Is it safe to take caffeinated drinks during pregnancy?
We all have that urge to grab a cup of coffee early in the morning to kick-start the day, and that urge doesn’t abate when you’re pregnant and battling morning sickness. But coffee during pregnancy is not good for you or your baby.
According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, pregnant women who drink more than 200 mg of caffeine during pregnancy, increase the risks of complications with the baby and miscarriage. Too much caffeine adversely affects the baby’s metabolism, results in neurological dysfunction and causes insomnia and low birth weight.
Caffeine is a stimulant which means it increases your heart rate which is dangerous for the baby. Caffeine is also a diuretic — i.e. it causes dehydration and excessive urination — which is again bad for you and the baby. Drinking a lot of water is important during pregnancy to keep the mother hydrated and help the foetus develop normally.
Caffeine causes your blood vessels to contract which can reduce blood flow to the placenta and to the foetus, particularly if the mother is caffeine-sensitive. This can have a negative effect on cells, membranes and tissues and although adults can handle the changes caffeine imposes on their system, a foetus can’t.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your caffeine fix altogether. According to Heidi Murkoff, author of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, as long as you limit your caffeine intake to 200 mgs a day, you should be okay.
This works out to about 12 ounces of bru coffee (not espresso). On the other hand, each shot of espresso is 90 mgs of caffeine. So this means that you can either have your two-shot latte once a day or your regular cup of coffee twice. Top it up with milk to get a calcium boost!
How to stop kids from:
• Nail biting is not a particularly harmful habit. But it’s unsanitary, can cause teeth-chipping and makes the fingernails less attractive.
• Children bite their nails when they are stressed out, nervous or frustrated. It is important to note that scolding the child or constantly nagging him to stop will only result in more anxiety, aggravating the nail biting.
Here’s what you can do
The first and most important step is to explain patiently to your child that nail-biting will harm his/her teeth and hands. You can also ask your dentist to talk to him/her.
If your child is a girl, apply nail colour on her fingernails and tell her that biting her nails will ruin her pretty fingers. Regardless of the gender, keep your child’s fingernails trimmed and clean and tell him or her that nail-biting is an unclean habit.
Try the method of positive reinforcement and encourage the child that you believe that he/she can stop nail biting! Offer little rewards whenever the child is successful.
Talk to your child about why he/she is stressed out or frustrated as this is the leading cause of nail biting. Try to distract you child with activities that will keep his/her hands busy like knitting, making puzzles or playing with play dough.
4 activities that are fun for you & your toddler
Gone are the days when a mother-toddler relationship was restricted to hurling and nappy changing. If you’re tired of having a robotic relationship with your baby, here is a list of four things mothers could do to have more fun with their hun!
1. Build something together. Whether it’s a fort made with lego or grandma’s old curtains or just a castle built from cushions and daddy’s neck pillow, be a child with your toddler and show him or her that you are a part of his life. Treat the structure like your safety haven and have some bonding time.
2. All smart women must read to their child. The originality and downright profundity of some of the children’s books out there will surprise you. Revisit Dr. Seuss or try favourites such as The Gruffalo, Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Giving Tree.
3. Try some DIY entertainment at home. Toddlers are simply fascinated by things like bubbles and clay. Hand them a pot of play dough or make them bubble water at home and watch them chuckle with glee.
4. Have a beach party in your bathtub. Children of all ages love water so let him or her splash and make a mess. Add to the fun by making a video, oh the joy! Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, December 2nd, 2012.