Tea is India’s favourite morning beverage. Coffee is also a preferred drink down south. “Chaai Parr Charcha/ चाईपरचर्चा” is the favourite Asian household time pass. Tea and coffee contain caffeine which is a stimulant. Chocolate, cola drinks and energy drinks also contain caffeine.
“Gynecologists are careful about recommendations about beverages containing caffeine for women during pregnancy. Intake of caffeine above 300 mg per day is directly related to miscarriage, growth restriction, low birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirth, childhood acute leukaemia, and childhood overweight and obesity. These are the reasons why doctors recommend reduced or no intake of caffeine during pregnancy,” says Dr. Nupur Gupta, Founder Well Woman Clinic & Director Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute Gurugram.
Let’s look at the caffeine content in a regular cup of routine beverages (250ml)
- Green or black or milk tea = 30-50 mg
- Coffee = 80-100 mg
- Soft drink = 30 mg
- Energy drink = 40 -250 mg
So how many cups of tea or coffee can you have during pregnancy?
Research Scientists and Gynecologists (ACOG American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists) are of the opinion that two cups of tea or coffee is safe during pregnancy as it will not exceed the caffeine allowance of 200 mg per day.
Why is caffeine unsafe during pregnancy?
The worry with respect to caffeine use during pregnancy is that
- Caffeine crosses the placental barrier
- Its elimination half-life increases in late gestation
- Infants poorly metabolize caffeine until 3 months of age
There is enough data now regarding the association between caffeine intake affecting pregnancies leading to an increase in spontaneous abortions or neurodevelopment defects in children.
New research points towards behavioral problems, attention difficulties, and hyperactivity later in life born to mothers who consumed caffeine as it changes important brain pathways.
To conclude, caffeine consumption is considered to be safe if not exceeding the allowed limits.