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Excuses for avoiding caffeine.....

(24 Posts)
Shallan Thu 24-Apr-14 17:00:49

Just wondering how others deal with cutting back on caffeine when pregnant.

In my workplace, everybody pops out to costa and brings back big coffees - I normally join in, but as you're only supposed to have 200mg of caffeine a day in pregnancy even one of my normal drinks would be over the limit!

What excuses can I give to suddenly stop drinking coffee?

LadyMaryLikesCake Thu 24-Apr-14 17:02:49

You're on a charity drive and you're donating all of the money that you would have spent to Oxfam/Unicef/WWF/whatever.

Congratulations smile

VaselineOnToast Thu 24-Apr-14 17:04:13

Coffee occasionally gives me heart palpitations... maybe you could say that?? Or maybe say that it's started making you pee like a racehorse or that you've had a urine infection and don't want to aggravate it.

If you link it to something medical, people tend to be less skeptical :D

weebairn Thu 24-Apr-14 17:04:48


Is someone buying it for you? If you're getting your own you could get decaf.

Stubbed Thu 24-Apr-14 17:09:47

Are you desperate to keep your pregnancy a secret? I don't always understand why. Often lots of people will have already guessed.

Anyway I would just say that you are giving up caffeine to have a healthier lifestyle.

whatsagoodusername Thu 24-Apr-14 17:14:12


Switch to the fancy hot chocolates?

Thurlow Thu 24-Apr-14 17:16:31

I'd either go with just trying to be healthier and trying to drink more decaf or herbal tea or, if that will immediately raise eyebrows, then I like LadyMary's suggestion, that'll give it some extra weight. Just say you read an article on it, or a friend is doing it, and you thought it was a great suggestion.

People will guess, it's an annoying fact of life that any woman who refuses caffeine, alcohol or gives up smoking will immediately be judged to be pregnant, mainly because 9/10 they are. You just have to stick to your chosen excuse and try not to blush! says the person who gave away her pregnancy at 6 bloody weeks by not being able to hide the blush when pressed on why she wasn't drinking alcohol at a very significant party

elfycat Thu 24-Apr-14 17:18:07

Tell work that you're doing it as a challenge alongside your mother/sister/aunt/brother etc who drink too much, and you're doing moral support. I found excessive caffeine gave me palpatations/anxiety/headaches and would use one of those if you are familiar with those symptoms.

if you need an excuse for avoiding alcohol I always found citing a grim hangover from the night before worked a treat. Look bilious if anyone offers a drink and no-one will suspect avoiding alcohol due to hangover= pregnant.

Shallan Thu 24-Apr-14 17:32:38

Thanks all, some excellent ideas!

Stubbed you're probably right that a lot of people guess anyway! but I've had two miscarriages previously so I really want to keep things quiet in case it doesn't work out.

Shallan Thu 24-Apr-14 17:33:21

Oh and weebairn the trouble is there's a sort of Rita, so usually other people getting the coffee

Shallan Thu 24-Apr-14 17:33:50

(Rota not Rita!)

squizita Thu 24-Apr-14 17:37:37

-Do the run yourself and get decaff
-Have a tea instead, start RAVING about how you tried a redbush or mint tea at the weekend and they are AMAZING you just love them!
-Warmer weather, have a fruit based frapposilly drink


I have managed to cover up pregnancies for 12 weeks ( or until I miscarried in the past sadly some of us get very adept at it sad ) it is perfectly possible without too much hassle. Some of my work only guessed today. I have a bump: my 20 week scan was yesterday... I just stopped wearing my cunning loose clothes. People were suprised/asked.
Not for a second suggesting anything bad will happen but it can be done!

The key thing is to naturally distance yourself from being 'on the spot'. My teams are 'work hard play hard' so it requires slight planning e.g. if you usually chat to smokers avoid 'stand near the smokers saying cough cough suddenly', if you are known for a wine after work avoid 'go to the pub after work when not driving and have lemonade' stuff. Drive to drinks where poss or make a plausible excuse (date night) for short notice drinks.
Hot drink and food is pretty easy... make out you are greedy for something else and really decadent e.g. "ooooh hot chocolate, go on then I'll be naughty!" not "no coffee for me", "Haha! Fried chicken, the diet starts tomorrow!" not "Umm I'll have a well done steak" etc'.

You're already at 4 weeks by BFP so you've only got 2 months before most people tell! smile smile

JulesJules Thu 24-Apr-14 17:39:09

Say something like Oh I'd better not - I've had two cups of coffee already today/ I've already had a coffee at home and I'm trying to cut down on my caffeine/ I'm trying to cut down a bit on coffee, it's starting to give me headaches/ I've got a bit of a headache, I think I've had enough caffeine/I'll have a fruit cooler, I love them etc

Congratulations, btw!

