Hi all! I used to be a big caffeine abuser, but quit for about 6 months while TTC. I'd held off for the whole pregnancy, now I'm about 18 weeks, and I just started having a tiny bit again and ohhhh, the little left in energy is soooo nice, actually being able to get things done around the house and not feeling zonked....I'm fishing for reassurance from you all that at this point in the pregnancy, coffee will be ok for me/baby? I'm actually doing this (pretty dumb?) thing where after my dh makes his morning drip cup, I pour some more water through those used beans again, thinking that might be lower caffeine (I know it probably tastes worse, but admittedly I have an un-fine palate, tastes fine to me...Then I drink about 1 cup of it, spread throughout the day. I once read some sort facebook post where someone thought that coffee probably makes the babies little heart face. Don't think it was scientifically backed up, but scared me off the stuff a little. But now that I'm enjoying the energy boost so much, I'm not sure I can go back to no caffeine again...Anyone else wrestling with the brown, creamy devil on their shoulder?
Hmmm, that's a toughie. I would personally steer clear of the stuff. That being said, I'm (usually) a huge coffee lover, but for amazing reasons beyond my understanding, coffee is the FIRST food aversion I always get in pregnancy. I'm 18 weeks and JUST NOW starting to not puke at the smell of it. I thank God that I'm so turned off by it, otherwise I'd probably be in your same boat --- wanting to drink it every day. Hope you have peace about what you decide :)
Don't worry about it! All the research says that between 200 and 300 mg a day during pregnancy is fine. That's like two cups of regular drip coffee (not Starbucks or DD, though, that stuff is loaded with caffeine -- I'd definitely steer clear of the store-brewed stuff and brew your own at home so you can control the strength). During the first tri I stuck to one weak-ish cup a day (freaking out about miscarriage) but now that I'm in second tri I'm drinking one regular cup a day plus a cup of tea at lunch which still has me below the 200mg limit. I think it's all in what you're used to. My body is used to processing caffeine -- It's done it every day for years -- so the affect on my body is pretty minimal. It's definitely true, though, that your tolerance for it goes down in pregnancy. The few times I've slipped up and had coffee on the way to work I could tell right away it was too much caffeine and it took forever for it to exit my system. It made me feel sick. Seriously, if you work full time and are prego I don't know how you survive without it! I would have spent my first trimester on the floor.
But take what I say with a grain of salt bc I also don't really listen to all those insane rules people like to dole out to pregnant women (after doing a lot of research I can say with confidence that most of them are insane). I eat soft cheese, have my cup of coffee, occasionally drink a small glass of wine or beer, exercise with my heart rate above 140, and eat sushi and deli meat. There's actually a great new book out called "Expecting Better" that dispels a lot of the hysteria around what pregnant women can and cannot consume. Eat healthy, lots of good protein, vitamins and veg, get plenty of rest, stay calm and exercise and you'll be FINE. Start reading the actual studies -- it will put your mind at ease.
I second that - a cup of coffee is fine! I cut back from 2 shots of espresso to 1 a day. Despite having the coffee conversation with my midwife in front of my husband, he still asks me when I'll stop drinking caffeine. LET ME HAVE THIS ONE SIMPLE PLEASURE IN LIFE!!!! I'm in the second trimester anyway, stopping now is pointless.
Thanks for replies. Yeah, I'm going to decide that one weakish cup a day is okay, I should probably stick to that since I'm obviously sensitive to it as it gives me a huge all day energy boost (doesn't make me feel sick at all though). I'll have to look for that Expecting Better book. Re: other risks...my goats had just come into milk for the first time when I found out I was preg, and there was no way I was going to forgo their fresh, raw milk because of the tiny (mostly from factory farm conditions, not my kind of tiny sweet scene!) listeria risk. It's nice to have people hear to bounce worries and ideas off of...
I fall into the "do what you want" camp.
Coffee supposedly raises miscarriage risk, but I'm not too worried about that in the second trimester. I didn't want any in the first trimester anyway. And it supposedly lowers birth weight, but I drank a cup a day while pregnant with my daughter and she came out perfectly average-sized. So I'm not too fussed. Those are trends, not guarantees, and they won't necessarily happen for everyone or for most people. I drink decaf more often, but if I feel the need for caffeine I go for it.
And one of my friends gave up caffeine entirely and her daughter was born 3 months early weighing something like 2 lbs... one of her medications in the NICU was, guess what, caffeine. Just goes to show that anything can happen so there's no point driving yourself crazy on some minor point.
It was funny though, before our ultrasound (1st time around) I had a cup of coffee and the tech told me that my daughter was one of the most active babies she'd ever seen.
I was more careful about sticking to decaf while nursing, actually, because I didn't want to play a game of "what if I have a cup of coffee at 8 and pump at 10:30 and then my husband feeds her the milk 2 days later at 9 pm when I'm working night shift and then she won't sleep, was it a fluke or was it the caffeine or was there even any caffeine in the milk by that time", etc etc. I got a little more relaxed as time went by and never really observed any effects of caffeine on her. Another mom in my DDC had to cut out caffeine while nursing, though, because her son couldn't tolerate it.
My rule is to eat as little processed garbage as possible and to avoid as many chemicals, leaching plastics, etc as I can. That does rule out a lot of stuff, but I think I am better off for it.
Specifically on coffee though, I feel crummy if I drink more than one mug in the morning. I also find myself putting in a lot more milk, but who can argue with delicious whole milk?
I can... milk gives me a stomachache. I can't argue with YOU having milk, though. Totally agreed with the rest of your post as well. Somehow the human race survived back when everybody ate bread and beer and turnips all the time and that was their entire diet.
In the end I think it's all about what feels right for you and baby. Your body will let you know if it doesn't want you to eat or drink something. Above all, don't let it stress you. I've had friends who were totally comfortable having cups of coffee and a glass of wine while prego and others who didn't consume a single sip or bite of anything on the "no" list for nine months -- not bc they thought serious harm woud come to the baby if they did but because they knew their own personal level of anxiety over it would make it unenjoyable. Just do what feels right for you.