Even though it can be a struggle to keep your eyes open during
the first trimester, new research continues to support the need to
cut back on caffeine. A study of more than 1,000 pregnant women in
California found that those who consumed 200 milligrams or more of
caffeine a day were about twice as likely to miscarry. That equals
about two five-ounce cups of coffee, five 12-ounce cans of pop or
six five-ounce cups of tea.
According to Dr. Masue Li, an independent obstetrician and
gynecologist with offices at Central DuPage Hospital, the key time
to cut back on caffeine is before you get pregnant since the
increased risk of miscarriage comes in the first trimester and many
women don't find out they are pregnant until well into those first
12 weeks. For heavy caffeine consumers, she recommends cutting back
gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms. That doesn't mean you have
to go completely caffeine-free, though-as the saying goes,
"everything in moderation."
While you may be eating for two during pregnancy, you don't need
to actually double what you eat every day. The American Academy of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends consuming an additional
100-300 calories per day while pregnant. That isn't as much as you
think, though. Here are some foods that fall within that range.
Aching backs and swollen feet are well-known side effects of
pregnancy, but don't be surprised if some nasty bouts of heartburn
come along, too, especially in the second and third trimesters.
Although antacids containing calcium, aluminum and magnesium are
considered safe to take while pregnant (always consult your doctor
before taking any medication), there are some things you can do to
prevent heartburn altogether. The following tips are courtesy
of the American College of Gastroenterology:
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