Cutting the Caffeine

By Sharon Staseson, RN, MSN on November 25, 2008
Recently, the idea of eliminating caffeine from the diet has been suggested to pregnant women, and what's worse, is that you should bid farewell to some teas, as well.

Coffee Anyone?

The most startling announcement appeared in January 2008 in The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This study found that consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine daily – 10 ounces of coffee (about one and a half cups) or 25 ounces of tea (3 cups) – may double the risk of miscarriage. They suggested that pregnant women should try to give up caffeine for the first three or four months of pregnancy. Your daily intake should not exceed 200 to 300 mg.

Herbal Teas   

Herbal products are promoted for their ‘natural’ benefit to a healthy body. Natural, however, doesn’t always mean safe. It is important to discuss the medications or vitamins you are taking with your health care provider.

A recent Health Canada warning states some herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy. These include chamomiles, teas with aloe, coltsfoot, juniper berries, pennyroyal, buckthorn bark, comfrey, Labrador tea, sassafras, duck roots, lobelia and senna leaves.

Teas that are safe include raspberry, ginger, lemon balm, citrus peel, rose hip and mint.

Replace Coffee and Tea?

Instead of extra coffee or tea, drink milk or pure fruit juices for added energy. The good news is that many women report that coffee contributes to the nausea they experience, so for many women, the caffeine isn’t very difficult to give up!

Sharon Staseson, RN, MSN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Women’s and Children’s Health, Women’s Mental Health: Faculty, Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan

By Sharon Staseson, RN, MSN| November 25, 2008

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