What type of food contains caffeine?
Coffee, tea, soft drink, chocolate, hot cocoa and even some medication over the counter to relieve headaches.Why should I cut down my intake of caffeine during pregnancy?
- Caffeine is a stimulant. Hence, it would cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase which is not so good during pregnancy.
- Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it increases the amount and frequency of you urinating. It could cause dehydration of your body.
- It could cross the placenta. Hence, this could stimulate your baby whom may not be able to metabolise the caffeine properly leading to changes in the baby’s movement and sleep pattern.
- It is associated with growth restriction in your babies and low birth weight babies.
- It is associated with miscarriages and preterm labour especially if you have high intake of caffeine in your diet.
I need to have my daily dose of caffeine. What amount should be ok for me to have during pregnancy?
Previously studies have recommended a daily intake of caffeine of less than 300mg/day. However, based on recent studies has recommended an intake of less than 200mg / day. This is equal to about:
- 2 mugs of instant coffee (100mg each)
- One mug of filtered coffee (140mg)
- 2 mugs of tea (75mg each)
- 5 cans of cola (40mg each)
- 2 cans of ‘energy drinks’ (80mg each)
- Four bar of plain chocolate. Milk chocolate contains less caffeine than dark chocolate
It is perhaps better to try and cut down your intake of caffeine or avoid caffeine altogether.