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Caffeine in pregnancy

Lots of women have doubts on whether they should consume caffeine rich products during pregnancy. Experts agree that both pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should exclude caffeine from the diet or at least consume lesser portions of it. However, there is still no strong proof on how caffeine affects pregnancy.

Some researches claim that women should not intake more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. A greater amount doubles the chance of miscarriage in comparison to those women who do not consume coffee.

However, there are also some studies which do not show the connection between caffeine consumption and a greater risk of miscarriage but it is best if women do not take large quantities of caffeine during pregnancy. It is probably best to exclude the coffee altogether but not all women can do that.

Are there other risks beside miscarriage?

Women should know that there are other risks besides miscarriage. One of them is reduced blood flow to the placenta. This is because caffeine makes the blood vessels to constrict. Another risk is that the caffeine could directly affect the baby's developing cells because it easily crosses the placenta.

A research in Denmark showed that women who drink a lot of coffee have twice as much chance of stillbirth than women who do not drink coffee. There were also some studies that claim that caffeine consumption reduces the baby's weight. In some other research, children of women who drank more than 500 mg of caffeine during pregnancy had a faster heart rate and slept less in the first couple of days after being born.

There is one thing that all experts agree to be true and that is that women will feel a lot better if they do not consume large amounts of caffeine. There are lots of problems that too much caffeine can cause, like insomnia and faster heart rate for instance. Too much coffee and tea affects a woman's ability to absorb iron.

Which foods and beverages contain coffee?

Coffee is the most obvious beverage that contains caffeine but the amount of caffeine differs. Factors like the type of bean, how it is roasted and brewed and the size of the coffee cup all influence that amount. Tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate all contain caffeine so a woman will need to pay attention what she consumes. Certain over the counter drugs can also contain caffeine.

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