Caffeine is a stimulant that provides a boost of energy. It’s consumed worldwide, with coffee and tea being two of the most popular sources. While caffeine is considered safe for the general population but health authorities advise limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy.
Potential risks during pregnancy
Caffeine has many potential benefits, but there’s concern that it may pose risks when consumed in high amounts during pregnancy, such as an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. Pregnant women metabolize caffeine much more slowly. In fact, it can take 1.5–3.5 times longer to eliminate caffeine from your body. Caffeine also crosses the placenta and enters the baby’s bloodstream, raising concerns that it can affect the baby’s health.
Other negative side effects of caffeine include high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, increased anxiety, dizziness, restlessness, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
How much caffeine is too much?
The less caffeine you consume, the better. Some experts say more than 150 mg of caffeine a day is too much, while others say more than 200 mg a day is too much. According to The American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists (ACOG) moderate amounts of caffeine (less than 200 mg per day) are not linked to potential risks.
Avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action. If you must get your fix, it is best to discuss this with your healthcare provider to make the healthiest choice for you and your baby.