Why I Won’t Give Up Caffeine During Pregnancy

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Image via Flickr/ Teo

There are people in the world who like coffee. They can pour a cup, savor the taste, and make it last all morning. That kind of person is my husband, who sometimes can't finish a Venti at Starbucks.

Then, there are people who need coffee to function; who would just as soon hook up a coffee IV-drip than face the day without it. You know these people by the glassy-eyed look and short tempers as they crawl out of bed. That kind of person is me.

There has only been one stretch of time during each pregnancy where I've been unable to stomach coffee — the first trimester when nothing tasted very good. The next two trimesters I ramped back up to my pre-pregnancy coffee habits, but with a small change from hot coffee to iced coffee (I couldn't and still can't bear drinking anything hot!) Before pregnancy, I limited my caffeine intake only because of my sleep habits — I made a point to stop drinking caffeinated beverages after lunch, or I wouldn't be able to sleep (unless it was the weekend when I didn't have to work in the morning.) Before lunch? It was fair game. 

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It's really tough to break a habit like caffeine, especially when you're a mother. Late nights, early mornings and the constant movement from little ones can leave moms feeling worn down, and sometimes coffee is the only thing that can help. The American Pregnancy Association says pregnant women should consume only 150 to 300 mg per day — at the high end that's about two 32 oz cups of of Diet Coke, 3/4 of a Grande coffee from Starbucks, or seven cups of Green tea. Caffeine intake has been linked to low birth weight and shorter pregnancies. Researchers have also found women who drink five or more cups of coffee a day doubled their risk of having a miscarriage

While I knew all these facts, I just couldn't give up my sweet, sweet cup o' Joe every morning. Nobody wants to see me with that glassy-eyed look for 40-plus weeks. Although each woman is different, and you should discuss your own personal health risks with your OB before you decide if drinking coffee or soda during pregnancy is right for you, I made the decision to keep caffeinated. Check out some other moms who did the same and had healthy babies. 

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“I need caffeine to function. I cut BACK to a couple cans of Coke/Cherry Coke a week my first pregnancy – just to force myself to drink more water … my second time around I still cut back to no more than one can a day – but it varied week to week whether I had 2 cans or 5 that week .” – Rusti Sidel, Michigan mom of two

“After my first pregnancy, I had two miscarriages. When I got pregnant with my second child, I stopped caffeine completely. I knew that technically a cup a day should be fine, but I just didn't want to risk anything. Once I passed the viability mark (around 24 weeks) I started back having one cup of coffee a day. Because I love it. ” – Laura O'Rourke, mom of two

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” I kept it to one cup of coffee a day, after the first trimester. I didn't get enough sleep as it was, so I needed something!” – Greta Funk, mom of four

“I gave it up the first 12 weeks, it was really only because around 5 weeks I went to take a drink of a steamy delicious cup of coffee one morning and all of a sudden I wanted to vomit. After 12 weeks I slowly eased back into drinking caffeine, maybe a cup of coffee here and there. From around 20 weeks on I would have coffee and UNsweetened tea just to make it through my 12 hour work shifts. I worked full-time, 11 hour days until 37 weeks. I drank about a gallon or more of water a day and would make trade offs — I want this Cherry Coke so I won't have any tea later. That kind of thing. My doctor never gave me a limitation, just said that caffeine can make you feel light headed because  your blood volume is higher.” – Jess Woods, West Virginia mom of one

“I had a soda when I was really craving it. Had no issues. Dr. said a cup was fine. I didn't overdo it but I also didn't stop cold turkey. Munchkin was fine!” – Krystal Butherus, mom of one

I drink one cup of coffee every morning. I LOVE coffee, so it's hard to stop at one, but I do for the little peanut's sake. Once in awhile I'll have a little something in the afternoon, but stop at 2 servings. And I drink coffee (not so limited) while breastfeeding too … #addict.” – Lauren Weber, mom of two (and one on the way!)

Did you continue to drink soda and coffee during pregnancy?

What do you think?

Why I Won’t Give Up Caffeine During Pregnancy

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

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5 comments

  1. Carmen says:

    I grew up drinking caffeine. My parents didnt buy us bottles of water or get us juice. They gave us a choice and us being a bunch of kids, we chose soda. We were destined for addiction and that’s exactly what I was up until I got pregnant. I read a lot into caffeine and pregnancy and saw the risks. So, I stopped. I quit cold turkey because I wasnt willing to risk the life of my child and, I wanted to give him a healthy start. I understand, small amounts are safe. But, think of it this way. Would you give a newborn a soda or coffee? I’d really hope not. That’s what you do when you drink that during pregnancy. I know for a fact it isnt easy to quit but, what’s better for your child? You quit smoking while your pregnant. Because you put your child at risk. Why not quit caffeine? However minute the risk is, while you continue your caffeine intake, it’s always still there.

  2. Areana says:

    I grew up drinking coffee. I think ever since I was thirteen years old I would have at least two cups a day. With my first and second pregnancy I did not drink any sort of caffeine. I may have had a soda here and there but they were few and far between. I dont know why not drinking coffee was easy for me but I’m really glad it was.

  3. Aubrey says:

    I was a 4 pot a day coffee drinker when I realized I was pregnant with my 3rd. With the first 2, I was more of a soda drinker and cut back to maybe 2 20oz bottles a week. With my 3rd child, and having 2 in school, working, volunteering etc. I couldn’t handle not having some caffeine (plus I get migraines and if I don’t have a cup of coffee in the morning, I’m sure to get one) so I cut back from 3 or 4 pots of coffee to 2 or 3 cups. Bought myself one of the brita bottles so I’d drink more water.

  4. Jillian says:

    “Caffeine intake has been linked to low birth weight and shorter pregnancies.” I have a serious pop addiction and while I was able to cut back during my pregnancy (I still drank more than I probably should have), my little one was born at 39 weeks weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces lol! I have made the decision to try to be better the next time around, but I make no promises!

  5. mommy nhoj says:

    I gave up my daily caffeine intake a month before I got pregnant and continued until the first day I was advised to stop breastfeeding my little one due to contraindicated meds. Today, I usually consume 2 cups a day. It keeps me going until night. Though, I find it a bit hard to sleep at night

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