5 Simple Tips to Quit Caffeine During Pregnancy (and maybe for good!)
This actually might have some major benefits for you (other than having a healthy baby!) especially if you guzzle coffee like it's your job.
What having too much caffeine does to us
Too much caffeine actually leaves us more tired and irritable than if we just took some simple steps to beat the addiction in the first place.
It can cause trouble sleeping, anxiety, skin irritation, inflammation, jitters, and more.
No thank you!!
Will caffeine harm my unborn baby?
Yes, caffeine can harm your unborn baby and should be avoided. The risk of harm to your child increases based on your age, amount of caffeine consumed, and other factors.
In 2016, NBC News reported that "Women who were over 35 had twice the risk of an early miscarriage as younger women... and drinking three or more caffeinated beverages a day raised the risk of early pregnancy loss by 74 percent. "
Will drinking caffeine during pregnancy make my kids short?
Yes, drinking even moderate amounts caffeine can shorten your kids by 1.5cm or 0.5 inches according to a recent study in JAMA. Researchers found that children of moms measured with low amounts of caffeine in their bodies during pregnancy were shorter than the children of women who consumed no caffeine during pregnancy
How Long does caffeine stay in my body
It depends on your metabolism. For most people, "It can take up to 10 hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream" according to the Cleveland Clinic
What if I accidentally had too much caffeine pregnant?
If you are worried that you may have drank too much coffee while pregnant call your primary care physician or mid-wife and discuss. It likely that she will ask you how much you drank and when you last drank/consumed so be prepared to answer.
There are a few things you can do to help:
Stop drinking caffeine for a while. Don’t consume any more caffeine for the next 24 hours. Note that caffeine is present in many foods/drinks other than coffee so pay attention
Drink plenty of water. Caffeine is a diuretic so you may be dehydrated. Drink more water than usual over the next 12 hours. You can also drink water that includes electrolytes such as Smart Water and Life Water.
Relax. If you’re anxious or feeling nervous, it could be due to the caffeine. Do your best to try to relax by listening to some relaxing music, mediating, or stretching.
Stay connected- Remember that you are not alone, call a friend, spouse or family member and tell them how you are feeling.
5 Tips to break your caffeine habit
If you decide you want to quit the caffeine habit during pregnancy (and maybe for good) here are some simple steps to make the transition easier!
1. Wean yourself off.
If you don't feel like cutting cold turkey, take a few days to scale your intake back. Make having a single 12 oz cup as your first goal.
American Pregnancy Association recommends that pregnant women consume less than 200mg of caffeine/day (about what you'd find in a 12 oz cup of coffee.).
Read more about coffee consumption in the article, "Can I really have coffee when I'm pregnant"
Substitute your cup of coffee with a beverage like green tea, then implement the steps we've outlined here.
2. Sip on something warm in the morning.
Chamomile tea or a cozy almond milk turmeric latte are perfect. (Unless of course you're a fan of iced coffee, in which case you should try iced herbal tea, refreshing infused water, or something similar.) During hot months, try drinking a cup of water in your favorite mug as an alternative.
3. Eat a healthy snack
When you find yourself feeling the afternoon slump, reach for a piece of fruit or some yummy guac to fuel you. This will leave you feeling better than a cup of coffee or a sugary treat ever could have.
According to BabyMed, "caffeine is also found in other foods such as caffeinated sodas, ice cream, and chocolate (foods which should be eaten in small amounts anyway
4. Take a power nap
Or at least go to bed at a decent hour! Being well-rested will help you fight the urge to give in to that 2 o'clock cup of Joe. Remember, women need Between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each day during pregnancy according to familydoctor.org
5. Prenatal yoga, pregnancy workout, brisk walk for an energy boost.
Physical activity can leave you sharper and more alert than sitting in your chair all day will. Bonus points if you get outside to breathe some fresh air.
Prenatal weight lifting is great for an quick energy boost.
Whether you choose to completely quit caffeine during your pregnancy or not, make sure that you stay below 200 mg/day for safety of your baby!