Caffeine And Pregnancy by anamaulida


									A huge controversy exists about caffeine and pregnancy with some
conclusive findings suggesting that higher levels of caffeine intake can
have negative effects on pregnant women and their babies. The real
question up for debate is: What amount of caffeine is safe? While it is
best not to 'overworry' about the chocolate bar you may have inhaled last
night (yes...chocolate has caffeine), if you find the effects of caffeine
on your pregnancy worrisome, perhaps you would be best suited avoiding
caffeine altogether.First, caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, so it
increases blood pressure and heart rate (not recommended during
pregnancy), and causes frequent urination that could lead to dehydration.
While you are in control of the exact amount of caffeine that enters your
body, your baby is not; caffeine crosses the placenta and acts on your
baby just as it acts on you. Normally, the effects of caffeine on an
adult wear off in six hours, but in pregnant women, it may take twice as
long to leave the body. Also, because the baby is still developing he
will not be able to metabolize the caffeine efficiently which could
result in altered sleep patterns and movement in the later stages of
pregnancy.In effort to prepare for pregnancy, many women eat better and
exercise before conception to ensure that their bodies are healthy and
ready for implantation of a fertilized embryo. Some studies have actually
found a link between high amounts of caffeine consumption and delayed
conception, with women who consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine per day
twice as likely to have conception delayed a full year or more compared
with women who consumed less than 300 mg per day. While low to moderate
consumption seems safe, heavy caffeine drinkers may want to start cutting
back even when they begin trying for a baby. No studies have been done on
the effects of caffeine on sperm.The under-300 mg per day mark seems to
be the safe consumption level even after conception as the fetus grows
within the mother. A few studies have been done that show an increase in
miscarriage among women who consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day,
and other study outcomes of high caffeine consumption included pre-term
labor and low birth weight. Many studies done in animals have shown
caffeine to cause birth defects, reduced fertility, and other
reproductive problems, but human studies are still far behind. Although
many women choose to avoid caffeine completely just in case it may have
undiscovered effects in any amount, experts believe that moderate
caffeine intake (150 mg-250 mg per day) will not have a negative effect
on pregnancy.For those women holding out until the late stages of
pregnancy to enjoy caffeine again, the wait may be even longer than
expected. Late in the pregnancy, the baby will absorb caffeine from the
mother, and at this stage, the caffeine can cause increased fetal heart
rate, increased breathing rate, and tremors. Also, babies born to women
with high levels of caffeine consumption late in the pregnancy were
likely to spend more time awake in the days following birth. Many tired
parents of newborns want their babies to sleep well, so the avoidance of
caffeine in late pregnancy is essential for the baby to establish good
sleeping patterns, and essential for the parents' peace of mind as well!
Even breast-feeding mothers can pass caffeine into their baby's system,
so while low to moderate caffeine levels will not harm the baby, any
amount of caffeine will be passed from mother to baby, metabolized by the
baby's system, and may have stimulating effects.While most women and
babies have no negative health effects from low to moderate caffeine
consumption, caffeine sensitivity varies in each individual mom and baby.
If you are normally caffeine sensitive, take care to avoid it during
pregnancy, as the effects of caffeine are greater because it is more
slowly metabolized in pregnant women. Avoid caffeine containing foods
such as chocolate, coffee flavored ice creams and yogurts, and stick to
fruity desserts like pies. Be sure to stay well hydrated with beverages
such as decaffeinated tea, juice, and water.If you are thinking of
becoming pregnant, but consuming more than three cups of brewed coffee
per day, try to start weaning yourself off of the coffee now, as your
body will have a chance to adjust before all of the other changes start
taking place. Once pregnant, take care to regulate caffeine intake at
safe levels. Know what foods and beverages contain caffeine, and avoid
them if you are concerned about the effects of caffeine on pregnancy.
Myths do exist about caffeine and pregnancy, so remain calm if you do
happen to slip and indulge in cappuccino ice cream; moderate levels of
caffeine are safe for you and your baby.

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