Last week, when I wrote about the Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy, I mentioned that you should probably give up your morning cup of coffee – just to be on the safe side. Excessive amounts of coffee (caffeine) has been linked to increasing your risk of having a miscarriage and delivering a premature baby.
If you’re a regular coffee lover, you’ll be happy to learn that earlier this summer, on July, 21, 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a new position statement on caffeine consumption during pregnancy. The official recommendation is that moderate amounts of caffeine every day is perfectly fine for the mom-to-be.
“For years, women have been getting mixed messages about whether or not they should have any caffeine during pregnancy. After a review of the scientific evidence to date, daily moderate caffeine consumption doesn’t appear to have any major impact in causing miscarriage or preterm birth,” said Dr. William H. Barth, Jr., MD, chair of the Committee on Obstetric Practice in the official press release.
In a nutshell, don’t stress out about drinking that cup of coffee, having your favorite soft drink, or indulging yourself with that delicious bar of dark chocolate. But don’t overdo it with the caffeine-laced foods and drinks. Too much caffeine can still cause harm to your baby.
“Moderate caffeine consumption” is defined as less than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, which means only about 12 ounces of coffee a day. To help you put this measurement in perspective, an 8-ounce cup of brewed drip coffee is about 137 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8-ounce cup of instant coffee only contains 76 milligrams.
Caffeinated tea and regular soft drinks typically contain less than 50 milligrams of caffeine, and the average chocolate candy bar contains less than 35 milligrams. Staying within your daily caffeine limit should be pretty simple.
Remember to anything in moderation will be OK and won’t harm your baby. But the key word is “moderation.”
Early Pregnancy Loss: Miscarriage and Molar Pregnancy (ACOG)