Caffeine & Your Baby


| 4 Comments
"Pregnant women should not have caffeine. Pregnant women should not have caffeine. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD NOT HAVE CAFFEINE!" - Me, in my head, serving a pregnant woman a regular coffee at my part-time job at Dunkin' Donuts.

But why? What aspect of caffeine leads us to believe that it is harmful to a pregnancy?  

Most studies on the effects of caffeine on pregnancy are inconclusive, mainly due to the fact that most often humans are studying animals exposed to caffeine. Humans and say, mice, for example, develop differently and therefore we can't be positive that the effects on baby mice will be the same as the effects on baby humans. 

What we know about caffeine and pregnancy boils down to this:
  1. Baby mice exposed to caffeine during pregnancy and while being nursed suffered negative changes to the hippocampus, including what scientists determined to be a form of memory loss. Read more.
  2. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology determined in 2008 that the chance of a woman having a miscarriage nearly doubles with the consumption of 200+ mg of caffeine per day. Source.
  3. Caffeine ingested during pregnancy transcends the placenta and can have a negative effect on your baby's blood flow. March of Dimes
We're still uncertain about just how bad caffeine is for a mother and her baby. If you're pregnant, err on the side of caution; the recommendation from most health professionals is 200mg or less of caffeine each day to keep your baby safe and healthy.

starbucks-baby-38011.jpg

4 Comments

Wow, that's kind of horrifying - to be put in a position like that must've made you feel pretty helpless. Pregnancy is such a sensitive period for both the mother and child, and a lot of expecting women don't do enough dietary research. While products like cigarettes and alcohol are known items to avoid, there are a lot of outliers that go unaccounted for. For example, fish and their oils are accepted as being beneficial to babies en utero, but certain kinds can be potentially harmful (those high in mercury). A more thorough list can be found in the following link:
http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/nutrition/a-food-guide-for-pregnant-women/

Sarah,
I found this information to be highly resourceful, thank you! Like Dylan, I have also heard about other things you are not supposed to consume like cold cuts! I really have been wondering why! This source points to a fact that Listeria bacteria that grows in refrigerated areas. It even states that it "can cause problems during pregnancy such as miscarriage, premature delivery, infections or even death of the new born baby. If the disease affects the nervous system of the mother it can cause stiff neck, disorientation and convulsions". Scary stuff! I know that when I am ready to have a baby, I will keep this all in mind.
Thanks for sharing!

Considering the fact that I will most likely be that pregnant lady at Dunkin in a matter of years, this blog post was quite alarming! I had no idea that drinking too much caffeine could be harmful during a pregnancy, and even though the study you talked about was specifically about mice, the results are definitely something worth examining. Miscarriages are becoming more and more common, and if something as simple as cutting back on caffeine can help reduce the risk, it should definitely be done! I think it's extremely important for women to research the dietary aspects of pregnancy, and your blog post is definitely living proof of why it's important!

I can't believe this thought never crossed my mind. I worked at a coffee shop from 8 grade-12 grade and I never once considered the fact that I am aiding a pregnant lady wh's demanding coffee in potentiwally harming her baby. That makes me wonder now, whether or not ice cream is bad for a growing fetus. One time I was volunteering at Ben&Jerry's and a pregnant lady with twins was demanding more icecream. Upon researching this fact I found that it's not all that harming: http://tiffany365.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Ice-Cream-Harmful-To-a-Fetus
People usually worry about the fat, the egg yolk and the cold. As the writer of the article states, any preggo woman is bound to gain weight, therefore some "soothing" icecream wouldn't hurt. However, with the egg yolk in icecream, listeria can become an issue...as Jessica mentioned this bacteria can be harmful to your baby. (as well as salmonella) However, if your ice cream is made with pasturized eggs and milk, and you don't sit there eating icecream for hours on end you'll be just fine! In the article, there is a list of healthy ice cream brands to eat while pregnant:
- Amul

- Baskin-Robbins

- Campina

- Dairy Queen

- Foster Farms Dairy

- Gay Lea

- Mauds Ice Cream

- Mother Dairy

- Milko

- Nestlé


So, if you're craving COFFEE just eat coffee flavored ice cream (:

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