Pregnancy makes you tired, we all know that. Your sleep may be affected causing you to be tired and groggy throughout the day. Perhaps you are waking up often to go to the bathroom or you have horrible heartburn at night causing you to stay up. You may find yourself needing a quick pick-me-up in the morning after having a bad night’s sleep. Of course, caffeine is a good choice in general…well, maybe not a “good” choice, but one that many opt for in the morning and throughout the day.
In general, caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world and is commonly found in drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks. So, many tired and pregnant women want to know if caffeine is safe during pregnancy. We recommend discussing caffeine intake while pregnant with your medical provider. However, most pregnant women are generally advised to limit their caffeine consumption to approximately 2 or 3 cups of coffee per day, equal to less than 200 mg.
In a pregnant body, the absorption of caffeine is quick. This is important to know because the caffeine can pass rapidly and easily into the placenta and fetus. This could be a concern if high levels of caffeine build up during pregnancy. This high accumulation of caffeine can be a problem for unborn babies and their placentas lack an enzyme that metabolizes caffeine. If high levels build up during the pregnancy, it can restrict the fetal growth which can increase the risk of low birth weight at delivery. In addition, low birth weight is often correlated with an increased risk of infant death.
We don’t mean to scare you about drinking coffee, we just want to reiterate that caffeine intake should be consumed in moderation, just like with everything. Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 2 or 3 cups per day, but just to be safe, run it by your physician.