There is an agreement in the medical fraternity that those ladies who have already conceived or those who are planning to conceive should quit or reduce intake of caffeine. Doctors differ on the fact as to how much caffeine is safe. In the absence of a consensus it is better to limit the caffeine intake to a minimum level.
Over all effect of caffeine during pregnancy is negative. Doctors are of the opinion that intake of 200 mg of caffeine per day, which is equal to about 12 cups of coffee, can be a cause of miscarriage. Though some will argue on the quantity but it is always better to err on the side of caution. In case you decide to cut down caffeine intake to a minimum, you will not hear any objections from your doctor.
In addition to caffeine being a cause of miscarriage, it is an admitted fact that caffeine causes the blood vessels to contract. This may result in reduction of flow of blood to placenta. The caffeine you consume may also reach your baby through placenta and it may reduce its development. The women consuming excess of caffeine can end up giving birth to a still born child.
There are many other side effects of caffeine in pregnancy. It results in increased heart beat rate. It is quite normal that the blood pressure of the mother tends to increase during late pregnancy and increased heart rate due to caffeine may result in other medical complications. Excess supply of caffeine to the child through placenta can also increase the heart beat of your child. He may become hyper active and not have normal sleep pattern after birth.
Tea and coffee are rich sources of caffeine and also contain phenol, a compound which makes it difficult for the body to absorb iron. Generally pregnant women are low on iron and caffeine adds to their problem by further reducing absorption both from food and food supplements.
In addition to tea and coffee, caffeine is found in sufficient quantity in cola drinks, energy drinks, chocolate and ice creams rich in coffee. It is also found in over the counter drugs for headache and cold. Due to this reason, pregnant women are always advised against taking these medicines.
Often working women are addicted to coffee or tea. During these times mostly all people are addicted to morning tea and it becomes difficult to leave this habit at one stroke. Mostly the habit of morning tea or coffee gets reduced automatically when morning sickness starts. Still, if you crave for your cup of morning tea you can go in for decaffeinated tea.
In case you are addicted to caffeinated soda drinks you may find it difficult to quit them easily. A lot of effort will be needed, you may start mixing decaffeinated drinks with them to reduce caffeine intake. Similarly, while making tea, reduce the time you dip tea bag in tea cup to one minute. You will save on caffeine and still enjoy your beverage.