Caffeine Use During Pregnancy
Effects of Caffeine on Newborns
Excessive caffeine intake during pregnancy may shorten gestation and lower a baby's birth weight. For some babies, these changes could be slight and harmless, but for newborns that already have birth problems, these minor changes could become dangerous. Any chemical put into the mother's body can be transferred to the baby through breast milk, including caffeine. Babies who drink breast milk containing caffeine may be cranky and have irregular sleep patterns. Just as in pregnancy, mothers who are breastfeeding should maintain a reduced intake of caffeinated drinks and be aware of any medication that may contain caffeine. While excessive caffeine use can cause noticeable changes in the baby's behavior, consuming foods and drinks that contain limited amounts of caffeine should not affect breastfeeding babies.
There are many foods that contain caffeine that you may not be aware of. If you are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding, you should be cautious and check the labels to see if the foods, drinks, or medications you use contain caffeine.
Foods made with chocolate contain caffeine, although usually only slight amounts. Some headache medicines and those designed for cold and sinus often contain caffeine. Some dietary supplements, energy drinks, and weight loss pills may contain caffeine, but often do not have labels telling how much.