Caffeine consumption continues to be one of the most controversial debates in pregnancy. It seems that whenever a new study claims it’s ok, another one says the opposite, so it’s hard to know who to believe.
What has caffeine?
Pop, energy drinks, coffee, tea (black and some herbal), chocolate, and some common over-the-counter headache medications. You can find caffeine in both natural and synthetic forms.
What effects can it have?
In addition to increasing energy, it can also produce some negative side effects. Some of these side effects include headaches, jitters, insomnia, irritability, withdrawal symptoms, nervousness, blurred vision, and irritable bowels.
Why is it important to be careful of consumption while you are pregnant?
Studies* have shown that there is an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight requiring neonatal ICU, and decreased fertility linked to high levels of use.
So, how much is safe?
We still need further investigation into the full effects of caffeine in pregnancy. However, the most commonly accepted amount is 200mg a day total. This would be about 2 8oz cups of coffee a day if you are not consuming any other sources of caffeine.