There’s an episode in Grey’s Anatomy where the pregnant character named Callie was prevented from drinking caffeine by her girlfriend Arizona and friend Mark. She’s always been a coffee drinker and since she was not allowed even a sip of caffeine, she had to go through several withdrawal symptoms and cannot even focus on her work. By the end of the episode, Callie was seen sipping a cup of coffee, saying that she did her homework and having a just-enough dose of caffeine will not affect her pregnancy at all. Is this true in real life? Definitely.

If you just recently found out that you are pregnant and you have always had a several-cups-of-coffee-a-day habit, there is no reason at all for you to get your daily caffeine fix. Sure, you might need to cut back a bit on your consumption of the addicting black brew, but it does not mean that you have to give up completely.

Caffeine not linked to kids’ behavioral problems

In the August 2012 issue of Pediatrics Journal, it says that prenatal exposure to caffeine does not increase the risk of behavioural problems in kids. The researchers conducted a study about the link between pregnant mothers consuming caffeine during pregnancy and behavioural problems in kids at five or six years of age.

Taking a lot of factors into consideration, the study has shown that caffeine consumption during pregnancy is not linked at all to overall behavioral problems with kids who are five years of age. Specifically, it is not linked to the following issues:

–          Conduct problems.

–          Emotional problems.

–          Hyperactivity.

–          Inattention.

–          Peer relationship issues.

Despite this, pregnant women are still not advised to go on a caffeine or even energy drinks binge. High levels of caffeine do increase some risks such as miscarriage or the sudden infant death syndrome.

So what exactly is the suitable dosage of caffeine for women who just cannot totally kick off the coffee drinking habit even while pregnant? Take no more than 200 grams of caffeine per day. Remember that caffeine is also found in teas, colas, sodas, chocolate, coffee or chocolate ice cream, energy drinks and even some over-the-counter drugs – so make sure that you are getting just the right dosage per day.

Drinks like coffee and tea have a compound called phenol which makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron. Pregnant women are already known to be low on iron so if you do need to drink coffee or tea, take it in between meals. Ideally, you can safely take one cup of coffee per day or two cups of tea which has around 100 milligrams of caffeine. Anything more than that may not be good for you and the baby.