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Caffeine: please be honest

(71 Posts)
Arlington77 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:04:53

Hi ladies,
Should I be totally caffeine-free? (Background, I'm 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant, early scan next week).
Am I the only one who is ashamedly not complete caffeine-free? I basically ditched beloved morning coffee months ago, never drank tea, and am having one or two small decaff coffees (instant) in the morning... but it's a STRUGGLE! And now I've discovered that sipping on one tiny, forbidden, deliciously cold can of Ginger Pepsi Max (ginger, seriously!!) really helps with the nausea - I'm not sick yet but very nauseous every morning. (V funny, I made my husband go and stockpile a few crates from the supermarket in case it was limited edition and they suddenly withdrew Ginger. When he brought back a Cherry version I nearly vomited smile
Please be honest: are you all treating your body like a caffeine-free-temple? I feel so guilty. But I get terrible migraines (ended up almost in hospital last week) which is aggravated by caffeine withdrawal, and I'd prefer one small can of aforementioned ginger soda (total caffeine content around 42mg, so below daily limit of 200mg) to resorting to painkillers.
Agh. The guilt is terrible. So anxious about miscarriage/early preg scan, and the caffeine warnings worry me a lot.
Any thoughts gratefully received xx

pastabest Tue 24-Oct-17 17:12:15

Well the NHS guidance is around two cups of instant coffee a day

www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/caffeine-and-pregnancy/

So no, I am definitely not caffeine free. What madness grin

BexleyRae Tue 24-Oct-17 17:14:46

Nope, I most definitely had caffeine. I drank Pepsi most days as it helped with nausea and occasionally had a full caffeine Costa.

ScarletBegonia1234 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:00

I am normally a massive tea drinker at work....easily 7 cups a day sometimes blush when pregnant I allowed myself 2 cups of tea a day then went onto redbush which is decaf. And minging.

I know the guidelines are quite strict and do wonder how much pregnant ladies in real coffee loving cultures like France and Italy actually end up drinking!

EssentialHummus Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:10

I had my usual morning coffee and occasional cola during pregnancy, see NHS guidelines to get a sense of what’s recommended.

MotherofKitties Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:22

After the initial morning sickness and going off tea for the first 4 months, tea was one of the few pleasures I had after not being able to eat a long list of food...!

I’m not a coffee drinker and had 2-3 cups of fairly strong tea a day for 5 months (plus chocolate which contains caffeine) and not suffered any adverse consequences with my DD. If in doubt have a chat with your Midwife and she’ll be able to advise xx

CL1982 Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:33

Hey OP! I went very easy for the first trimester on little to no caffeine and averaged at about one proper cuppa a day and maybe a coffee in the afternoon if I need a push now in the second. I think so long as you keep things light (don't chug Diet Coke all day) you'll be ok. They say don't go over 200mgs which is 2-3 cups of tea, 1-2 filter coffees or smallish Starbucks coffees and watch the extras like dark chocolate. It is hard to break i know.

TBH I think most of the risks are there in the first trimester so once you're out of the woods on that you should be ok having a few drinks through the days in-dispersed with decaf options. I cannot stress enough though, if you're tired just rest!

Ttbb Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:57

I was for the first trimester. After that it's fine to have small quantities.

scaredofthecity Tue 24-Oct-17 17:16:50

The NHS guidance which is usually regarded to be OTT says you can have caffeine, therefore caffeine is ok.
Quite frankly I couldn't get through this pregnancy, working and looking after a toddler without the occasional caffeinated beverage, especially my 12 hour nursing shifts.
Moderation is the key. Don't beat yourself up. In fact I know some midwives recommend caffeine for those awful 1st trimester headaches.

DaisysStew Tue 24-Oct-17 17:17:18

I switched to decaf tea and coffee in pregnancy, all except my morning coffee. I would have never made it out the house in the morning otherwise!

Littlebatcalledlucille Tue 24-Oct-17 17:18:17

That link....... I could exceed that in the first hour I'm up! blush and tbh I've ignored the guidelines caffeine wise and I don't care!!!😶
Don't feel guilty! You're not necking GoGo juice!

TheLegendOfBeans Tue 24-Oct-17 17:20:57

Pregnancy #1 I drank my usual intake of caffeine baby arrived fine.
Pregnancy #2 same. Then I had a mc. No known reason why but it made me ultra paranoid when I got to...
Pregnancy #3 I decafed everything. I love tea, coffee and cola and replaced all of it with the decaf alternative. It was fine. Baby is fine.

PLEASE NOTE: I’m not suggesting at all caffeine = mc but I was just so cautious I eliminated everything “risky” from my diet.

