So you recently found out that you’ll be a mother in nine months’ time! Well, congratulations! Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful phases of life for any woman and motherhood is even better. Nevertheless, it comes with some of its limitations. There are foods and beverages which you are advised to steer away from and topping this list is coffee. So if you’re used to downing four cups of coffee in a day, we have some bad news for you as you may have to stay away from it or reduce the amount significantly. Even though it packs an array of health benefits for those who are not expectant, find out the reasons why you should avoid coffee while pregnant.
Impacts on pregnant mamas
If you want to enjoy a beautiful stress-free pregnancy, then you might have to curb your addiction to coffee if you are an enthusiast. Below is how it affects your health;
- Increases blood pressure
During pregnancy, your body has to work twice as hard as it does when you are not expectant as it is working for two. That means your heart rate and blood pressure is slightly higher than usual. Doctors always recommend that you avoid consuming food or beverages which trigger the increase of the mentioned and coffee is one of these. Ever wondered why we wake up so lazy and tired but once you take coffee you enjoy an increased rush in adrenaline? Well, if not then the answer is that coffee contains high caffeine content which is a stimulant, hence gives you an energy boost. Even though this effect might be useful on an ordinary day, it is incredibly unhealthy when you’re pregnant as it tends to increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Affects the absorption of iron into your bloodstream
Besides caffeine, coffee contains other compounds in its composition which suppress the absorption of iron. As you know, you’re already low in this essential mineral, and if it is reduced further then, this not only affects the fetus but also puts your life at risk.
- Causes dehydration
Before you’re pregnant, your body often requires about eight glasses of water to ensure that everything runs smoothly. When you’re pregnant, you need even more as you’re drinking for two. However, the more the coffee, the more you’ll have to make a trip to the washrooms as it tends to increase the frequency of urination. This causes a significant decrease in your body fluid levels thus causing dehydration.
Impacts on your unborn baby
If coffee can impact your health negatively while pregnant, imagine the effects it will have on the baby. Therefore, if you can’t avoid taking four cups of coffee for you then you should do it for baby.
- Lighter babies
According to findings from one of the most extended studies carried out on close to 60,000 Norwegian women, coffee tends to increase the chances of expectant mothers delivering low birthweight children. Every 100 mg of caffeine that you take tends to affect the baby’s weight negatively as it reduces approximately one ounce of the fetus overall weight. Additionally, the same amount of caffeine tends to extend the gestation period by around eight hours so you can imagine the impact of taking 400 mg of coffee in a day.
- Exposes the unborn to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type 2 later in life
The Norwegian study was carried out for eight years. It separated children whose mothers took coffee while pregnant and those who did not and the findings were jaw breaking. Those whose mothers consumed coffee while expectant had a higher risk of suffering from obesity and diabetes type 2. For instance, the study shows that at the age of five, the percentage of kids whose moms had taken coffee while expectant was five times greater in comparison to those who did not. Being overweight increased their risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type 2. Therefore, another reason why you should avoid coffee while pregnant even if it is your favorite drink is to prevent your child from having complications which might rob them of the chance of having a normal childhood.
- Affects your baby’s metabolism and alters sleeping patterns
Even though you might be strong enough to handle the effects of the high amounts of caffeine in your body, keep in mind that your baby is yet to mature. Factors like its metabolism are yet to become fully functional, and its brain is still developing. Therefore, if your body takes three hours to break down caffeine, then your unborn baby will take thrice that time. Additionally, your baby’s metabolism cannot adequately process it and thus will have adverse effects on your child later in life. Also, caffeine being a stimulant tends to affect not only the sleeping patterns but also the movement of the fetus during your next phases of pregnancy making pregnancy harder for you.
As much as you love your brewed mug or that roasted cup of this precious drink, if you’re pregnant, you should compromise this addiction as it not only affects you but also negatively impacts the lives of your unborn baby. After all, you’re free to take as much coffee as you want after you deliver your bundle of joy into this world.