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Caffeine!!

(13 Posts)
jessfairclough1 Sun 04-May-14 08:35:32

Just found out I'm pregnant (5wks) and am usually a caffeine addict! I know I need to cut down and I think the advice is 1-2 cups coffee per day. Anyone know any scientific research behind this, as I am going to struggle... Thanks!!

bakingtins Sun 04-May-14 08:52:26

The NHS recommended limit is 200 mg of caffeine a day, which is 2 cups of instant coffee, one and a bit cups of proper coffee. Some studies have shown drinking more than this doubles your risk of miscarriage.
I don't drink coffee anyway, but I cut down to one cup of tea in the morning then switched to decaf or fruit tea, but I've had recurrent miscarriages, wasn't taking any risks. Background MC risk is about 15% of recognised pregnancies, if that helps put it into context. In the study of just over a thousand women, drinking more than 200 mg doubled risk from 12% to 25%, taking into account other factors that might increase risk. The information and details about the study are published on the NHS choices website.

bakingtins Sun 04-May-14 08:52:52

Congratulations BTW!

mummybare Sun 04-May-14 08:53:38

I found this book helpful in distilling a lot of the original research surrounding pregnancy and birth.

If I recall correctly, the author is also a caffeine fan and decides to risk having more than the recommended amount based on her own assessment of the evidence. She does make it clear that it is a risk, though and goes into her thought process.

Again from memory, the evidence seems to suggest limiting yourself to 1-2 cups in the first trimester and 2-3 thereafter is ideal, but I recommend the book for a balanced look at the research to help you make an informed choice.

Congratulations on your pregnancy smile

Shallan Sun 04-May-14 08:56:58

Hi, congratulations!

The nhs website says the limit is 200mg a day of caffeine. A cup of tea will be about 75mg, a cup of home made instant coffee will be 150mg. Be aware though that most coffees sold in coffee shops will be WAY over your daily limit! Chocolate and diet coke also have caffeine as well sad

I've switched to drinking decaf, or herbal tea, as I'm prioritising chocolate.

Barbsta Sun 04-May-14 08:57:15

I didn't drink any caffiene for the first half of the pregnancy but I was a bit over the top. I get pretty bad withdrawal with coffee because I drank that much of it so even now I only have one cup. It can stunt the babies growth and what we eat and drink goes to the baby which helps me cut down

squizita Sun 04-May-14 10:30:58

This is a useful checklist if you choose to follow the NHS advice:
www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/limit-caffeine-during-pregnancy.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=216
As you can see, you can have tea, coffee and chocolate.

The NHS advice can be a bit cautious but is basically sound, I choose to follow it because in the world of google I consider it to be evidence/HCP based, moderate and easy to live with. I suffer from anxiety following several losses so don't want to be tempted into becoming a hermit eating only rice cakes for 9 months!

There are a lot of usually men with tinfoil hats on the internet telling us everything from computers to particles in the air are deadly. Avoid them like te plague! grin And the Daily Mail. Being a woman is physically and morally akin to being tied to the rail road by a villain in an old movie to Daily Mail journos, let alone being pregnant!

squizita Sun 04-May-14 10:33:11

Barbsta you would have to drink an awful lot to stunt baby growth. Mind you, I drink a hell of a lot when not pregnant.
Luckily I craved sweet milky weak granny tea and redbush so 1 small cup of coffee a day is fine. In fact I have decaff because I now get hyper on real brewed coffee, and work/DH are filter coffee not instant.

Eastwiththem Sun 04-May-14 13:31:19

In "Expecting Better" (as linked to by Mummybare) the author finds that many of the studies showing caffeine linked to miscarriage fail to account for nausea. I felt pretty rubbish in the first 12 weeks and the idea of coffee made me want to hurl. Women who don't have nausea are more likely to want to drink coffee, and nausea is generally a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. So although caffeine is linked to miscarriage, it might just be a coincidence rather than a cause.

Nausea usually ramps up around 6 weeks so it might be in a week's time you can't face a coffee anyway.

squizita Sun 04-May-14 15:18:09

East - although it is also worth mentioning that morning sickness is not in any way a failsafe indication (it is a reaction to HCG, so just as with hayfever etc' some women are symptomatic and some not). Regan and several miscarriage experts don't really take it into account, especially not for a 1st when the woman wouldn't know or not whether she gets MS.

The caffeine studies don't, though, take into account any other factors... including that in the immediate run up to a loss, women may feel run down and turn to coffee (hormone crashes), and certain proven factors (e.g. long/irregular night shift work slightly raises the risk) might also account for turning to caffeine.

Barbsta Sun 04-May-14 23:14:12

Yeah I was completely over the top but I'm a worrier :s at the beginning I tried to do everything perfect. I've since learned there is far too much you can and can't eat/do and even more conflicting info on all of it to be perfect

squizita Mon 05-May-14 10:09:35

Barbara The easiest solution I found is to stick to ONE set of guidelines and ignore the rest! Yes, it still maybe cautious but you won't have the fear. I just use the NHS ones, I know it works for 1000s of women, is updated (eg. Peanuts and seafood allowed, Stilton allowed etc) and is not scarily restrictive.

I avoid woo tinfoil-hat websites claiming random things cause problems: at least the NHS one is run by proper hcps.

squizita Mon 05-May-14 10:10:05

Sorry autocorrect autocorrect your name!

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