is caffeine consumption allowed during pregnancy? Discover if it is safe or not to drink caffeine during pregnancy.
One of the first questions that arise after knowing that we are pregnant is feeding during this stage. Among these doubts, one of the most consulted is whether it is safe or not to consume caffeine during pregnancy.
There are many myths and advice in this regard, but what do these have? In this article, we will present the latest research in this regard.
Caffeine during pregnancy
The vast majority of us drink coffee in the morning and many continue the intake throughout the day. However, did you know that caffeine is present in other beverages and foods?
Some soft drinks, chocolate, energy drinks, some infusions like mate or tea and even some medications contain caffeine. Therefore, you must pay attention to all of them to calculate your daily intake!
Myths and realities
There are many myths in society about caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Let’s discover together, based on scientific information, whether these myths are real or not.
1. Caffeine would cause birth defects in the baby
Some animal studies concluded that those mothers who consumed caffeine had a higher risk of giving birth to babies with birth defects. However, studies in humans have not yielded conclusive data.
A 2011 study analyzed the association of caffeine consumption during pregnancy with the presence of birth defects such as esophageal and intestinal atresia, microtia/anotia, craniosynostosis, diaphragmatic hernia, omphalocele, and gastroschisis.
Although small increases in risk were found in women who had consumed caffeine during pregnancy, no convincing evidence was obtained, so it is necessary to continue the research on the association of caffeine with birth defects.
2. If you drink caffeine during pregnancy, your child may be underweight at birth
In 2014, researchers analyzed in depth 13 existing studies to determine if there really is a relationship between caffeine intake during pregnancy and low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg.).
The result showed that high consumption of caffeine would be associated with an increased risk of birth of a baby with low weight. For this reason, they recommend minimizing their intake.
3. Caffeine could cause miscarriages
Researchers analyzed 28 studies to determine if there really is an association between caffeine consumption and spontaneous abortions. The results suggested a relationship between both factors. Thus, for each increase in caffeine intake of 150 mg daily, the risk of abortion would increase by 19%.
4. Caffeine passes through the placenta and could affect the baby
Different studies support this urban myth. If the mother consumes caffeine, the baby also, through the placenta. As you surely know, caffeine is a stimulant that can cause insomnia, among other discomforts.
When you drink caffeine, your child also ingests it, being able to enter a phase of hyperactivity that prevented him from sleeping and you too! For this reason, it is usually advised to minimize intake.
5. If you drink a lot of coffee, you may become dehydrated
The caffeine present in coffee, tea and other beverages and food is diuretic, therefore, increases the frequency of urination. Those who drink a lot of caffeine may have a higher risk of dehydration, one of the worst complications during pregnancy.
6. Habitual consumption of caffeine could cause premature birth
If you have ever heard this phrase, you should know that some reason has. However, only in regard to a high intake of caffeine. The American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists (ACOG) has published that a high consumption (more than 200 mg/day of caffeine) could increase the risk of premature birth.
Currently, there are no conclusive data on caffeine consumption during pregnancy that is safe for the baby. However, it is usually considered that a moderate intake, that is, less than 300 mg daily , should not generate complications during pregnancy.
The medical recommendations on the safe intake of caffeine for a pregnant woman vary between 150 and 300 mg / day.
If the mother can not avoid the consumption of caffeine during pregnancy, either because she is accustomed to eating a high intake or because of her cravings, the World Health Organization recommends moderating it. In any case, consult your doctor to receive the best advice in this regard.