Posted by: Zsuzsanna | November 7, 2008

Caffeine during pregnancy?

This is an interesting article about the effects of even small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy. Since I am not a coffee drinker at all, and only drink caffeine-free herbal teas, I have never really given this issue much thought other than wondering how caffeine could be good for a tiny baby when it has such obvious effects on me.

Of course, no pregnant woman will ever be able to live in a bubble free of all environmental hazards. But this one is a pretty easy one to reduce/eliminate/avoid, I think.

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Responses

  1. That’s an interesting article. A lot of people thought I was crazy because I cut out caffeine while I was ttc and the first four months of pregnancy. I added a bit of chocolate back after that. I’m still staying away from caffeinated drinks.

  2. Before I got pregnant, I had debilitating migraines that would sometimes lead to being hospitalized. I took a seizure medication daily to try and prevent them, and also took a different medication when I felt a migraine beginning. Neither of these were safe to take during pregnancy, they were both category D.

    I had four different OB’s, one nurse practitioner and a midwife tell me to drink one-two caffeine drinks everyday since I was unable to take my other medications. They said the benefits of trying to use caffeine to prevent migraines outweighed the risks to the baby, considering how severe my migraines were.

    At the beginning of my third trimester, I started slowly cutting back on the caffeine until I wasn’t having any at all. my baby was born very healthy, and a healthy weight.

    Every situation is different, and I am not necessarily advocating pregnant women go drink caffeine all the time. I did it under the supervision of my doctors, and it is obviously not recommended for everyone.

  3. I didn’t cut out caffeine though I only drank tea not coffee. And guess what, my kids don’t bounce off the walls when they have tea. I think it’s because I drank it when I was pregnant. And, they were 6 lbs 9 oz and 7 lbs 9 oz at 3 and 2 weeks early, respectively.

  4. Pascha,

    Thanks for the info, that was very interesting. I agree that the caffeine was much better than migraine medication. Did you have to go back on the medication after you had the baby, or did the caffeine keep working for you?

    Stefanie,

    I don’t think caffeine is terrible, not like drugs or smoking during pregnancy. The uterus is pretty good at protecting the baby. Nonetheless, I thought it was an interesting article. I do consume some caffeine when I am pregnant, because I love coke with heavy meals when I am pregnant. And I eat some chocolate on occasion, although I am no fan of it.

    Caffeine actually has the opposite effect on children – it makes them more tired. Most stimulants do that, which is why doctors prescribe kids with “ADHD” Ritalin, which is actually a stimulant. Also like other stimulants, too much caffeine can interfere with children’s growth (which is why kids who get meds for adhd are frequently checked to make sure they are growing at the right rate).

  5. I did not go back on the seizure medication, as I have luckily only had a few migraines since my daughter was born. She’s 15 months old now. I just take a medication when I feel a migraine coming on. And only twice have I had to go to the ER since she was born, and I didn’t need to be admitted either time.

    I still drink 1-2 caffeinated drinks per day, so that may be helping. Either way, I am very relieved they have mostly gone away. They were extremely debilitating, and would keep me in bed for 1-2 days with earplugs, an ice pack, and something next to the bed for when I would get sick.

    And regarding ADHD and Ritalin, I remember when I was younger, my cousin was on Ritalin and while on vacation we all went out to breakfast. He was bouncing off the walls and ordered an apple juice. My aunt very firmly said, “No, you are ordering a coke.” My cousin whined and demanded juice, but my aunt told the server to bring a coke. She thought we were nuts! But the coke calmed him down. 🙂

  6. I personally wonder about cause and effect here. I think it is possible that some of the women who drink caffeine are also women who partake in other questionable things during pregnancy (alcohol, smoking, drugs) and therefore, caffeine is not the cause of miscarriage or low birth weight…just a coincidence. I have seen articles that find just the opposite as well.

    My doctor told me that I could have a reasonable amount of caffeine without any problems. I drank caffeine during pregnancy and had an 8 lb 1 oz baby.

    I could be wrong, but that is just my take.

    T. Hudson

  7. Hi Zsuzsanna.
    I suffered from severe migraines for many years, and caffeine was one of the things that helped to keep the migraine at bay sometimes. I also needed strong pain medication every month. When I first became pregnant I stopped drinking caffeine and taking any prescription drugs. I was worried, but the migraines did not come. Three years and a second baby later I still don’t have migraines. What an unexpected perk of having a babies! Best,
    Anna

  8. Interesting article. Although I believe that cutting out caffeine while trying to conceive might be a good idea if you are a major coffee drinker I don’t think caffeine is the worst thing out there by far. I have a weakness for soft drinks and I still became pregnant with my son even though I drank several soft drinks a day. I was working at the time .I did cut out the caffeine when I found out I was pregnant though. It was easier than I though because I noticed that soft drinks tasted funny when I was expecting.

  9. Agreed


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