Now that you're pregnant, are you wondering if you can drink coffee or should you cut out all consumption?
What a joy to have coffee in the morning! A coffee? Rather 2-3 when you know that each Canadian drinks an average of 99 liters of coffee per year.
Caffeine not coffee
You should know that coffee, tea, chocolate and cola all contain caffeine which is the element in question here. So, you should not only monitor your coffee consumption, but that of any food containing caffeine which has a number of side effects since it is both a diuretic and a tonic. Pregnant or not, everyone should limit their caffeine intake!
Effects of caffeine
As a diuretic, coffee increases fluid loss and may decrease iron absorption, which can be detrimental during pregnancy. As a tonic, we speak of course of increased alertness and concentration, but also of insomnia, headaches and nervousness.
He alth Canada confirms that in the average adult, a moderate intake of caffeine (between 400 and 450 mg per day) does not cause adverse effects. However, data has shown that women of childbearing age and children may be more vulnerable to the effects of caffeine. Thesetwo groups therefore benefit from limiting their daily consumption according to the following scales:
|Children 4 to 6 years old||45 mg/day|
|Children 7 to 9 years old||62 mg/day|
|Children 10 to 12 years old||85 mg/day|
|Women planning to become pregnant, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers||300 mg/day|
Did you know…
… the action of caffeine is felt 30 minutes after ingestion? It is eliminated from the body at an average rate of 40 mg/hour. However, during pregnancy, coffee is eliminated from the body much more slowly.
… the caffeine content of some energy drinks is very high? For example, a can of Red Bull® contains 80 mg of caffeine, almost as much as coffee!
Caffeine content of several foods
|Products||Serving in ml||mg caffeine|
|Roast and ground, percolator||237||118|
|Roasted and ground, filter||237||179|
|Roast and ground, decaffeinated||237||3|
|Snapshot||237||76 to 106|
|Tea Regular Blend||237||43|
|In sheets or sachets||237||50|
|Cola regular||355||36 to 46|
|Diet Cola||355||39 to 50|
|Hot Chocolate Mix||237||5|
|Candies, milk chocolate||28g||7|
|Candy, sweet chocolate||28g||19|
|Baking chocolates, unsweetened||28g||25 to 58|
Table: He alth Canada
Caffeine has been condemned by numerous studies
Danish researchers followed more than 18,000 pregnancies between 1989 and 1996. Of these, 7,800 (43%) did not drink coffee, 6,300 (34%) drank one to three cups a day and 3,200 (18%) four to seven cups and 950 (5%) eight or more cups. By studying the 82 cases of stillbirths, scientists have shed light on the influence of caffeine. The risk of death in utero has practicallydoubled among those who drink four to seven cups of coffee a day. This risk was multiplied by four in those who exceed 8 cups a day.
However, the authors point out that coffee lovers are more often smokers and alcohol consumers. But even taking these parameters into account, the risk linked solely to coffee is still significant… twice as high for the heaviest drinkers. In contrast, the researchers noted that drinking three cups a day did not appear to be harmful. It would even be less dangerous than not drinking it at all!
Caffeine increases the release of chemicals that can cause narrowing of the vessels (vasoconstriction) responsible for supplying the placenta and thus a lack of oxygen for the fetus (fetal hypoxia). It can also have a direct effect on the cardiovascular system of the fetus, leading to tachycardias and other arrhythmias. We can think that during difficult deliveries in which there is a risk of poor oxygenation of the fetus, the coffee taken by the mother can have harmful consequences. It is therefore preferable to avoid drinking coffee in the 48 hours preceding delivery.
The study was carried out by comparing the questionnaires completed by 7,900 new mothers and the birth records of their babies. Among the mothers, 200 consumed caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, 1,500 only caffeinated coffee, 500 only decaffeinated coffee, and 5,700 did not.drank any kind of coffee.
The study found that there was no difference between women abstaining from coffee and those consuming only decaffeinated. On the other hand, those who drank both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee delivered an average of 3.2 days earlier than the mothers in the first two groups and had babies weighing 50 grams (1.75 ounces) less. Mothers consuming only caffeinated coffee delivered an average of 0.4 days earlier and had babies 17 grams lighter, but since researchers were unaware of the amount of coffee consumed, it is possible that women consuming both types of coffee, drank more than women consuming caffeinated coffee alone.
Whether it's to limit your consumption or to completely stop drinking real coffee, you have to go gradually! Especially if you are a heavy coffee drinker, do not quit overnight or you will experience withdrawal effects which could be severe such as headaches, dizziness, unusual drowsiness and… very irritable! Cut one cup at a time until you are satisfied with your consumption, or mix decaffeinated coffee with your regular coffee when brewing it. You can also opt for instant coffee which contains less caffeine than ground coffee.
Beyond the maximum recommended dose of 2 cups of coffee a day, when you are pregnant it ispossible to consume other types of drinks that contain little or no caffeine, with of course water, milk and pure juices heading the list.
Caffeine Free Soft Drinks
First, there are now caffeine-free versions of traditionally caffeinated soft drinks (Coke® and Pepsi®). Otherwise, Sprite® and 7Up® style soft drinks naturally contain no caffeine and are, from this point of view, better choices.
Decaffeinated coffee or tea
Contrary to what one might think, caffeine is not linked to the aroma of coffee, which is directly related to the oils released by the beans during the preparation of the drink. So, there are decaffeinated coffees of good quality and above all of good taste. By opting for a decaffeinated coffee of good quality, and therefore a little more expensive, we can satisfy our morning cravings while avoiding the harmful effects of caffeine.
While several herbal teas are safe during pregnancy, some may have negative repercussions on your baby's he alth and should therefore be avoided during this period: Aloe, Tussilago, Juniper berries, Pennyroyal, Sacred Bark, Comfrey, Labrador Tea, Sassafras, Chamomile, Curled Rumex, Lobelia, Senna Leaves. Only herbal teas of orange or citrus peel, ginger, lemon balm, linden blossom and rosehip are considered harmless.
Relatively new product and ratherdifficult to obtain, the Teeccino is a mixture of roasted carob, barley, chicory root, almonds, figs, dates, cocoa, with an aroma of mocha that is used in the coffee maker, like real coffee. Some are followers, others absolutely not, it's a matter of taste!
PostumIt is a mixture of roasted cereals and natural ingredients (wheat bran, wheat, molasses and corn dextrin), always without caffeine, which is dissolved directly in water and which represents a he althy alternative, if you like the taste of course!
Ov altineProduct made from barley m alt, skimmed milk, cocoa, eggs and yeast that is more like hot chocolate than coffee, but when looking for an alternative, it's all good!
Hot drinksDon't forget the simplest recipes as replacement drinks: hot water, hot lemon water, hot milk, juice hot apple, chicken or vegetable broth, etc.