“Can you drink decaf coffee when pregnant?”
The good part is that it would surely be safer than the normal coffee with its caffeine content especially for pregnant women. If at all you cannot give up coffee totally, going for a decaf is a safer option. Having 3 to 4 cups of decaf a day at the most has not been found to be potentially harmful. However, this again cannot be generalized. Sometimes even those 3 to 4 cups or relatively low caffeine dose can create a problem during pregnancy. It therefore depends on the person’s overall health. Decaf coffee during pregnancy may not be exactly a wrong choice if done in moderation. In short, decaf coffee may not have an adverse effect on pregnancy. There is, however, another aspect to decaf coffee and pregnancy.
Decaffeinated Coffee And Pregnancy Studies
A lot of research and survey related to decaf coffee and pregnancy have not been conclusive as to caffeine impacts the pregnancy and fetal development more than decaf. Hence, to simply answer the question is decaf coffee harmful during pregnancy, the answer would be not exactly. Now you might be wondering is coffee bad for you. Well, here is the answer. Decaf or otherwise, moderate consumption should normally not have any effects on the baby. The birth weight and the length of the pregnancy was not significantly different in the caffeine consuming and decaf consuming groups as per research held in the related topic. Those who had normal caffeine based coffee delivered babies weighing around 3539 grams and those who had decaf coffee delivered babies with weight around 3519 grams. This difference was of hardly any consequence and significance as per the research.
No important studies were performed on the subject of decaffeinated coffee and pregnancy, but there were several on the effects of caffeine during pregnancy. A study in San Francisco of 1,000 women in their first trimester has shown a doubling of miscarriage at 200 mg of caffeine per day. That’s about the amount of caffeine you’d get if you drank 2 small cups of coffee or 5 cans of caffeinated soda. (Women who drank 200 mg. of caffeine per day had a miscarriage rate of 25 percent; those who drank 100 mg per day had a miscarriage rate of 15 percent, and those who drank no caffeine had a rate of 12 percent.)
This means that there can be a potential risk if a pregnant woman has 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day as the so called decaf is not totally devoid of caffeine. It is thus, better to keep coffee consumption at moderation, be it decaf or the usual one with caffeine. Caffeine in some quantity can even augur well for your health but too much can lead to coffee side effects.
So, is decaf coffee safe during pregnancy?
Most pregnant women who are otherwise apprehensive due to the harmful caffeine side effects wonder, if decaf coffee is safe or not. When drinking decaf coffee during pregnancy, you are not taking in as much caffeine as in case of the normal coffee. There isn’t conclusive evidence regarding decaffeinated coffee and pregnancy. The fact that it contains caffeine in smaller amounts does make it a safer alternative.
Decaffeinated coffee is also regarded as a potential health risk to pregnant women when chemical solvents are used to extract the caffeine instead of other less invasive processes used in organic decaffeinated coffee. The impact of these chemicals is debated, however, as the solvents in question evaporate at 80–90 °C, and coffee beans are decaffeinated before roasting, which occurs at approximately 200 °C. As such, these chemicals, namely trichloroethane and methylene chloride, are present in trace amounts at most, and may not pose a significant threat to embryos and fetuses.
In case of pregnant women, high intake of caffeine may also affect the baby directly. Since the baby’s system is far more sensitive than the mother, care must be taken to avoid such problems. Just like the normal coffee, excessive intake of decaffeinated coffee is also known to cause certain health problems. Some of the decaf side effects are acid reflux, heartburn, heart problems and osteoporosis. These were some of the coffee related health risks involved due to over consumption of decaffeinated coffee during pregnancy. Pregnant women must make sure that they cut down on coffee. If they wish to drink decaffeinated coffee, they must not drink more than 3 cups.