And you’d mostly be right. I love the aroma of coffee. I love its warmth. I love its jolt in the morning and I love the mug it comes in. I love that taking a sip requires a few moments to oneself, which is entirely evident as my coffee usually gets cold before I have a chance to completely consume it. I love that coffee provides a great catalyst for a meeting of like-minds or friendly hearts. I love that coffee never needs to be the same but it can be.
The taste? Well, that took me a while to even start mildly enjoying.
But it doesn’t matter. I am addicted to everything else about this decoction.
But I gave it all up. And I think that deserves an explanation.
Sure, I can take the easy out. I’m pregnant. But I tend to get frustrated with the all or nothing crowd when it comes to pregnancy and baby rearing. “I won’t eat any seafood while pregnant!” – “You mean you’re not having a natural childbirth?” – ”I will only ever feed my baby organic!” – “I can’t believe you’d even consider disposable diapers!” – … – “Coffee is bad for your unborn baby!” Women can be so competitive and we use petty personal choices to feel superior while destroying relationships.
So the “I am not drinking coffee because I’m pregnant” reasoning just won’t cut it. Because, according to doctors, a little bit of caffeine is fine during pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women in Canada are suggested to limit their caffeine intake to 300mg of caffeine a day. This equals about two mugs of coffee, which is actually more than I usually drink in a day. So I would never start preaching that caffeine should be completely avoiding during pregnancy.
But here is another consideration.
Some studies have shown that caffeine doubles the risk of miscarriage.
Women who drink even moderate amounts of caffeine during pregnancy — whether from coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks or hot chocolate — have almost double the risk of miscarriage compared to women who stay away from such drinks. (source)
What is interesting is that this article ends with “Our advice is to be moderate. Drink two to three cups a day, max”. So doctors and scientists still aren’t telling women to cut coffee out altogether. And therefore I can’t do it either.
But I did make the decision for me. Because after two miscarriages, I wanted to reduce any risks as much as I possibly could. (Which meant, of course, that as soon as I stopped drinking my coffee, everyone knew I was pregnant.)
But boy oh boy! am I ever missing coffee. Especially during these past couple of weeks as I returned to my work routine after a two week vacation. Yawn. I am finding myself sneaking off to Starbucks to get a tall half-caf latte (which means I am just half cheating) or searching through our basket of k-cups to find the very last of the decaf. I am twenty-five weeks into my pregnancy and I miss coffee!
The only way I am getting through this is reminding myself that this is my opportunity to enjoy hot chocolate. Though I miss coffee while pregnant, I often miss fancy hot chocolate when I am not pregnant and trying to watch my weight. So if you see me sitting at my kitchen table at 6am reading my bible, or walking to work with a Starbucks in my hand, or turning on my desk-Keurig for a cuppa, you can assume I’m wishing for coffee, but am probably enjoying something equally delicious, but less energizing.
And if you catch me falling to sleep in the middle of my day, you’ll understand why.
What are your opinions on caffeine and pregnancy? Did you stop drinking coffee while pregnant? Did you limit your intake? Do you look down on pregnant women who continue to drink coffee?