Caffeine is a natural substance found in these foods. It is rapidly absorbed in the blood and can stimulate your brain. It can also cause frequent urination.
Start limiting your intake of caffeine containing foods as it has been suggested that caffeine intake during pregnancy should be less than 200 mg per day.
Why limit caffeine while getting pregnant?
You may be wondering if it is ok to continue the intake of coffee, chocolate or carbonated beverage while you are trying to get pregnant.
Well, studies have shown that caffeine can negatively affect women’s fertility. Scientists are yet to find out how exactly caffeine affects fertility and pregnancy.
However, available evidence does suggest that it’s better to avoid caffeine if you want to get pregnant. Here is why.
- Women who consumed more than 500 mg of caffeine (about four big coffee cups) have reported delay in the time to get pregnant by 9.5 months.
- It may affect ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries), and the characteristics of the menstrual cycle. It may also either shorten or lengthen the menstrual cycle affecting fertility.
- Caffeine intake during early pregnancy may lead to miscarriage. It has been found that women consuming 4–7 cups of coffee daily during pregnancy have 80% higher risk of still birth (baby dies in the womb during labour or birth).
Caffeine also affects your nutritional status by hindering calcium absorption from foods and limiting your food intake by reducing appetite. As caffeine has no nutritional value, you can avoid it in your diet.
Cut down caffeine gradually
You may be convinced to stop mindless consumption of coffee as you want to get pregnant. However, doing so abruptly can cause a few withdrawal symptoms such as drowsiness, headache and irritability. Therefore, it may help if you reduce the intake gradually to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.
Foods : Average amount of caffeine (mg)
Brewed coffee (240 mL):137
Instant coffee (240 mL):76
Brewed tea (240 mL):48
Instant tea (240 mL) : 26–36
Decaffeinated coffee (240 ml) : 7
Carbonated beverages : (350 mL) : 37
Hot cocoa (3 tbsp) : 8–12
Chocolate milk (240 mL) : 5–8
Dark chocolate (40 g) : 30
Chocolate syrup (2 tbsp) : 3