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Coffee in Pregnancy

(24 Posts)
Luckygirlcharlie Thu 15-Oct-15 10:38:51

Hi all

I realise there's a coke thread just below but really want to hear poeple's thoughts on coffee! With DS1 I was militant and had only decaf until 5 months, after which I had the occasional 'real' coffee. This time from about 14 weeks I've been having decaf during the week and caf at weekends but now I'd really like to have my normal morning cappuccino - Decaf is just not doing it for me! I am 19 weeks now and my consultant said 2 cups of coffee a day is fine, so I presume a Pret/Nero regular cappuccino is probably equivalent to that. I think the risk is low birthweight? DS1 was 10.5lbs (gulp!) so we are having this one induced at 39 weeks as he got stuck and is was all a bit overdramatic! I'm therefore thinking we don't make skinny babies so a daily coffee should be ok! Would love to hear people's thoughts. x

jusdepamplemousse Thu 15-Oct-15 10:56:11

NHS guidelines are 200mg a day.

I've had an espresso or a filter coffee every day I've been pregnant. The risk is miscarriage or low birth weight. But obviously there's no risk that they can clinically perceive under the 200mg limit. So I don't worry about it. I think a filter coffee is about 140mg and an espresso anywhere between 70mg and 100mg. So you could probably have two (single shot) cappuccinos a day and be grand...but I like to leave a chocolate allowance!

Some high pressure or long days in work I've definitely gone over 200mg as needs must. Baby so far measuring slightly on the big side for dates.

newbian Thu 15-Oct-15 11:09:46

Caffeine Informer is very helpful although doesn't seem to have Pret.

Caffe Nero: www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/caffe-nero-coffee

I try to check before buying anything, you'd be surprised. For example Starbucks drinks are very heavy on caffeine, two a day would put you or over the limit, even if you stick to tall size.

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Thu 15-Oct-15 11:12:27

I happily drank a couple of coffees a day (after first trimester, when it made me gag ). Guess that's the equivalent of about one bought one.

I never worried about looking up caffeine in different brands. Just went easy. I think you can over -worry and the issues with caffeine can be very over stated.

scrivette Thu 15-Oct-15 11:41:36

You should be fine with that.

I had sickness throughout my pregnancy and coffee was pretty much the only thing I could drink without being sick at times. DS weighed 9lb 6!

Enjoy your coffee!

PrincessPunzie Thu 15-Oct-15 11:48:33

I'm in my first trimester and am drinking two cups of instant a day, as per NHS guidelines. I'd assume that a single coffee shop coffee would be about double the caffeine, so I'm avoiding those because I definitely need my two a day! It does say on the NHS website that occasionally going over 200mg a day shouldn't be a problem, though, so don't overthink it.

Nice to see other ladies still on the caffeine. I'm sick of hearing from people that even the thought of it should be making me gag!!

Lemonfizzypop Thu 15-Oct-15 12:20:41

I was very careful in the first three months but after that I've probably gone over the recommended allowance almost every weekend and every now and again during the week when I've needed a pick-me up in the evening of going out! Not mega, just a shopbought latte along with my morning instant coffee. Oh and I kind of didn't bother counting chocolate!

I'm 39 weeks and measuring fine and no other issues!

ValancyJane Thu 15-Oct-15 12:22:12

I have one coffee a day (sometimes I push the boat out and have a second!). I like to leave the rest of my caffeine allowance for chocolate!!

GoodnightDarthVader Thu 15-Oct-15 12:23:26

Having a cup right now. One a day is fine.

Zamaz Thu 15-Oct-15 12:28:58

Same here. I have one cup (occassionally two) of caffeinated tea (similar levels of caffeine to coffee, despite what everyone thinks) or coffee per day as as rule. I then stick to decaff tea/coffee or fruit/herbal tea the rest of the day. Without a little caffeine I have horrendeous headache by 11am and the rest of the day's a right off!
I know it's not advised, but my sister in law had well over the recommended limit of caffeine throughout pregnancy, and both her boys (7 & 4) are fit and well and where reasonable birth weights. God knows how much our grandmothers drank! (I know this isn't a reason to flout the guidelines, but just trying to put it in perspective that a little extra now and then is unlikely to do much damage.)

Starspread Thu 15-Oct-15 12:31:20

So there is some interesting analysis that suggests the link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage/low birthweight may - to some extent - be correlation more than causation (at least in that direction).

Nausea in the first trimester, and going off bitter tastes, is often a marker of a stable pregnancy - and also obviously you can't ask a bunch of pregnant women to neck 10 espressos a day and see what happens! So given that studies are mostly on women who chose to reduce their caffeine consumption vs women who didn't, there is a perspective that (at least at lower levels) the apparent 'risks' of caffeine consumption might actually be because of the differences between women who go off coffee and women who don't.