ChocolatePancake Tue 24-Oct-17 17:22:08

I'm not sure I could get through third trimester without a coffee boost here and there tbh. I used to always drop into Starbucks pregnant with my eldest and Nero with my youngest... now I have my own bean to cup machine! I do avoid it early weeks but if I was having issues like you're having I'd be just drinking it, it isn't worth feeling even worse than pregnancy already makes us feel!

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 24-Oct-17 17:22:08

I was zero caffeine for the duration of my first pregnancy. It increases the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester, apparently, and can reduce birthweight.

My first was 9lb 4oz.

I was managing a toddler in my second pregnancy so cracked and had one coffee per day in the third trimester, not wanting to risk reducing birthweight and all.

He was 9lb 6.5oz.

Maybe a bit more caffeine would have given me the chance of a natural delivery with both grin

On the migraine front, caffeine should really only prevent a migraine if you have it regularly. If you’re having caffeine every few days, you might be getting a caffeine re-bound headache from withdrawal. In which case it should be a little everyday or none at all. FWIW, my neurologist is adamant that people with migraines should be off all caffeine. I was off it completely for pregnancy no. 1, two-thirds of pregnancy no. 2 and have just been off it completely for the better part of a year non-pregnant and it has made no difference whatsoever to the migraines. I refuse to deal with life any more caffeine-free - it is simply impossible with a 5 and a 3 year old and a full-time job, so he can find a cure for my migraines where caffeine features, thanks —just shan’t be admitting to it—.

WrittenandGrown Tue 24-Oct-17 17:24:17

I am keeping below the guidelines but not caffeine free. Pre pregnancy I was a tea manic now I can't drink it at all but for some reason I really look forward to the occasional can of coke (didn't like that at all before).

RedBlackberries Tue 24-Oct-17 17:24:18

I'm not caffeine free but I'm not a big coffee person. I think teas ok. It just increases the chxance of mc a bit in 1st trimester but doesn't cause defects I think.

Sharl2017 Tue 24-Oct-17 18:02:01

I allow 1 cup of coffee or tea a day, but ive found im not really doing that much anymore. If I have decaffeinated I still limit myself to two and if I'm having a Pepsi I just consider what else I've had that day as I don't have that often either.

SpunBodgeSquarepants Tue 24-Oct-17 18:04:04

I had an espresso every morning throughout my pregnancy, my DS is now 3.5 and perfectly fine.

JoJoSM2 Tue 24-Oct-17 18:12:33

I've cut down to under the 200 mg a day and it's a lot of effort. No way would I ditch all caffeine!

HerSymphonyAndSong Tue 24-Oct-17 18:18:43

I have 1-2 cups of coffee per day, which is the same as before pregnancy

If you read “expecting better”, where the author outlines all the various studies and guidance, she comes to the conclusion that 4ish coffees a day would probably be fine, but your mileage may vary. Many women don’t drink that much when they aren’t pregnant in any case!

She also noted that studies are somewhat confounded by the fact that many women go off coffee/tea etc in pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester, and food aversions / nausea are more likely to occur in viable pregnancies (though not guaranteed either way of course). So less caffeine may have some correlation with carrying a baby to term, but correlation =/= causation of course.

Arlington77 Tue 24-Oct-17 18:21:06

Thanks to you ALL, this is really helpful. I've cut down as strictly as I can (and don't have other children to deal with like many of you) but without a tiny bit of caffeine in the morning I just feel terribly sluggish. Also have insane insomnia (which isn't helped by 'resting') but that's a whole other kettle of fish smile Thanks for some very reassuring shares and good advice. It's my first baby so everything is anxious right now...
xx

koalab Tue 24-Oct-17 18:23:36

My craving was diet coke. I just tried to keep under the 200mg limit.

Topsyloulou Tue 24-Oct-17 18:25:25

For both pregnancies I've switched to decaf tea & coffee but I've been having 2-3 cans of Pepsi max a day. That way I can space my caffeine through the day & don't use it all in one morning coffee. I went off tea & coffee completely with DS in the first trimester. This time round I really went off coffee until about 30 weeks. I've still been drinking decaf tea but much weaker than I would normally drink it.

HerSymphonyAndSong Tue 24-Oct-17 18:25:32

Sympathies, I have really disturbed sleep too. I can get to sleep very easily (and need to go to bed at about 8pm) but am awake for 3-4 hours in the middle of the night. It’s very tiring and I do welcome the coffee when I get to work!

cantthinkattheminute Tue 24-Oct-17 18:26:22

I cut it down to one coffee a day in my first pregnancy and went off it in the first trim. This time I'm trying to stick to Decaf as there is still a small amount of caffeine in it but an not worrying to much if I slip up- esp in work where it would be really obvious if I stopped drinking coffee wink

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