Caffeine In Pregnancy & Fetal Weight Reduction

By Ashley | February 24, 2010
Caffeine And Low Birth Weight

Pregnancy comes with a number of complications as well as lifestyle adjustment that are seriously required. While a lot of people are aware of the fact that an expecting mother will require tremendous physical and mental strength throughout the duration of the pregnancy, one aspect that seems to be greatly undervalued is the amount of restraint that the expecting mother will have to show to repel the temptations of her pre – pregnancy addictions. Some common addictions include smoking, consumption of alcohol and even caffeine as they are all known to have an effect on not only the pregnancy, but the overall health of the offspring as well. However, unlike the addictions of smoking and drinking, you are not required to completely give up your caffeine intake, but merely cut it down to an acceptable level. The risk of too much caffeine in your system will manifest with the child having been born with a very low birth weight. As a result, the chances of your child suffering from some health problems substantially increase.

Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases the heart rate and metabolism within the body – thereby also affecting the unborn child. Since the stimulant acts in fits and starts, the brief and sudden jerks of fetal stress that will occur just having downed a cup of coffee will cause complications only if they are too regular. It is also important to remember that because of the diuretic properties of the substance, coffee is known to be very beneficial during a pregnancy, as long as it is consumed in safe amounts.

Studies have shown that a consumption of caffeine at about 100 mg per day during a pregnancy is associated with a fetal weight reduction of about 34 to 59 grams within the first trimester, 24 to 74 grams in the second trimester and between 66 to 89 grams in the third trimester. While most habits are hard to get rid of during a pregnancy, in cases of alcohol and caffeine, your own taste buds are going to do most of the work for you. This is primarily because, when pregnant, the individual’s sense of taste goes through a considerable change and could trigger a bout of nausea. You can also consciously reduce your intake of caffeine in regularly consumed homemade beverages by brewing them for a shorter period of time. There are a number of caffeine free beverages available in today’s market that will prove to be a useful substitute to help your through your cravings

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