When it is pregnancy o’clock, it is the time when mothers tend to be extra careful and conscious regarding the kind of things they drink and eat.
But of course, most people know by now to stay away from alcohol, including raw fish, cuts that are too cold, and it lingers in your mind if hot chocolate is also a no-go area for you because it has caffeine.
Most medical practitioners advise that pregnant women keep their caffeine intake below 200 mg. in a day. Drinking hot chocolate helps make your day start on a better note. It has good benefits to the health.
There are two sides to taking cocoa: the advantage and the risk it has for pregnant women. However, when you take in cocoa in a beverage, basically hot chocolate, caffeine is not much.
A researcher revealed that taking chocolate helps pregnant women and protects them from having any issue with high blood pressure or having a premature birth.
- 1 Can Pregnant Women Drink Hot Chocolate?
- 2 The Health Benefits Of Hot Chocolate
- 3 Still having hot chocolate in the third phase:
Can Pregnant Women Drink Hot Chocolate?
The caffeine in hot chocolate is just 12 mg. which means you would have to take a bowl to increase it to 200 mg. the funny thing is decaffeinated coffees only contain 12 mg. per serving.
So be rest assured that a cup of hot chocolate would not affect your pregnancy. Just don’t overdo it by taking excess.
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However, there is no need to use cravings during pregnancy to explain why you should keep gulping hot chocolate or chocolates. You can have it but in moderation.
More on caffeine
Most people worry about the damage caffeine can cause to a pregnant woman. However, studies of some researchers show that the consumption of more than 200 mg. caffeine every day for pregnant women multiplies their risk of miscarriage compared to the ones who do not use caffeine at all.
The hot chocolate has a different brand with different caffeine grams, but a cup of it should be about 5mg caffeine intake. It is best to stick to one cup a day, especially if you still take soda or other decaffeinated drinks.
There is no need for extra calories during pregnancy to support your baby’s development, but you can also get healthy calories and nutrient-filled foods when you need them.
Drinking hot chocolate would help you with extra calories in your diet plan. It is also helpful if you are having struggles with gaining weight.
A homemade cup of chocolate has about 200 calories but depends on the type of milk you are using to make it; however, skim milk has fewer calories than full milk. The two choices are a great choice for a pregnant woman taking soda.
If you are the type that prepares hot chocolate with milk, you’ll get a good portion of calcium which helps the development and growth of your baby’s bones.
A homemade cup of chocolate has about 285 mg. of calcium in it. Great for muscle, nerve, and heart development. It also aids blood clotting.
However, low or not enough calcium in the body during the pregnancy phase can affect the bones with poor development or loss, which exposes you to osteoporosis.
Taking a cup of hot chocolate frequently would help you avoid this and keep your baby very healthy until they are born.
A good source for antioxidants is chocolate, mostly the dark type, which helps with the good benefits you get from drinking hot chocolate.
However, limiting the amount you take in during pregnancy is vital. This is because there are a lot of benefits the body and the developing fetus get from antioxidants.
This includes; freeing and fighting radical damage from different exposure in the environment that gives additional issues to the health like cancer and heart diseases.
Also, the high consumption of antioxidants for pregnant women allows them to give birth to babies with fewer asthma situations and disorders during early childhood.
Most pregnant women are extra cautious about their intake and diet with its effect on their body and baby.
They need to be careful of caffeine and other less important additives. Consuming many calories with sugar during pregnancy might cause serious negative health complications for the mom and baby.
Examples of the risk high sugar diet can cause during pregnancy;
- Gestational diabetes
- Preterm birth
- Weight gain and increased gestation
It is important pregnant women keep their sugar level to the barest minimum to avoid possible complications. Also, this does not mean to cut out on chocolate or other food beverages entirely, but the sugar you add should be little to enjoy it moderately.
You decide to get the chocolate products with low sugar added for safety. Just for clarity, dark chocolate contains less sugar while white ones have a high sugar level.
The Health Benefits Of Hot Chocolate
The benefits of hot chocolate start from the good advantages of cocoa, which is what chocolate is made of. It is very delicious, and it helps;
- It helps the immune system regulate
- It helps reduce inflammation
- It helps with protection for the neurological system, enhances cognition, and also gives a positive mood
- It helps with weight loss
- It helps reduce the response to allergies
There are a lot of benefits cocoa has that can also be gotten in hot chocolate drinks, but we’ve mentioned a few of the key ones. First, it has great benefits for both pregnant and non-pregnant women.
Over time there has been a misconception about caffeine, that it can cause fertility issues, defects at birth, and miscarriage. So far, there has not been an issue of infertility related to caffeine intake, whether taken moderately or not.
Still having hot chocolate in the third phase:
During the third trimester, still having chocolate in the third trimester could harm the baby’s development.
Researchers advised that pregnant women should be extra careful when taking chocolate during this phase. The effect it has on the anti-inflammatory during the trimester might backfire.
Try these tips to cut down on caffeine during pregnancy
It is not easy to cut down, but you need to consider the good reasons. The desire for coffee every morning might increase with the urge of cravings during the early phase of pregnancy or when you have your usual morning sickness. Consider this few helpful tips;
As a coffee, tea, or cola addict, the will to withdraw from caffeine would be a very serious struggle because it won’t be easy.
To reduce it gradually, you can limit the size you drink in a day but make sure it does not reach the 200 mg. limit. However, you might get withdrawal symptoms like lethargy or headaches within this time of withdrawing.
Replace caffeine with other mixtures
You might want to replace the excess caffeine intake you have each day by mixing your usual coffee with decaf, and gradually with time, you switch your caffeinated coffee with a decaffeinated one.
Try another energy source
To make up for getting enough energy, try sleeping on time so you can get enough rest during the day also, take a nap if you are chanced. Engage in exercise and eat healthy meals
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Most pregnant moms already have enough stress and anxiety; fortunately, craving hot chocolate or chocolate is not part of the things taken away during this process.
It is advised that they try as much as they can not replace water intake with hot chocolate as the two do not have the same effect on the body. However, a cup of hot chocolate is great to avoid excess caffeine in the body.
Lastly, we know that trying to figure out what to eat or drink can be very confusing because of the dos and don’ts you get from people around you.
Hopefully, this article has been able to clarify the misconception people have about pregnant women taking hot chocolate, and you are very much aware of the benefits and the risk of taking excess might cause to you or the baby.
I am a proud mother of two, a lover and home builder. My love for children gave birth to the bestofmotherearth.com with the aim to cover topics from child health, pregnancy, parenting, family, relationship, struggles in families and also food.