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Coffee. The word brings joy to my ears and warm sensation to my body. However, if you are trying to get pregnant or already pregnant, you’ll need to limit your caffeine intake to little or none. For most of us, this is in regards to coffee drinks.

Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulant. It increases your blood pressure and heart rate, and also increases the frequency of urination. You may be able to handle 200-300mg of caffeine a day, but your baby cannot. Rest assured, Caffeine does and will cross the placenta! Your baby’s metabolism is still developing; therefore, unfortunately the little one cannot metabolize caffeine yet.

Caffeine has been linked to abnormal sleep patterns in babies, pre-term delivery, and even low birth weight. A study published in the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that moms-to-be who consumed 200 mg or more of caffeine a day had double the risk of miscarriage compared with those who had no caffeine. Some studies have found that daily high levels of caffeine can delay conception and even contribute to infertility.

Most directly, if you are trying to get pregnant, or you already have a bun-in-the-oven, then limit the amount of caffeine you consume to no more than 150mg of caffeine a day. Remember that caffeine is not only in coffee and tea, but also in chocolate, some ice creams, some over the counter headache medications, and sodas. In the grand scheme of the things, nine months is a short period to say no to caffeine and say yes to numerous benefits.

-Side note: Starbucks Grande Coffee has 400mg caffeine.