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caffeine in first trimester

I drink a cup of coffee each day. Only one. I've been reading about caffeine in general and the rising incidence in miscarriage but I've also spoken to several of my friends who've told me they would drink an entire liter of coca cola in their first trimester to relieve morning sickness and they have perfectly healthy babies. I already don't feel well; pregnancy is hard for me. It's hard for me to sleep so I wake up utterly exhausted. Is it that bad? I'd like to hear first hand if anyone would like to offer.

Fri. Sep 7, 11:33am

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don't you think it'd be wiser to seek advice from your ob/gyn?? you can't seriously be about to follow advice regarding a healthy pregnancy and whether or not caffeine is okay FOR YOU from some strangers on a world wide website, are you? scary stuff...

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:05 PM

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12:05 - my ob/gyn didn't have time for these types of discussions! I would suggest a public health nurse!

OP - from my own research on the topic, here's what I think. One cup a day probably won't hurt, as far as I can tell. Do a search on caffeine during pregnancy and it gives guidelines for recommended maximum of mg of caffeine per day, and one cup is way below. On the other hand, better safe than sorry - will you be going into withdrawel if you switch to decaf for awhile? It's a personal thing - I had the occasional coke during my pregnancy and had the world's healthiest boy. But do discuss this with someone more qualified if you're very concerned!

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:20 PM

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My doctor doesn't have time either but even so, who says a doctor has the end all? I drank 2 cups of coffee a day and knew I shouldn't but my children are beyond healthy.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:22 PM

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oooh, yeah. i want advice from someone who had more concern for her own desire for coofee than for the well-being of her child. my friend smoked throughout her pregnancy and had a healthy baby, too. but now, at 3 years old, he has tantrums, can't communicate well, and is socially challenged. how dare you give someone else the same BAD advice you followed, knowing it was not in the best interest of the child. how dare you?! if your ob/gyn has no time to address your questions, find another ob/gyn. it's not like growing a plant. you can't return the item (your baby) to the store for an exchange or refund if you mess up. do what's in the best interest of your child, not what fixes your caffeine jones. apples give you more of a boost and have no ill side-effects.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 12:32 PM

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My mother drank caffeine, smoked cigarettes and had the occasional glass of wine while she was pregnant with all the children in my family (this was in the 60's and 70's) and she ended up with 5 healthy, normal weight and normal developed baby girls.

Not saying that you should go do that-but I think a cup of coffee here and there is no more bad for you than the processed food that doctors don't tell people to avoid during pregnancy. Now that sh*t will do some harm!

Friday, September 07, 2007, 1:00 PM

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and there are farming pregnant women who birth their babies into the rice paddies...why f*ck around and take chances now that we have evidence of what precautions pregnant women should take? if you're not repsonsible enough to take care of yourself while pregnant, how are you prepared to take care of yourself and a child once it's born? suck it up and feel what it's like to want what you shouldn't or can't have right now. you're going to experience going without once your child is born, whether it be sleep, time on the computer, a favorite tv show, going to a movie, eating dinner in one sitting, is the time to get used to putting your baby first.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 1:11 PM

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I am half way through my pregnancy now, and I haven't had a drop of caffeine since I got pregnant and I was a regular coffee drinker before. I know that 1 cup won't hurt you, they said, possibly. But why did I quitt? Because if anything bad happened, I would at least had a piece a mind that I did all I knew to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Cutting out caffeine completely was easier for me. Plus there are other problems with caffeine, it dehydrates you, interferes with your calcium absorbtion and can give you heart flutters.
I am sure the nurse will tell you that one cup is okay, millions of women have done it, but really it is up to you what you want to do.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 1:18 PM

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12:32 Hmm, you just describes most 3 year old, how dare you address anyone in this fashion. I bet you don't even have children nor have you been pregnant.