HeirToTheIronThrone Thu 24-Apr-14 17:40:21

We were pretty convinced that one of my colleagues was pregnant when she switched to decaff tea - but it turns out that it's on the advice of her optician - she wears contacts, and apparently caffeine dries out the eyes and makes them sore/could lead to infection. Can you use that?

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Thu 24-Apr-14 17:42:39

I disagree with some of the people suggesting complicated stories. I would go for something really simple. The more complex the story, the more it sounds like a cover story. I'd just say "Can you get me a mint tea" or whatever and leave it at that. If anyone asks just say you're on a bit of a health kick. Or that you've been sleeping badly and are trying to limit caffeine to see if it helps. But the key thing is not to come out with a big long 'explanation' with the order. That's like writing it on your head in biro grin

flipchart Thu 24-Apr-14 17:44:09

When did the reduce caffeine rule come in?
I increased mine when I was pregnant to make up for the lack of alcohol!

squizita Thu 24-Apr-14 17:46:47

Yes as Penguins says - ask for something else firmly and definitely. People 'read' that differently to a denial.

AlternativeNickname Thu 24-Apr-14 17:52:40

have ine of those slushy fruity ice thingys instead?

you need something cooler to quench your thirst now that it's getting warmer out?

Shallan Thu 24-Apr-14 18:09:54

Oh that's really good advice penguins, I will practice my firm "ooh I'd love a nice camomile tea"

Flip chart, I'm not sure when the rule came in but it's on the nhs website - anything more than 200mg a day increases risk of low birth weight or miscarriage

Heatherbell1978 Thu 24-Apr-14 19:07:56

Could you switch to decaf and just say you're worried about the amount of caffeine you're drinking? I was in a similar position to you (I'm now 24 wks) and just switched to tea initially which no-one batted an eyelid at. I convinced myself that I would hate decaf but actually, I tried a decaf latte a few weeks ago and I can't tell the difference! Horrah! That was a revelation for me:-)

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Thu 24-Apr-14 19:52:07

I think it's where people often fall down with lies generally actually (white lies and the blacker ones!). The tendency to over-explain.

Think about how you would behave if you had just genuinely decided you were drinking too much coffee. Maybe some people would give a big explanation with their order, but most would just order the drink they fancied and leave it at that unless someone asked, because it wouldn't be a 'big thing' in their lives, so why would it get a big explanation?

It's like not drinking alcohol. The number of times people I've only slightly known have launched into long and obviously rehearsed explanations of why they aren't having an alcoholic drink, when actually not knowing them particularly well I'd had no particular expectations what they would have ordered. So they've just 'announced' to a vague acquaintance/business contact/whatever that they are pregnant.

caravela Thu 24-Apr-14 22:30:22

I agree with previous poster. If someone asks for a mint tea/non alcoholic drink in a matter of fact way you wouldn't on the whole assume that they were pregnant, you'd just think that's what they fancied. Whereas if they go all sheepish or defensive and feel the need to justify their drinks choices, it massively draws attention to it. On the whole other people notice what you're doing far less than you think they do.

I think asking for a decaf if you've always drunk regular coffee also draws more attention to it than if you have a tea of some kind. Because it's like saying 'I want the taste of coffee but I can't have it', which makes people more likely to ask or wonder why. Whereas it would be a bit weird to ask 'why are you having tea instead of coffee' - the obvious answer would be 'That's what I feel like drinking at this particular moment'.

mssleepyhead Thu 24-Apr-14 22:46:07

I'd say you've been having trouble sleeping recently so are trying to cut caffeine out and see if it helps.

Most people won't ask, even if they suspect it : )

Missingcaffeine Thu 24-Apr-14 23:12:03

I used to have 6-10 cups of coffee a day at work. I was a proper addict. I just told people I was trying to give up caffeine. I actually cut right down a couple of months before I got pregnant as I knew it would increase my chances of getting pregnant, so that made it easier, but nobody suspected (or at least nobody teased me) despite them all knowing I was a coffee freak. To be honest, I feel more stable for not drinking so much coffee. I know it made me feel on edge sometimes. I found it harder to hide my pregnancy amongst my close friends as they know how much I love wine, cheeses that are forbidden etc etc. On my birthday, I tried to hide that I wasn't drinking from some of my friends (my closest friends knew). It didn't really work well. I'd briefed my OH to buy me drink that looked like clear spirit and mixer, and to just ask me 'same again' and he got drunk, forgot and brought me a pint of diet coke and later announced that I was driving.

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