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The intake of caffeine during pregnancy has been a topic of debate over the past years. In today's world, where half the society is fueled by morning cups of coffee or tea, it becomes even more difficult to eliminate the caffeine intake completely all of a sudden. It can be quite stressful for a pregnant woman to cut-off her caffeine containing foods entirely, considering the mood swings and noticeable physical changes occurring each day.
Despite researches going on for the past few decades, there are mixed opinions about the effect of caffeine on the fetus. The best advice is to control your intake of caffeine containing food products and beverages, as moderation will do no harm. Approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine per day is assumed to be the safe level of consumption, which is equivalent to two cups of coffee. Although ill-effects of caffeine consumption on baby health are still a topic of controversy, it is advisable to cut back caffeine from one's diet to completely do away with any apprehensions regarding problems like birth defects,miscarriage or stillbirth.
Facts about caffeine
Let us first shed some light upon what you need to know about caffeine:
Caffeine is contained in a lot more food products than one can imagine. It is best to read all the labels carefully to find out the amount of caffeine contained in the product. Some products containing caffeine that are not usually considered include:
Energy drinks: They have a high concentration of caffeine, and are not considered safe for consumption by pregnant women.
Ice cream: Not all the ice creams, but the many varieties of coffee-flavored ice creams contain huge amounts of caffeine. Same goes for frozen yoghurt.
Pain relievers: During pregnancy, it is not advisable to take any medicine without the doctor's approval. Many of the medications used for headache contain caffeine in addition to other components which could prove detrimental to the baby's health. Never take any pain relievers without consulting your healthcare provider.
If you are pregnant and heavily dependent on caffeine, there are few healthier alternatives that will reduce the effects of caffeine. These include switching to fruit juices and herbal tea instead of tea and coffee. One can also try adding more milk to coffee to reduce the concentration. You can have decaffeinated or a half-caffeine version of coffee instead of the regular one.