I am at the end of my first trimester and I drink one cup of joe a day. I've read studies that say one cup is not going to do any damage, what they worry about is drinking so much caffeine that it affects the developing nervous system. You should worry more about excessive amounts of sugar not one small cup of coffee. They even recommend drinking a small glass of red wine sometimes.
Think about generations ago. Women drank, smoked and did all sorts of things they tell us not to do nowadays. I'm not saying go out and do that stuff but my point is that back 50 years ago we didn't have hardly any issues with the things we have nowadays and all the kids on medications.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 2:20 PM

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If your OBGYN is too busy to answer a question you need to find a different doctor. You should be able to be an active person in your medical care and questions need answers.

My OB said an occasional cup is fine. And she did tell me to stay away from, hot dogs, deli meats and certain cheeses as well as a limit on fish and shellfish. She also gave me a healthy pregnancy diet list of things that I should be eating.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 2:23 PM

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how presumptuous. must be the hormones. maybe someday you will see first hand the differences between an average 3 year old's behaviour and that of a 3 year old whose mother put her wants first during pregnancy. hopefully not, for your child's sake. people who try to condone their shortcomings by repeating "well she did this and that and her kids are fine" exemplify the type of selfish attitude that some pregnant women display in not giving up the foods & beverages they were used to enjoying before pregnancy. like nicole richie eating sushi. and by the way, i have 3 children for whom i "gave up" many enjoyable foods and drinks while pregnant, and for whom i continue to 'sacrifice" my desires when necessary. who's the "they" whoseopinions you rely so heavily upon?

Friday, September 07, 2007, 2:39 PM

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It's unfair to make the connection you made of your friend's diet and the behavior of her three year old. There is absolutely no way for you to know why he acts whatever way you are describing. He could just be a crazy kid, and unless he has been studied by scientists on genetic and other levels, his behavior is irrelevant to the question.

That being said, one cup of coffee (there is a certain amount of caffeine that is safe, I don't know the amount) a day is fine. Maybe just cut back or mix in some decaf to lighten the amount if it concerns you. I switched to decaf while I was pregnant unless I was extremely tired, but I also didn't drink coffee everyday.

Definitely ask your OB or nurse for a list of foods you can/can't have, but don't worry about asking internet people a question, since everyone learns from experience and we can share our experiences with you. It's not "scary stuff" like someone else said. (BTW to the person who said that, that was uncalled for, pregnancy is hard enough, especially to be free of people judging you, you didn't need to add to that)

Friday, September 07, 2007, 4:15 PM

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yeah, right, okay. smoking cigarettes didn't contribute to her child's behaviour. have you witnessed the child in question? have you met him and hung out with him? do you have any experience with children born to women who neglected their health and used/abused drugs/cigarettes/alcohol? have you ever volunteered at a day care center devoted to these poor kids? i have and i know what i'm talking about. people who truly care about providing their children, born and unborn, with the best health care possible would not continue to see an ob/gyn that ignored their questions or who didn't have time for them. nor would they gather "information" from random, unknown internet sources. i do not care how hard your pregnancy is, you shouldn't knowing endanger your self or your child by following "advice" of strangers.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 5:08 PM

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To all the people who are saying that if your ob/gyn doesn't....(fill in the blank) you should get a new one: Be thankful you have a choice of doctors. I was lucky just to get into an ob/gyn instead of a general practicitioner, and I had to drive 2 hours to see them. Some of us can't just up and leave our doctors if we don't like them, because there are no other options.

Friday, September 07, 2007, 5:15 PM

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one cup of coffee a day will NOT harm your unborn child. But I do strongly suggest totally eliminating all artificial sugars and sweetners. There is not yet enough research to indicate whether these are OK. I would err on the safe side and cut them out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007, 4:21 AM

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Hey, consider this - sure the coffee may not HARM your child. But, ever consider why so many children have ADD and ADHD these days? Hyperactive kids? Kids with dyslexia? COnsider all this duing the time your baby's brain is forming, and try to eliminate things that really are actually drugs (as labeled by the FDA) such as coffee from your body. We know those are drugs and you do not want your child't brain forming when you are on them. Eliminate your baby these problems in the future.

Sunday, September 09, 2007, 8:52 AM

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just give it up, what is the point pregnant or not, you won't die without coffee, infact you will get healthier drinking water, isn't that the point? Why put garbage into your body? Feed your body (and baby) what it needs.

