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Miscarriages and Birth Defects Related With Coffee

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Food & Drink
  So you are going to taste the greatest achievement of womanhood, you are going to be a mother soon! It is one of the most enjoyable phases of your life, but you have to stay cautious every moment.  Even if a little thing goes wrong, it may take worst shape for both you and your childs health. Leading a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy will give you the greatest reward of your life a beautiful and healthy baby.

It is a long standing belief that pregnant women should stay away from caffeine intake. Because coffee contains substantial amount of caffeine, it is generally advised that pregnant women should stay away from consumption of coffee during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Traditionally drinking coffee was associated with all sorts of pregnancy related problems such as miscarriage, stillbirths, heart and brain defects of the bay and other congenital problems.

So why are the pregnant women cautioned against caffeine consumption? Caffeine in  the coffee easily passes from the mother to her unborn child through the placenta. In an adult system, the caffeine produces only a transitory impact. But your unborn childs system is not developed sufficiently so that the system is able to eliminate the chemicals from the body. And as such caffeine stays longer in the childs blood for a longer stretch of time. If the level remains consistently higher over a considerable period of time, the caffeine will affect the unborn baby in the same way as it does to the adults. 

There have been reports that hold, the mothers who consumed more than 500mg caffeine per day gave birth to the children with symptoms like faster heart and breathing rates and tremors. They also depict a tendency of remaining awake in the days after birth. Then consider the diuretic effect of caffeine that leads to elimination of calcium from your bones and fluid from your system. Thus your child will be deprived of some of the essential nutrients and fluids important for its proper growth. Then cups full of coffee topped with cream and sugar seem to be yummy, but they are low on nutrients and does not benefit you in any way. On the contrary the caffeine present in the coffee may prevent the absorption of such nutrients as iron.

Another latest study even found a connection between drinking coffee during pregnancy and miscarriage. The study reveals the more the consumption of coffee during the early stages of pregnancy, the greater the risk of experiencing miscarriage. The research involved some 88,000 women to show that those who drank coffee during pregnancy suffered from a greater risk of miscarriage. Consumption of more than eight cups of coffee per day is believed to pose highest threat.

According to the experts, mild caffeine consumption probably does not cause any serious birth defects.  Most of the nutritionists are of the opinion that you can enjoy drinking coffee during pregnancy as long as you don't exceed the limit. There have been lots of researches on this issue and the results are still contradictory with regard to the harmful effects of consumption of coffee during pregnancy. However, most of the researchers hold the view, that although caffeine enters the babys system through mothers placenta, moderate intake of coffee does not harm your baby to any alarming extent. And what does a moderate amount means? It means not more than 300 milligrams caffeine a day. This amounts to two or three cups containing 8 ounces of coffee per day.

You need not altogether cut yourself from the coffee intake all through your pregnancy. After all, the cream filled delicious coffee gives you a fulfilling effect. Only resist the cravings. Switching to decaffeinated coffee can also be a practical solution.