Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages by adults in the world. Everyone knows that coffee contains a substance called caffeine, whose main effect is to stimulate the central nervous system, increasing our alertness and making us more awake and less tired. But caffeine is not only found in coffee, but in more drinks or foods, even medicines.
And what happens to coffee during pregnancy? Can it be taken without problem? Or, on the contrary, is it included in the list of foods that cannot be consumed during pregnancy? To clear up any doubts, in this article we will see whether or not coffee can be drunk while pregnant. What negative effects coffee has in this stage of women? Whether or not decaffeinated coffee can be drunk and what coffee substitutes we can consume as an alternative safely during pregnancy.
Can I have coffee if I am pregnant?
There are women who are used to consuming several cups of coffee every day, either because they like it or because they stay more awake and active during the day. So when they know their condition comes the big question: “Can I continue drinking coffee while pregnant?”
According to most health experts, coffee is not on the list of prohibited foods during pregnancy, but they advise taking it in moderate amounts, without exceeding 200 mg maximum of coffee each day. This equates to roughly two or three cups of coffee, depending on the amount and whether milk is added or it is plain coffee. However, if you can reduce this amount or even avoid drinking coffee, the better. It should be completely eliminated if you have a risky pregnancy.
It should also be taken into account that caffeine is present, in addition to coffee, in other drinks and foods such as cocoa or chocolate, cola drinks, some energy drinks, tea (tea has a substance called theine, also stimulating) and some medicines.
Negative effects of coffee in pregnancy
Coffee, if taken in large quantities during pregnancy, can cause problems for both the baby and the pregnant woman.
Negative effects of excess caffeine in pregnant women:
- The risk of miscarriage is doubled, since caffeine reaches the fetus and it is still so immature that it is not able to eliminate it.
- The cases of premature births are growing.
- Delay in the growth of the fetus in the uterus, due to the fact that the passage of oxygen and nutrients becomes more difficult as the blood vessels contract.
- Low birth weight baby.
Can you drink decaffeinated coffee while pregnant?
Many people think that coffee because it is “decaffeinated” has no caffeine at all. But the truth is that it does contain caffeine, although in very little quantity. While regular has about 100mg of caffeine per cup, decaf contains about 2mg. The procedures used today to get caffeine out of coffee beans are not able to completely suppress it.
Like normal coffee, it can be taken but always in moderation, and avoid it if your pregnancy is risky.
How do you get decaffeinated coffee?
When it comes to drinking decaffeinated coffee, there is mistrust about its consumption due to the method used to extract caffeine from coffee beans. There are several extraction methods and some of them use certain chemical agents considered carcinogenic to man. However, the high temperatures to which these substances are subjected during the different roasts of the beans cause them to evaporate completely.
However, there are other safer extraction methods, such as the modern decaffeination technique, which uses carbon dioxide and allows caffeine to be extracted without using chemicals. There is also a variety of all-natural decaffeinated coffee, obtained from a plant that contains very low levels of caffeine.
Here you can get some great decaf coffee pods from Nespresso.
Substitute for coffee during pregnancy
If you are a woman who is used to drinking many cups of coffee and you must reduce them during pregnancy or you want to avoid its consumption completely, you can use other alternatives that do not have those harmful effects of caffeine.
At first, you will feel the urge to drink coffee until your body adjusts. If it costs you a lot, gradually reduce consumption, switch to decaffeinated coffee, add more milk and continue with the habit of having a hot drink.
Here are a few options to do without coffee during pregnancy:
- Pennyroyal and chamomile infusions . They are digestive, ideal for after meals.
- Chicory infusion . It has a bitter taste reminiscent of coffee, so it is a good alternative if you miss that flavor.
- Caffeine-free soft drinks . If you love to drink cola, let it be in its version without caffeine and light, although it is better to do without them and opt for something healthier.
- Cocoa with milk . Remember that chocolate and cocoa contain small amounts of caffeine, so it must be consumed in moderation and with plenty of milk. If you have problems with weight avoid it.
- Cereal coffee . It is not coffee itself, but a mixture of different cereals such as rye, barley or malt and it is quite nutritious. Everyone can take it, including children and the elderly.
- Rooibos tea . It does not contain theine (with effects similar to caffeine) and strengthens the defenses.
You may have other questions about whether certain things are compatible with pregnancy. In the following articles you will find out if it is possible to do sit-ups during pregnancy and if it is bad to dye your hair while pregnant.