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Dangers of caffeine in pregnancy

All pregnant women want to know how to make sure that both them and their babies stay healthy and strong. Some women may find it hard to leave the cigarettes and alcohol. Another thing that is really hard to let go of is caffeine. That includes coffee, some teas and soft drinks. However, it is important that a pregnant woman does that because there are risks of miscarriage. What is caffeine?

Some people are not aware that caffeine is actually a drug and it is highly addictive. Caffeine can be found in numerous plants, beans and seeds. A person who intakes it will have this substance in his or her bloodstream in just 10 or more minutes. Caffeine is also a stimulant.

Caffeine Sources

Apart from coffee and tea, there are plenty more other foods and beverages that contain this substance. Things like hot chocolate or regular chocolate, colas and certain nuts are known to have caffeine in them. There are also some medications and even dietary supplements that contain caffeine. What is the effect of caffeine?
A person who had several cups of coffee or tea may feel jittery and that happens in most cases when a person intakes too much caffeine. Apart from that feeling, a person may also experience heightened heart rate, blood pressure and even sweat production. Since caffeine is a diuretic a person may experience a loss of fluid and that may lead to dehydration and fatigue. A person may even end up in a “caffeine overdose” if he or she consumes too much of the substance. In such state a person may experience nausea, lightheadedness and even some respiratory problems.

Effects of caffeine on the baby

Even though the experts are not yet sure just how much caffeine intake is safe during pregnancy it is certain that even the smallest amount may cause some problems to the unborn. The reason for this is because caffeine will simply pass through the placenta of the mother and be absorbed by the child. Since the unborn child cannot pass the caffeine as easy as the mother can, the caffeine will get stored inside the blood of the baby. The movement of the baby and its heart rate are also affected by the amount of caffeine taken by the mother. The baby will not be able to absorb enough iron and calcium from foods because of the presence of caffeine.

Coffee and miscarriage

There was a study conducted in Denmark where pregnant women who drank coffee were monitored. Those women who took huge amounts of it had a greater chance of miscarriage. For instance, women who drank eight or more cups of it every day had 59% more chance of miscarriage.

How much caffeine is too much?

The doctors advise pregnant women to stop all caffeine consumption. However, there are women who find that very difficult so they can intake one beverage or food that contains caffeine every day. Such a small amount should not cause any problems.

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