That said, I've generally erred on the side of caution and let myself have at most two cups of 'proper' tea per day! But it's probably not half as much of a worry as we sometimes think it is smile

randomsabreuse Thu 15-Oct-15 12:41:22

Couldn't deal with the additional diuretic effect - boring enough needing to pee all the time as it was, add in caffeine and I might as well have lived in the loo!

jusdepamplemousse Thu 15-Oct-15 12:54:29

Ok so since I get Nero coffee I actually think I've been under the limit substantially, if their espresso is only 40mg as per link above. So you could get 5 espressos a day there and just hit the limit!

No wonder I've been so bloody tired!

DimpleHands Thu 15-Oct-15 14:30:16

I am being very cautious and allowing myself one cup of real coffee a week and one cup of decaff a week (but I am being overly cautious about EVERYTHING for various reasons).

Interestingly, drinking coffee in pregnancy is apparently really looked down in the US - apparently in the same way that smoking while pregnant is here! I think I read somewhere that there was some research to suggest there can be a link with birth defects (but don't quote me on that!).

Also, I think I would rather have a coffee a day than a decaff a day - apparently lots of chemicals are used in the decaffeinating process.

DimpleHands Thu 15-Oct-15 14:32:48

Oh and apparently coffee affects the baby more in the third trimester apparently - can't remember why now (something about mother's ability to process it declining in late pregnancy). But the links with miscarriage are associated with consumption in the first trimester.

As ever, it's just one of those areas where the guidelines seem to be really fuggy annoyingly. I really miss my daily coffee!

newbian Thu 15-Oct-15 15:27:15

DimpleHands EVERYTHING is looked down on during pregnancy in the US (I speak as an American). When I moved to the UK I was shocked to see visibly pregnant women drinking alcohol and smoking. But I wouldn't say coffee is especially held out as worse than the other things I mentioned. It is worth noting however that Americans drink a lot more coffee than Brits do and it's typically drip coffee (which has more caffeine than espresso) served in large size cups of 16-20 ounces.

DimpleHands Thu 15-Oct-15 16:06:59

That's interesting Newbian - so do most American women completely refrain from drinking any alcohol/coffee at all? I have heard stories of barristas refusing to sell coffee to pregnant women (in the U.S. and in London)!

(By the way I think the only research that found a link between birth defects and caffeine was a study done on rats in the U.S. and there's no evidence at all it does the same in humans - was worrying I might panic someone reading my post above!).

newbian Thu 15-Oct-15 16:25:22

Pregnant women do drink coffee in the U.S. but A) 1-2 coffees per day is a lot more caffeine over there so some caution is probably advisable and B) Americans are much more comfortable policing pregnant women's behavior in public. I'm pretty sure it's legal in most states to refuse to serve a coffee or a beer to a pregnant woman. Besides the randoms who will come up to you and make unsolicited comments if you do manage to get it.

CityMole Thu 15-Oct-15 16:32:42

When I found out I was pg, I decided to cut out caffeine because I thought I was supposed to in the first trimester.
Hahahahahahahhaha. hahaha cue nervous maniacal laughter

That particular effort lasted all of 3 days- my partner was practically begging me to go back on it, and I was falling asleep at my desk and my mid was going blank and wandering in meetings. It doesn't help that the 1st tri is pretty exhausting ANYWAY.

I don't have a coffee at weekends, but I work around 12-14 hours a day during the week and there's no way I can cope without a coffee boost around late morning, and then a tea around 5 to get me through to the end! As soon as my news is out at work (probably in 2-3 weeks time), I'm going to try to cut back my hours to a more sensible 9-5, in which case I might come off the coffee, but.... probably not altogether! smile

Skiptonlass Thu 15-Oct-15 17:18:43

I'm not convinced by the caffeine research to be honest. I think they didn't prove the link was causal.

A couple of coffees a day should be fine. I live in country (Sweden) where people drink boatloads of the stuff and no one seems to give it up here! I am not a coffee fan myself, but I drink tea like it's going out of fashion. I couldn't stomach it at all for the first few months (making up for it now...)

Basically just be sensible. I'd stay away from those horrible energy drinks and certainly not drink so much I got the jitters, but two decent coffees a day (presuming they're European sizes, not the buckets you get in the USA) should be fine.

As always, moderation is the key.

Lemonfizzypop Thu 15-Oct-15 17:35:05

If someone refused to serve me anything because I was pregnant I would go MENTAL

Runningupthathill82 Thu 15-Oct-15 17:58:26

One shop-bought coffee a day, plus 3-4 cups of tea here. That's a MASSIVE reduction on my previous coffee habit!

Cnmorgan13 Thu 15-Oct-15 19:39:21

I'm the same. I used to drink a LOT of coffee but I've managed to get it down to 2 a day and sometimes a tea at night. So far everything has been boring medically for both me and baby so I must be doing something right lol brew

Luckygirlcharlie Sat 17-Oct-15 20:36:30

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll just be as sensible as I can - and stay away from judgmental Americans ;-)) x

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