helped in a) ensuring you can still drink tea and coffee and b) showing off alternatives that you can opt for when that midday low starts kicking in. Regarding myself, I have tea every day, favouring mint, fennel and rooibos. But, I do enjoy a latté, flat white or espresso here and there – one a day that is. Just enough to keep me going but without harming little Grapey as she grows. xx Conny.