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CUTTING DOWN ON CAFFEINE DURING PREGNANCY

CUTTING DOWN ON CAFFEINE DURING PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman’s life, especially if you’re a first-time mum. However, in order to give our little ones the best start in life, there are a few things we have to unfortunately give up during those 9 months. By now, you’ve heard all about the most common ones; sushi, seafood high in mercury, cold cuts of meat, and of course, alcohol. But what about caffeine? Should we be limiting our intake during pregnancy and why is this important for the development of our unborn child? All the answers to your pressing questions, coming right up!

 

I SENSE A CAFFEINE DISCUSSION BREWING…

Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed habit-forming substances in the world. If you’re anything like me, it is virtually impossible to get my day going without a decent cup of coffee in the morning. For years, medical professionals have recommended limiting our caffeine intake during pregnancy to avoid any harmful effects that might be brought about by an excess consumption. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you may feel that this article doesn’t apply to you. Let’s face it, when the topic of caffeine pops up, coffee is generally the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are several other commonly consumed items which contain caffeine and are often overlooked. 

In the past, caffeine intake during pregnancy was strictly prohibited. However now with constant evolving scientific evidence, there is reason to believe that it can still be consumed during pregnancy, in controlled amounts of course. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women can safely consume ≤ 200 mg of caffeine (the approximate equivalent of two cups of moderate strength coffee) daily¹. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirms that maternal consumption of caffeine with this guideline in mind does “not give rise to safety concerns for the fetus”¹. 

Excess caffeine consumption during pregnancy has the potential risk for mild to severe complications which is why it is always advisable to exercise caution. Interestingly, caffeine control is also necessary during breastfeeding as it has been suggested breastfeeding moms consuming large amounts of caffeine may see irritability, jitteriness, and impaired sleeping patterns in their children². 


TIPS TO LIMIT CAFFEINE INTAKE DURING PREGNANCY:

  1. The obvious choice, choose a decaffeinated beverage instead.
  2. Read your labels carefully as several green teas, carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine.
  3. Opt for clean water with fresh fruit for some added flavour.
  4. It is also important to consult with your doctor regarding medications that are safe to use during pregnancy as many painkillers such as paracetamol contain traces of caffeine as well. 

 

Did you know that the average chocolate bar can contain up to 30mg of caffeine?

Although this is a small amount, it is important to note when monitoring your consumption so that you can enjoy your favourite chocolate in moderation. 

 

Scared of feeling tired and fatigued with limited coffee? We’ve got you covered!

FUTURELIFE® MOTHERS FOOD™ Shake is scientifically formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women, containing 8 vitamins and minerals that contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also combines Development 5™, Collagen, Choline, Calcium and Omega-3, in a nutritionally balanced low GI shake that is High in Fibre and Protein. Development 5™ is a special combination of vitamins and minerals that supports development during pregnancy and breastfeeding by providing 100% of a woman’s vitamin and mineral requirements (NRVs) for folate, vitamin D, zinc, iron and vitamin B12. 

 

FUTURELIFE® MOTHERS FOOD™ is formulated with non-GMO ingredients and is available in 2 delicious flavours, chocolate and vanilla. It can be consumed as a meal or shake by simply adding water or milk. It is also available as a bar for a convenient on-the-go snack in salted caramel and berry & dark choc flavour options.

 

CONCLUSION

Pregnancy is not only one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life, but also one of the most responsible ones. Giving your child the best start in life starts with the choices you make while they are growing and developing in your womb. So, go on and give it your best shot.

 

 REFERENCES

  1. James JE. BMJ Evidence- Based Medicine 2021;26:114–115.
  2. Lisowska A, Kasiak P, Rząca M. Assessment of caffeine intake in groups of pregnant and breastfeeding women: A cross-sectional analysis, Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, Volume 57, 2023, Pages 151-157.

 

BY: Shannen Singh   /   DATE: March 2023

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