EFFECT OF COFFEE FOR PREGNANCY WOMAN
A recent study performed in Denmark has found a link between coffee intake
during pregnancy and miscarriage. It appears that the more coffee you drink
during the early stages of pregnancy, the higher your risk of suffering from
a miscarriage becomes. Danish researchers from the University of Aarhus polled
over 88,000 women to find out about coffee intake during pregnancy. The majority
of these women consumed no coffee during pregnancy, however, those that did
reported increased risks of miscarriage. Women who consume more than eight cups
of coffee a day appear to be at the highest risk, illustrating a 59% increase
in the rate of miscarriage. Researchers are still unsure why coffee appears
to affect the risk of miscarriage.
Caffeine and Pregnancy
Drinking too much coffee during pregnancy raises the risk of stillbirth, research
suggests. During pregnancy you may want to give up or at least cut back on coffee
and switch to pick-me-ups that don't cross the placenta. The concerns about
caffeine in pregnancy stem from research that showed the offspring of pregnant
animals given caffeine had a higher incidence of malformations. This statistical
finding has yet to be proven in humans, but to be on the safe side, the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), advises pregnant women to eliminate or limit
the consumption of products containing caffeine, including coffee, colas, tea,
cocoa, chocolate, and some over-the- counter remedies. More recent research
suggests that caffeine use during pregnancy may cause more problems than originally
suggested by the early animal studies. Caffeine has now been implicated in miscarriages
and low birth weight.
The harmful effects of caffeine revealed in these studies were the result of
high doses of caffeine (the equivalent of 6 to 10 cups of coffee a day), and
these studies are not considered definitive by any means. At this writing, there
is no hard evidence that drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day while pregnant
is harmful to the developing baby, but caffeine does stimulate an increased
heart rate and metabolic rate in babies, just as it does in adults. Furthermore,
caffeine may remain in the baby's bloodstream longer and at higher levels, because
baby's immature liver cannot get rid of the caffeine as quickly as can mother's.
If your body is used to a daily caffeine lift, here are some ways to wean yourself
(and your baby) off this chemical jolt onto a more natural pick-me-up.
- Don't percolate coffee or steep tea too long. A tea bag steeped one minute
releases half the caffeine as one steeped for five minutes. In general, the
longer coffee and tea are brewed and the darker the chocolate, the greater
the caffeine content.
- Try herbal teas that are caffeine-free. Decaffeinated teas and coffees still
contain a slight bit of caffeine. If you must drink coffee, use water-processed
decaffeinated coffee, since chemically processed decaffeinated coffee contains
- Read the labels of any over-the-counter medicines you take. Many headache
remedies contain caffeine.
- Know what you're drinking. Read soda-can labels, or inquire about the caffeine
content of a soft drink before you decide to consume it.
- Try other warm drinks. If the warmth of the beverage is what satisfies you,
try hot water (you can add lemon), warm milk, hot apple cider, or herb tea.
- Cut back slowly. If you are finding you can't begin your day without the
morning-caffeine jolt you had been used to, cut down gradually. Brew your
coffee using half decaffeinated and half regular coffee, and gradually decrease
the proportion of caffeine coffee. (Even a small amount of caffeine will relieve
the headache that sometimes accompanies caffeine withdrawal.)
Tips to Help Minimize These Symptoms
- Keep your energy levels up by keeping your blood sugar levels up. You can
achieve this by eating frequent small meals that are rich in protein and complex-carbohydrate
foods. Also, taking your pregnancy vitamins will help ensure that your energy
levels are optimum
- Make sure you get some form of exercise everyday
- Make sure you are well rested and that you get plenty of sleep. Cutting
down on your caffeine levels should help you get to sleep easier.