April 23, 2013 by Bill Johnson
Most health care professionals agree that drinking coffee can potentially be bad for pregnant women. While this statement is of course not necessarily 100% true in 100% of the cases, nonetheless there are some good reasons pregnant women should consider whether it might be a good idea for them to avoid drinking coffee. Let’s go over some of those reasons now.
First of all, coffee is a diuretic. This means that if you drink coffee you will need to urinate more frequently than you otherwise would. That’s because diuretics rid the body of excess fluids. For pregnant women who are already dehydrated, this is potentially a serious problem. Dehydration in the first trimester can lead to loss of amniotic fluid, necessary to the life of the growing child. When amniotic fluid is lacking the embryo may be damaged by excessive contact with the uterine wall causing damage to body parts that are not yet fully developed.
Later in a pregnancy, dehydration can still be a threat, and can lead to fatigue, muscle cramping and even premature labor, a very serious complication. But dehydration can also damage the unborn child’s liver and kidneys, which are at a delicate stage in their development.
Another factor to consider when pregnant women drink coffee is that their body will tend to be under more stress than if they avoided coffee drinking. This is because coffee is a stimulant. But the problem with this stimulant is that it can lead to excess experiences of stress and anxiety when consumed in large enough quantities. Women can never get enough rest while pregnant, and coffee may also disrupt sleep and normal sleep patterns for the expectant Mom. If a pregnant woman is going to drink coffee at all it is best for her to err on the side of drinking less, rather than more, of the beverage.
The mother-to-be provides the physical location for the growing child’s earliest exposure to our world. If the child finds itself in a stressful environment from its earliest existence it may lead to feelings of being unsettled and under stress; these are feelings which are best removed from the child’s prenatal life.
There is an often overlooked factor in why women might want to avoid coffee while pregnant: that is that the added stress involved in the human bodily organism as a result of coffee consumption can potentially lead to negative health issues for the woman. For example, reports exist of people having psychotic breaks from reality as a result of too much coffee drinking. While such occurrences are admittedly very rare, nonetheless they are a factor for the pregnant woman to consider when she reflects on whether to drink coffee or not. Also, the stress of too much caffeine in the body’s system could potentially lead an overburdened and overanxious woman to suffer a stroke. Associated issues with stroke are pervasive and server. That is a risk that a mother-to-be may wish to minimize at all costs.
While coffee is part of our culture, it might be wise for pregnant women to avoid all caffeinated drinks including Colas or to at least limit intake until the blessed event of giving birth has passed. Then the new Mom may need even more coffee to stay awake with the new baby’s demanding schedule.
This article was written by Christian Adelman, an experienced dietitian and fitness enthusiast. Christian believes that healthy diet program and regimented exercise routine can get anyone into great shape. Christian also enjoys reading, biking and vacationing in the Caribbean.