Sunday, September 09, 2007, 2:18 PM

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why not add some baileys and call it a day?

Monday, September 10, 2007, 9:08 AM

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advice from a pregnant biologist

Geez, people are pretty self-righteous huh? Here's what I think. I am pregnant, and I am a paranoid control freak about it -- I want a healthy baby. But I also know that a stressed, jonesing mom does not help either. I read everything I could find (btw, real scientists use the internet for their research too, they just go to legitimate sources of info like research articles in Pubmed, and I concluded like a lot of other pregnancy topics, they really don't know the LEVEL or the TIME of danger (ie, how much caffeine is bad? when in development?), but the information is based on large quantities, and that seems clearly to increase miscarriage. (strangely, drinking large amts of decaf is correlated with miscarriage TOO, but the researchers think this is simply because nonviable pg = less nausea = able to drink more coffee). So what I decided to do is to start decreasing the amt of caffeine. Now I am drinking a morning cup of 1/3 caffeinated, 2/3 decaf coffee, and I'm sure that is fine. In the rest of the day I try to go for fruit juice, or decaf coffee. Better for you and baby anyway if you can teach yourself to like fruit juice and water over coffee and coke. But don't kill yourself going cold turkey -- ease off it. And do everything you can to improve your sleep and energy levels in other ways. Good luck. I think the trick to being a baby-growing machine AND a mom is to try for a comfortable level of being "good", rather than trying for perfection. If mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Monday, September 10, 2007, 10:32 AM

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caffeine, pregnancy, immature women who are allowed to speak

Hi, there are a lot of immature women in here, just thought I would point that out. "How dare you?!" and "f*ck this...blah blah blah.."... how did any of you allow yourselves to procreate? I bet more than half of you shoved cake and Cinnabon down your throats telling yourselves your "eating for two", that can't be healthy for a baby, I heard it gives them weight problems. But I'm sure the other half of you did the same thing and have athletic children. However, I can still have a stiff neck and condemn you for shoving that crap in your faces because I'm probably better than you when it comes to a healthy diet.

A person will go to a forum and ask for advice from experienced females so that they know what questions to ask their doctor, and also so they can point out what they've heard, and find out what true or false. Oh ma' gosh!!! That's what I AM doing!! Holy canoli! But then I read your crap advice comments and realized I'd much rather tell you all how wrong and uneducated you all are. Remember that when you point a finger, their are five pointing back at you. Go ahead and tell me about yourselves, and I will tell you where you are VERY WRONG.

DEAR "Caffeine in first trimester",

You are right in doing your research no matter where you start. Yes ask your doctor/nurse/random hospital whatever, about caffeine. I had a spontaneous abortion and I did nothing wrong, I also had problems when I did everything right. I would start cutting back on coffee, as it is obviously a concern of yours, to like every few days until you stop. Or just stop because there are worse ingredients in coffee than caffeine. Start looking in to healthier energetic type choices, and do your research there to see what works for you. I too have had to stop, I didn't drink coffee but I did have "Jamba Juice" with "energy" in it. The basic principal of pregnancy is to eat and drink healthy, and we all know what is and isn't healthy for us, so why would it be for the baby? That's the best non-doctor advice I have for you. The people who have previously answered your question may have babies, but they aren't very educated or wise. Let me know if you have any other questions. Remember, doctors are also people and opinions may differ from doc to doc. Keep up with the research! You're doing just fine.

Thursday, May 07, 2009, 10:45 AM

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First of all... why is it that as soon as babies (no matter if born or unborn) are the topic, people forget how to communicate politely? I know this is a touchy subject for some, but please -- be kind and respectful of each other.

Now for my input on the matter: I haven't researched coffee and pregnancies in particular. I have been living in the US for a while now and had several friends who got pregnant, and I do have to say that people here are so much more stressed out about pregnancies than people in Europe. Of course you shouldn't drink, smoke, etc. However, the whole 'don't eat lunchmeats, don't stand in front of a microwave, never have coffee, don't have sugar' gets a bit excessive at times. I think the most important part is that you eat healthy, work out in a reasonable manner, and try to not stress yourself too much (stress hormones are probably worse for the unborn child than an daily cup of coffee).

