You're excited. You're glowing. But you're sooooo sleeeeepy....
After the excitement of being pregnant settles in and you know your due date, the next important question is often:
"Can I still drink my coffee?!"
THE GOLDEN RULE: First and foremost listen to your body and your health care provider.
Unfortunately, there is no clear and concise answer regarding pregnancy and caffeine consumption. The American Congress of OBGYN’s formal stance is that up to 200 mg of caffeine a day does not have a major impact on likelihood of miscarriage or preterm birth. 200 mg of caffeine is equal to between 1 and 2 cups (depending on strength) of fully caffeinated coffee. That is why Mommee Coffee offers four levels of caffeination so that you can customize your coffee.
200 MILLIGRAMS - WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
200 mg comes down to about one cup of full caffeinated coffee per day. But where did this number come from? The number focuses on studies looking at the possibility of miscarriage in conjunction with caffeine consumption. Initial caution about drinking caffeine during pregnancy began in the 1980s when the FDA published recommendations for pregnant women to limit caffeine based on results from a study where pregnant rats exposed to caffeine saw harmful side effects in their fetuses. Nonetheless, the amount of caffeine consumed in the rat study was excessive at best, equivalent to 50 to 70 cups of coffee a day for a 130 pound adult.
In 2008, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology released a study stating that women who drank 200 mg or more of caffeine a day doubled their risk of miscarriage as opposed to those who abstained from caffeine. However, the same year, a study released by Epidemiology stated there was no increased risk in women who drank a minimal amount of coffee daily ( between 200-350mg per day.)
Due to conflicting conclusions from numerous studies:
- March of Dimes - recommends that until more conclusive studies are done, pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day.
- Motherisk - states "Although it is difficult to assess the risk of spontaneous abortion with caffeine consumption, most of the data do not suggest an increased risk of adverse pregnancy, fertility, or neurodevelopmental outcomes with caffeine consumption of 300 mg/d or less from all sources."
- OTIS - states "Most reports suggest that low to moderate consumption of caffeine does not increase the risk for miscarriage. A few studies have shown that there may be an increased risk for miscarriage or fetal death with high caffeine consumption (more than 200-300 mg/day), particularly in combination with smoking or alcohol, or with very high levels of caffeine consumption (more than 800 mg/day)."
- IFIC - "Daily consumption of up to 300 mg/day (approximately two to three cups of coffee) has been shown to have no adverse effects on pregnancy. A 2010 review of epidemiologic literature on caffeine and reproductive health published between January 2000 and December 2009 found that the weight of evidence does not suport a cause-and-effect relationship between caffeine consumption and adverse reproductive or perinatal outcomes."
- Public Health Agency of Canada - "recommends that women of reproductive age consume no more than 300mg of caffeine per day."
A holistic stance on the issue is to listen to your body and do what is necessary in order to guard the health of you and your baby while functioning in everyday society. Discussing this topic with your healthcare professional is a must.