Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman’s life and can help teach you different ways to care for your body through both exercise and diet. Eating nutritious foods and limiting caffeine consumption is a helpful way to be healthier in pregnancy.
Effects of caffeine consumption in pregnant women
It’s fall and many are excited by the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte. If you rely on your morning pumpkin spice latte or other caffeinated drink to kickstart your day that may change during pregnancy. Caffeine is a stimulant naturally found in some foods and drinks like your coffee, tea, and chocolates. While caffeine consumption is considered safe for many, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommends avoiding caffeine as much as possible during pregnancy.
According to a study released by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women who consume 200mg or more caffeine daily have an increased chance to have a miscarriage than those who do not consume caffeine. Moreover, numerous studies on animals have shown that excessive amounts of caffeine could be related to premature labor, preterm delivery, low birth weight, or other concerns.
Caffeine alternatives for pregnant women
Quitting caffeine is a hard habit to break. If you are pregnant and you are concerned about missing out on your pumpkin spice latte season or are just having a hard time without your caffeinated drink of choice, here are a few caffeine alternatives that you can try.
- Cut down instead of cutting out
If you can’t completely cut out caffeine, then cut it down or spread it out. Always keep your obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist updated on your pregnancy. If you are concerned about your intake or just have questions they can help.
- Go decaf
Another alternative to your coffee is decaffeinated coffee. The same taste but with much less caffeine. You can be creative with your decaf by trying something new or just order your pumpkin spice latte decaf instead. You can still enjoy the fall coffee drinks without caffeine!
- Ditch your coffee for tea
One popular option is tea. Tea is a less caffeinated option than coffee. However, it is important to determine whether the tea is appropriate for use in pregnancy. It is also important to be sure you aren’t drinking too much tea…that could eventually equal the amount of caffeine in coffee! Always check with your obstetrician regarding replacements for your usual coffee– also knowing we always recommend limiting your caffeine intake as much as possible.
- Hot Cocoa
Who wouldn’t love to sip this cup of goodness, especially on a cold morning? Instead of the sugar-loaded hot cocoa that you often see offered in many coffee shops, try the raw cacao powder for a healthier alternative. It is also important to limit your intake of hot cocoa or cacao as these drinks also have caffeine. Always check with your obstetrician when looking in to alternatives for your coffee.
Pregnancy during pumpkin spice latte season doesn’t mean you have to miss out! Check with your obstetrician and you may find some low caffeine substitutes that you love!