Coffee during Pregnancy

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Fishing and Boating

So you are going to be a proud mom soon! That means you are being flooded with innumerable DOs and DONTs. Somebody might have already cautioned you against the ill effects of drinking coffee during pregnancy, I presume! And you are, the avid coffee aficionado is in great dilemma regarding the choice between the temptations of taste buds and the brains warning on the health of your unborn child. While your mothers instinct warns you against consuming coffee, the human in you is terribly missing the aromatic sweetness of a cuppa. So what to do? How to take the right decision? Just read on the article that lets you know about the effects of coffee on the health of the pregnant woman.

Coffee is a drink that typically contains caffeine. Now we are aware of the possible adverse effects of caffeine on our health. These adversities can become even more acute, if consumed by a pregnant woman. A high degree of caffeine intake during pregnancy is believed to increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and low weight of the baby at the time of birth. Most importantly, it may also increase the risk of fetal death. According to some of the studies drinking more than eight cups of coffee during pregnancy leads to an increased risk of stillbirth and the risk is considerably lower for the women who do not drink coffee during this phase.

Now it is a controversial issue indeed! There are a school of medical researchers who do not agree with the opinion that drinking coffee during pregnancy truly poses a risk of abortion. While some of the studies in this direction take into consideration the numbers of the cups of coffee a day that the pregnant mother drank, the others counted on the concentration of caffeine in blood. However both of the studies more or less agreed on the quantity of per day intake of coffee and they consistently concluded that more than five cups coffee can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion in the pregnant women.  It must be added that there have been studies that indicated no increased risk of abortion even with heavy consumption.

You must be wondering how and why does this difference occur? Scientists are of the opinion that the differences in results originate in the types of coffee consumed. Depending on the stronger or milder nature of the coffee or the way it is brewed, the rate of abortions due to consumption of coffee varies in different countries.

Now what is the solution? The solution lies in the practice of moderation. There are medical evidences that hold that if you consume a moderate amount of coffee (two to three cups per day) during pregnancy, it poses no threats for the fetus.

Another problem relates to the definition of moderation that varies with scientists. While, some hold that it is risky to exceed the limit of two cups per day, many researchers are of the opinion that up to four cups coffee are absolutely safe for both the mother and fetuss health. But majority of the doctors advise not to drink more than two cups of coffee per day to be on the safe side. This piece of advice is true for those women who are already pregnant as well as for those planning to conceive shortly.

It is not only the caffeine, there are also many chemicals present in the coffee which are jointly responsible for yielding these adverse effects on the health of the fetus. What about drinking decaffeinated coffee? Here again it is recommended that you should not exceed the limit of your two cups per day even if the coffee is decaffeinated.

In the end, a piece of advice for the would be mothers. Enjoy your favorite drink during pregnancy, but stay at limit; never go beyond three cups per day. In the end you will be rewarded for your forbearance by giving birth to a healthy baby.