Possible effects of caffeine consumption during pregnancy on the baby and mother

Amman Today

publish date 2021-12-20 09:41:32

Pregnant women usually make a number of food choices to help protect the health of their developing fetus, including reducing or giving up coffee.

It is known that caffeine can cross the placenta and that fetuses do not have the specific enzymes needed to metabolize caffeine.

Furthermore, the mother’s body cannot metabolize caffeine quickly during pregnancy, which means it will stay in the bloodstream for a longer time.

For these reasons, experts suggest taking the side of caution when it comes to consuming coffee and other foods and drinks that contain caffeine during pregnancy.

Experts explained how caffeine can affect pregnancy and made recommendations on what is safe to consume.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) sets the caffeine limit for pregnant women at 200 mg/day, noting that more than that is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.

However, a 2021 study found that pregnant participants who drank the equivalent of half a cup of coffee per day, 50 mg/day, had children slightly smaller than those who didn’t drink any caffeine.

It is important to note that the study did not conclude that low doses of caffeine directly harm the baby, but that caffeine intake may result in a slightly smaller size at birth.

“Drinking less than 200 mg is safe if a pregnant woman can tolerate coffee, which means it doesn’t cause nausea or illness at first,” says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Some teas, sodas, and energy drinks also contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee:

The amount of caffeine in tea can vary greatly depending on its type, origin, and even how long you take it. For example, herbal teas such as chamomile, mint, and ginger do not contain caffeine at all.

However, decaffeinated coffee and tea can still contain small amounts of caffeine.

Caffeine can also be found in small amounts in some foods. Cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate, naturally contain caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa content and therefore the caffeine level.

For example, a 100g serving of dark chocolate, about 70% to 85%, contains 80 mg of caffeine, while the same amount of milk chocolate contains only 20 mg of caffeine.

Even foods flavored with coffee and chocolate, such as ice cream, cake and cereal, can contain trace amounts of caffeine.

Some supplements and over-the-counter pain relievers also contain caffeine.

“Any medications you’re considering, including over-the-counter medications, should definitely be discussed with your doctor to make sure they’re safe during pregnancy,” Shepherd says.

While some studies have indicated that caffeine has a negative effect on birth weight, others have not found a significant association between the two.

In a large 2013 study, researchers noted that evidence for an association between caffeine intake and fetal development is limited because studies did not consider other factors, such as smoking, which is closely related to caffeine consumption and is known to increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

On the other hand, in a study published this year, researchers noted that caffeine may cause blood vessels in the uterus and placenta to constrict, which may reduce the fetus’s blood supply and thus affect its development.

Studies also suggest that caffeine may alter a child’s stress response and stunt organ development.

“As a baby is still growing, its body and nervous system are not mature enough to handle caffeine in the same way that adults do,” Shepherd explained. “If too much caffeine is consumed during pregnancy, the heart rate may rise, potentially leading to sleep disturbances.” .

It is possible that some women will be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine during pregnancy because the body may take longer to get rid of it.

Accordingly, the following symptoms may be observed: high blood pressure and heart rate, tension, indigestion, nausea, dizziness and trouble sleeping.

These findings are important because babies with low birth weight may have difficulty fighting infection and an increased risk of complications such as neurological disorders and breathing problems.

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Jordan Miscellaneous news

Source : اخبار الاردن

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