Advice to help even the most hardened coffee addict cut back on their caffeine intake during pregnancy, including information on the effects of caffeine and caffine safety limits.
There are several health benefits associated with reducing your caffeine intake during pregnancy especially if you regularly consume more than the recommended 200mg a day. Here are some tips to reduce your caffeine intake without feeling like you are missing out;
- Switch to half caffeinated or decaffeinated tea and coffee - although these are not completely free from caffeine the level is hugely reduced and you still get the same taste.
- Try to choose the caffeine-free versions of your favourite fizzy drinks is available or alternatively try sparkling flavoured water as a healthier alternative (make sure its sugar free for maximum benefit).
- The longer tea or coffee is left to brew, the higher the caffeine content so by reducing brewing time you will actually be reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in your drink.
- Although green or herbal teas can provide a fantastic caffeine-free alternative to regular tea and coffee, you should check with your doctor as some are not recommended for consumption during pregnancy.
- Plain teas such as peppermint or ginger or fruit infusions are usually ok and may help to relieve indigestion and nausea.
- If you were a fully fledged caffeine addict before you fell pregnant you should reduce the amount of caffeine you consume gradually so as to avoid withdrawal headaches - seek advice from your doctor if you are finding this difficult.
- Try and avoid energy drinks - remaining hydrated, taking plenty of rest and exercise and eating a balanced diet will help to boost energy levels without the need for artificial stimulants. Keep a healthy snack to hand (such as dried fruit) in case you need an energy boost. Alternatively a short nap will help you to feel rejuvenated.
Although a huge amount of caffeine isn't recommended during pregnancy, you shouldn't feel bad about indulging in the odd cup of tea or coffee as it is unlikely to have any adverse effects on development. However, it is usually best to avoid caffeinated substances in the evening as they may affect both your and your babies ability to sleep.