Will Caffeine Guidelines Change for Pregnant Women?
I’m kind of a naysayer when it comes to pregnancy diet restrictions. A cold-cut sandwich? I’ll risk it. Chocolate? Bring it on.
But the one thing that does concern me a little is the dreaded caffeine recommendations.
Although I’m not a crazy caffeine drinker by any means (more than a cup of day usually gets me all jittery) I do love a good cup of joe, and I’ve never thought twice about having caffeine during my pregnancies. In fact, for a good portion of two of my pregnancies, I worked the night shift and nothing helped to keep me awake better than an ice-cold Diet Cherry Pepsi (although I do realize how bad that is for you on both counts, it was a matter of survival!)
EverydayFamily blogger Christina described the current American Pregnancy Association caffeine recommendations of 150-300 mg of caffeine daily last month; to put those restrictions into perspective, one Grande Coffee at Starbucks contains 400 mg of caffeine—well over the daily limit.
In Britain, women are encouraged to consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine a day—half of that Grande Starbucks coffee—and yet, a new Norwegian study found that even that low daily dose might lead to complications with their babies.
Women who stuck to the recommended limit of 200 mg, which is about a small cup of strong coffee, were 18% more likely to have babies with low birth weights and consequentially, more complications like breathing problems. Regular coffee drinkers were also linked to having marginally longer pregnancies, although researchers claimed it was not a direct association of the caffeine. “Caffeine intake from coffee was associated with a longer pregnancy, equating to eight hours extra for every 100mg caffeine per day,” according to The Telegraph. If you have ever had the joy of experiencing pregnancy in the last few miserable weeks, this fact alone may be enough to convince you to kick the coffee habit!
Before you go throwing away all your coffee mugs just yet, keep in mind that the pregnancy caffeine recommendations won’t change based on one study—there could be different factors that researches haven’t discovered yet. If you are concerned about your caffeine intake, however, try this helpful guide from the Mayo Clinic to determine how much caffeine is in your favorite drinks.
Do you drink caffeine when you’re pregnant?
Photo credit: Flickr/nanny snowflake