Curb the Caffeine During Pregnancy

A moderate amount of caffeine a couple of cups of coffee or tea a day is considered safe during pregnancy, but a large amount (6 or more 10-oz cups of coffee a day, for example) is not. Too much caffeine can increase the risk of low birth weight, preterm delivery and stillbirth.

You may never drink that much, but its important to keep in mind that many coffee drinks contain more caffeine ounce per ounce than regular coffee. Soft drinks and chocolate can also include caffeine, so monitor your total caffeine intake to be sure you're not eating and drinking more than you realize.

For every 8 oz of caffeinated beverage you drink, drink 8 oz. of water, in addition to the 68 glasses of water you already are drinking.

After reviewing research on the topic, the American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that pregnant women can drink up to 200 mg of caffeine a day without worrying about raising the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth.

For the record:

  • An 8-oz. cup of coffee contains about 137 mg. of caffeine.
  • 8 oz. of tea contains 48 mg.
  • 12 oz. of caffeinated soda has 37 mg.
  • 12 oz. of hot cocoa contains 8-12 mg.

What About Sweeteners?

The American Dietetic Association has said that aspartame an artificial sweetener used in many diet foods and soft drinks and available in small packets for coffee and tea is safe for most women during pregnancy.

There have been conflicting reports on the safety of another artificial sweetener, saccharin, but no definitive evidence that its harmful to a developing fetus. Limit your use of any artificial sweetener if you have concerns, and check with your healthcare provider about specific sweeteners.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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