Some studies claim that drinking coffee during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and low birth weight. Others even claim that it can cause cancer. However, we now know that drinking coffee at pregnancy actually carries some benefits. Not only can it improve memory, boost concentration, and even enhance workouts, yet there are even claims that drinking coffee can benefit babies.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 200 milligrams a day is a safe amount of coffee for women who are pregnant. Therefore, the problems with coffee intake during pregnancy only arise if pregnant women take it in excess beyond this limit. Consuming lower amounts has no adverse effects whatsoever.
Take the case of another study done by The Ohio State University College of Medicine involving 2,197 pregnant women who took coffee. The study analyzed the chemical effects of caffeine on the body and no evidence was found that coffee intake by pregnant women can lower children's IQ or affect behavior negatively.
So here are the top benefits of drinking coffee while pregnant, each of which should be confirmed with a medical professional before trying.
Calms constant migraines and headaches
Constant migraines and headaches, which can sometimes appear during pregnancy, can hamper our ability to function. As narrated by many women experiencing this scenario, taking a safe amount of coffee, ideally a single 12 ounce cup, can calm constant migraines in pregnancy. This becomes particularly useful when considerin that it is sometimes not possible to take other medication at pregnancy because it can result in severe problems like miscarriage and other complications.
To back this up, a good number of women tell us that doctor after doctor has advised taking coffee during pregnancy on a daily basis where constant migraines are involved. The American Migraine Foundation also backs this fact up but advises the treatment of acute migraines should be done by taking not more than two days a week. This is certainly one of the sure benefits of drinking coffee while pregnant but trials should be done by taking tea and soda before advancing to coffee.
Help keep us awake
For many of us, working on a day-to-day schedule is the way we keep our bills paid. This means that stopping because you are a few weeks into pregnancy is undesirable. Due to the fact that coffee is a psychoactive stimulant, it increases our wakefulness, attentiveness and ability to focus. Furthermore, it increases our overall energy levels to help us keep engaged in these tasks. A cup of coffee can help us stay awake for up to three more hours during the day and after a sleepless night this can be a huge benefit.
Protection from cancer, aging and cardiovascular diseases
Coffee potentially contains more antioxidants than both green tea and cocoa. Antioxidants in the body can help protect our cells from damage. They also help us to reduce inflammation and its effects whilst keeping chronic disease at bay. Essentially, studies support the fact that antioxidants can help us avoid cancer, cardiovascular diseases, aging and neurodegeneration. In most cases, high amounts of antioxidants exist in green tea but also coffee and teas have antioxidants and this brings us home to one of the most important benefits of drinking coffee while pregnant.
The roasting of coffee alters the composition of polyphenols. Therefore, the large amounts of polyphenolic antioxidants found in green coffee beans may not exist after roasting. However, coffee still contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that can cause the above illnesses and aging because of destroying proteins.
To help us understand this issue further, free radicals are oxygen molecules that contain uneven number of electrons, and so they are over-reactive and can serve to damage other molecules in the body. Since they react chemically with other body molecules, they can cause large chemical reactions. The reactions are called oxidation and are either harmful or beneficial. Antioxidants existing in coffee and other diets help to reduce or eliminate the reactions by donating an electron to stabilize these free radicals.
Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, and Alzheimer's
This is an extended benefit of the presence of antioxidants in coffee. As it may be known, our bodies are constantly under attack from so-called free radicals or reactive oxygen molecules. These molecules can damage other important molecules like proteins and DNA.
How antioxidants in coffee and other beverages work is by disarming these free radicals. This protects the body from the above conditions. It can be used alongside exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of sleep and other methods of getting more antioxidants into our bodies.
For instance during pregnancy, excessive sugar related to type 2 diabetes can affect the rapidly-developing fatal nervous system. This can cause brain and spinal defects and increases the possibility of miscarriage. To avoid this, excessive sugar should be controlled in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Although the doctor should be involved in such a case, coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages can be used alongside a stricter diet containing things such as a balanced mix of complex carbohydrates and protein. What’s more, diets should remain low in fat, cholesterol and sweets and this diet should be combined with exercise.
Helps protect us from oxidative stress and aging
Oxidative stress is a condition in the body where there is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals. Coffee contains antioxidants such as hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols, and these are effective in neutralizing free radicals that can cause oxidative stress.
Free radicals are normally produced in the body even at pregnancy, through normal processes such as exercising and due to inflammation that could occur for many other reasons. It is a normal process in the body although it can also occur due to exposure to radiation, pollution, ozone, cigarette smoke and pesticides. While free radicals are able to help fight off pathogens, the problem is when they begin damaging fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins.
There is no conclusive understanding of the linkage or effect of oxidative stress on pregnancy. However, oxidative stress is linked to complications related to pregnancy such as infertility, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction and preterm labor. Hence, dietx that help avoid this oxidative stress can be very helpful for pregnant women.