Pregnant and Planning to Nurse?

beverage safe for pregnant womenWhen you are pregnant, the placenta provides nutrients needed for growth to the fetus.  It will also transfer harmful substances taken by the mother to the baby.  An article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center says damaging substances have been shown to have adverse effects on developing fetuses and may contribute to other medical problems as the child grows. 

Caffeine during pregnancy

Caffeine is considered a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system.  It causes increased blood pressure and heart rate which is not recommended during pregnancy.   Early in gestation, your metabolism can easily eliminate caffeine by bedtime.  In the second trimester, it takes twice as long, and in the third trimester, nearly three times as long.  This means more caffeine can cross the placenta, reaching your baby.  Unfortunately, babies are unable to metabolize caffeine until they reach 7 to 9 months.  That means an unhealthy amount accummulates quickly when extremely young infants, or fetuses have caffeine enter their systems.

For mom, small amounts of caffeine (150 mg to 200 mg) are okay, but heavy doses are strongly discouraged. This is the amount of caffeine in one 8 oz. coffee.  In fact, an October 2014 pubmed finding, indicated that caffeine intake during pregnancy could have an adverse birth outcome for the fetus.  A 14% increase in risk of spontaneous abortion, 19% increase in stillbirth, 2% increase in preterm delivery, 7% increase in low birth weight and 10% increase in infants small for gestational age were tied to caffeine consumption during pregnancy when comparing results of 53 cohort and case-control studies.

The stimulant properties of caffeine increase your heart rate and metabolism, which directly affect the baby.  Coffee is not the only source of caffeine, which is found in foods such as tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, dark and milk chocolate, some ice cream and frozen yogurt, hot cocoa, and in over the counter pain killers and other medications.  You may be taking in more caffeine than you think, and reaching levels unsafe for baby without realizing it. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends one or two cups of coffee, tea, or cola per week.  It would be better for the baby if you could eliminate caffeine completely.

Caffeine while nursing is ok, but you shouldn’t overdo it.  A small amount of what enters your bloodstream ends up in your breast milk.  In baby’s first few months, their bodies are unable to break down and excrete caffeine, so they may end up with an accumulation that may cause them to become jittery, irritated or agitated.  It can also contribute to sleeping problems, so many experts recommend moderate caffeine intake while nursing.  Watch your baby for signs that your caffeine intake is affecting them negatively.

The best advice for new moms is everything in moderation – but with RoBarr, you do not need to worry, as it is naturally caffeine free.  It is safe for both you and baby!  It may also have some healthy side benefits. (See blogs on barley, chicory, and beta glucan) (US National Library of Medicine) (University of Maryland Medical Center) (Information approved by board of obstetricians, mid-wives, nutritionists, and pediatricians)

Organization of Teratology Information Services

Williams Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 8.

Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: A prospective cohort study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 198, e1-8.. Weng, X., Odouli, R. & Li, D.K. (2008).

Caffeine and miscarriage risk. Epidemiology, 19 (1), 55-62. Savitz, D.A., Chan, R.L., Herring, A.H. & Hartmann, K.E. (2008).

Updated 9/27/2017