And babies in Europe are fine. They are healthy, happy children, they don't have more behavioral problems, they are not dumber, and (esp. in response to 8:52) they don't have ADD or ADHD and start getting drugged up at an early age.

So just relax. Or if you cannot relax, don't address others in a way that will increase their stress levels. Because if I was pregnant right now, the tone of some of your responses would have seriously upset me and harmed my baby more than a cup of coffee.

OP -- I think you're fine. You'll have a wonderful baby. I'm happy and excited for you!

Thursday, May 07, 2009, 1:32 PM

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Don't compare us to Europe our environment is totally different- very contaminated with xenoestrogens. Plenty of people try really hard and have unhealthy babies. Be careful- drink de-caf. Maybe one cup of caffeine won't or will hurt your baby, but in the long run, being someone who takes shortcuts and has a careless attitude about her children will take its toll.

Thursday, May 07, 2009, 1:55 PM

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Well, if the main problem here is the environment and not the coffee, start stressing about the environment and not the coffee.

Thursday, May 07, 2009, 2:35 PM

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Caffeine and pregnancy

Hello, here is some information about caffeine intake and pregnancy from some books I have read during my pregnancy, I am ten weeks along, and have also been sick, I found out when I was six weeks:
"Caffeine: Restrict soda, carbonated beverages, and all caffeine, especially during the first trimester, when miscarriage rates are highest. After that, up to 200 mg of caffeine a day (one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea) is considered okay." -YOU: Having a Baby, by Roizen, MD and Oz, MD
"For over 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that pregnant women avoid caffeine.High intake of caffeine has been associated with decreased birth-weight and a smaller head size in newborns. Some researchers also believe there is an association between caffeine use and miscarriage, stillbirth and premature labor. Cut down on caffeine, or eliminate it from your diet. It crosses the placenta to the baby. High levels of caffeine in a pregnant woman- 400mg a day, equal to four cups of tea, soda, or coffee- may affect a baby's developing respiratory system. One study showed this exposure before birth might be linked to sudden infant death syndrome."- From Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Curtis, MD, MPH and Schuler, MS.
My doctor told me that 200 mg was okay as well. I would have to agree that if your doctor is unwilling to spend time answering your questions then it may be in your best interest to find a new one. I know many people drink coffee, smoke, etc. and have no complications. I drank four cups a day and a lot of soda for the first six weeks not knowing I was pregnant. As soon as I found out I cut it out of my diet, I would rather be safe than sorry. I tried every bit of reasonable advice to curb the sickness till I found what worked for me. Find some good resources for all the questions you have, I would recommend both of those books as well as WebMd and The Mayo Clinic for some online sources.

Sunday, March 07, 2010, 1:57 PM

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I limited myself to a cup a day and I have 2 healthy children. It was hard to give it up totally. My mom smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day and then cut back to only 3 a day in her pregnancy and she considers that a huge accomplishment. I am very healthy.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 8:22 AM

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I'm sure you got more info than what you wanted or needed, but here's my experience.
With my first one, before I found out that I was pregnant, I used to drink huge cups of coffee because I was falling asleep at my desk. After I found out, I cut out all caffeine. With my second one, I needed coffee since my first was still little and was keeping me awake at night. I drank one small cup of coffee a day. Both of them are now teenagers, and fine.
I would suggest minimizing your intake of caffeine as much as possible but a little bit won't hurt. I had a friend whose doctor recommended drinking a glass of wine a day to help with the morning sickness.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010, 1:51 PM

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Coffee was the only thing that I looked forward to in my pregnancy. Sharing my body, feeling lousy, you have to have something that makes you feel good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 9:45 AM

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1:51 ~ I'm guessing the OP is no longer pregnant unless she's an elephant, don't they gestate for a couple of years? This thread is two and a half years old.

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 10:48 AM

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