We all know that coffee can be a lifesaver. When we need a pick-me-upper especially on hectic days, the quick and easy way to get an energy boost is by having a cup of coffee on-the-go. Most of us also consider taking a cup of coffee in solace as “me-time” well spent; that, or an afternoon coffee date with the hubby or with girlfriends. But is it still safe to drink coffee when you’re pregnant? Yes and no.
Caffeine is known to inhibit iron absorption—iron is an essential nutrient in the development of your baby in utero. According to an article in smartparenting.com.ph, preggos should avoid soda, coffee, teas, and energy drinks, which contain caffeine. It's also known that coffee could make pregnant women anxious and thus increase their heart rate, which is not good.
However, it is perfectly safe to take coffee in moderation. Here’s one reason that backs it up.
Researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio say that drinking coffee while pregnant does not affect the child’s intelligence quotient (IQ), nor their behavior when growing up.
The new study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology,analyzed the amount of a compound called paraxanthine in the blood of 2,197 pregnant women at two points in their pregnancy, and compared it to the intelligence quotient (IQ) and behavior of the women’s kids when they hit four and seven years old. Paraxanthine is one of the compounds which coffee breaks down into when consumed. The samples were taken between 1959 and 1974, when drinking coffee during pregnancy was more common.
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"These results provide at least some reassurance that caffeine, at the amounts that most people would be drinking, is not likely to have an important impact on the development of their children," Mark A. Klebanoff, M.D., principal investigator in the Center for Perinatal Research at the Research Institute at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and faculty member at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Assistant professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and co-author of the study Sarah Keim adds, "Taken as a whole, we consider our results to be reassuring for pregnant women who consume moderate amounts of caffeine, or the equivalent of one to two cups of coffee per day." This is in line with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendation for pregnant women to take no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day.
This is not the first study that looked into the relation of caffeine consumption during pregnancy and babies. In another 2012 study, it was proved that babies frequently waking up at night is not linked to their moms’caffeine drinking while pregnant.
But remember, ladies, the key word is “moderation”. Experts are still uncovering the full effects of caffeine on pregnant women and babies. If you can quit cold turkey, then that’s well and good. But if not, don't feel guilty when indulging yourself with a cup of coffee or two—but nothing more just to remainon the safe side.
Sources: November 20, 2015. “Expectant Moms: Coffee Won't Harm Kids' IQ” (livescience.com) November 19, 2015. “Moderate Amounts of Caffeine During Pregnancy Do Not Harm Baby’s IQ and Does Not Cause Behavioral Problems, Obesity” (nationwidechildrens.org)