A steaming cup of coffee at the breakfast table or a latte macchiato on the way to work is a must for many people in the morning to start the day. However, at the beginning of pregnancy, expectant mothers are often unsure whether or not to give up the popular make-up drink. With our following tips and hints, we shed light on how coffee drinkers should behave during pregnancy and lactation.
Caffeine: Harmless in small quantities
In contrast to alcohol, whose consumption is completely discouraged during pregnancy, there are no clear requirements regarding the enjoyment of coffee for pregnant women. It is known that the caffeine contained in the coffee passes through the placenta and thus enters the cycle of the unborn child. But whether a high dose could have a detrimental effect has not been fully explored.
According to the current state of science, there is no increased risk of miscarriage or preterm birth in expectant mothers who drink coffee during pregnancy. However, a Norwegian study found evidence that greater amounts of caffeine could lead to decreased birth weight. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that pregnant women consume no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. This corresponds to a maximum of two cups of coffee. Note, however, that caffeine is also found in cocoa, chocolate, green and black tea and some soft drinks.
Restrict coffee consumption while breastfeeding
Since caffeine is absorbed by the baby via breast milk, breastfeeding mothers should only enjoy coffee in moderation. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a limit of 300 milligrams of caffeine per day for breastfeeding as well as the WHO. Higher doses may cause restlessness, abdominal pain and sleep disturbances in the child. It is also best to enjoy your coffee right after breastfeeding, so that as much caffeine as possible is removed from the body before you breastfeed your child next time.
Try tasty alternatives
Even if you do not have to give up coffee completely during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is worth trying alternatives to the stimulating hot drink. We have put together tasty ideas for you, how you can get through the day without coffee:
- Fruit smoothies and milk or yoghurt deliver energy and vitamins in the mornings. Be sure to use only pasteurized milk. Because raw milk can contain bacteria that can be dangerous for pregnant women.
- Rooibos tea is caffeine-free and contains many valuable ingredients such as trace elements and flavenoids. In addition, he should have a hypotensive and antispasmodic effect.
- A glass of warm water with a dash of lemon juice just after getting up will get the circulation going and help prevent morning sickness.
- As an alternative to caffeine-containing coffee, a soluble substitute coffee made from barley, malt and rye can also be used. It contains no caffeine and is easier to digest than coffee.
Coffee variants such as cappuccino and latte macchiato, however, are not suitable alternatives to classic coffee, because they contain caffeinated espresso and should therefore also be enjoyed only in moderation. Energy drinks are also not a recommended alternative to coffee for pregnant women.