There are a lot of things that you can’t have when you’re pregnant, like alcohol and tobacco products, but is coffee also on the list?
Many of us can’t imagine functioning without our morning cup of java. It’s become so ingrained with the process of waking up, that it can take a long time and many headaches trying to kick the habit.
But at this period in your life, regardless if something is difficult or not, if it’s bad for baby you’ve got to rid yourself of it, and coffee is one of those things.
Because of the caffeine and other stimulants in coffee, it is not recommended to drink while you’re pregnant, nor while you’re breastfeeding.
Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant? Answer: No.
Caffeine is an addictive substance that elevates your heart rate. You don’t want anything like that in your system because you are connected directly through your baby through your placenta. Blood is circulating between you both, and by raising your heart rate you are raising the rate that it pulsates, and thereby causing potential harm to your baby.
The biggest reason why you shouldn’t drink coffee while you’re pregnant is the caffeine. It’s basically a drug that produces side effects that most of us are aware of. Yes, it keeps us alert and gives us a jolt in the morning when we wake up foggy and sluggish. It does this by speeding up our heart rate and effecting the neurons in the brain. It acts like several different drugs and chemicals in the brain, namely dopamine and adrenalin.
Anything this powerful on the brain and body should be avoided while you’re pregnant.
Why Do Some Doctors Say Yes?
It’s unfortunate that some doctors today still condone having a morning cup of coffee, but suggest limiting it to just one cup. There is a simple rule when consuming anything while you’re pregnant. If it is not good for your baby, don’t take it. Since there is no benefit to drinking coffee other than it wakes you up, it has to be dropped. There’s no logical reason to keep drinking it that isn’t purely selfish.
Some passive doctors will just tell their patients what they want to hear, and will cave if a patient whines too much about a recommendation. It might be hard to kick caffeine, and if you drank a lot of it on a daily basis, you might have to put up with a caffeine headache or two before you are finally free of it. But you can kick it, and you should. Your baby will thank you, and you’ll really beat yourself up if you have a complicated pregnancy. You’ll always wonder if it was the coffee that caused it.
Can I Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?
You may think you’re fixing the situation by drinking a decaffeinated variety of coffee, thereby reducing the risk to your baby. Unfortunately, it’s not only a matter of caffeine that we’re trying to avoid here, but also stimulants, and the coffee bean has several, even decaf. Also, since it’s not going to give you the effects of caffeinated coffee, there’s not really much point in drinking it just for the taste.
Alternatives to Coffee
If you find that you just can’t get your day started without a cup of Joe, then you should experiment with different ways of waking yourself up. If you’re used to a hot shower, try reducing the heat, not so much that it’s a cold shower, but enough so that it’s not a warm experience. This alone has been found to wake people up without the push from caffeine.
Go for a morning walk, or light job. This is a great, all-natural way for you to get the blood flowing and is safe for pregnant women. Just be sure to clear it with your doctor as an extra safety precaution.
Avoid energy drinks or energy shots like 5 hour energy, because even though they don’t have caffeine in them they still have enough stimulants to super-charge the system, effecting different parts of the brain and being all around unhealthy things to consume.
You don’t want to be paranoid about being pregnant, but you definitely don’t want to take it for granted and assume you can still do all the things you did when you weren’t knocked up, like drink coffee.