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10 Diet Tips for Pregnant Women


9
Don't: Excessive Caffeine
It's best to limit yourself to about two cups of caffeinated coffee per day.
It's best to limit yourself to about two cups of caffeinated coffee per day.
Photo courtesy of U.S. FDA

No one said pregnancy was easy -- no more wine with dinner, no more good night's sleep, no more seeing your feet. But no more morning coffee? Really?

A restriction on caffeine can make the most conscientious mom-to-be a little shaky. This pregnancy "don't" is less absolute than the previous one, though -- it's more like a "mostly don't."

Caffeine is a stimulant drug that has been linked to miscarriage and low birth weight [source: Bouchez]. It's also a diuretic, which causes dehydration, a condition pregnant women should avoid like the plague.

It's not entirely clear just how much caffeine it takes to trigger adverse effects. If possible, pregnant women should avoid it altogether. That's pretty hard, though, since caffeine isn't just in coffee -- it's also in tea, chocolate, soda, some protein bars and other common foods. Even decaf coffee has a little bit of it.

Short of abstinence, the best route is moderation: Many experts recommend limiting caffeine consumption to less than 300 milligrams a day, which is about two cups of regular coffee or two shots of espresso [source: Bouchez].

Up next: If you like a couple of over-easy eggs with that morning coffee, there's more bad news.


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