What You Didn’t Know About Coffee During Pregnancy

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We all know how much we have to give up during the nine long months we wait for our bundle of joy. We give up regular clothes, regular shoes, and regular trips to the bathroom. One of the worst things we have to endure without though is caffeine. The daily morning wake-ups, the cappuccinos, even the whipped cream macchiatos. While a little caffeine is ok, more than a cup or two of coffee can push you past the safety guidelines recommended by most experts.

While there are no firm recommendations on the amount of caffeine we should consume, we should still be aiming for moderation, less than 2 cups per day (around 200mg). Consuming caffeine while pregnant is a personal choice, some find they are instantly turned off it, others may find it starts to affect them in different ways. If you find yourself needing the caffeine hit still try limiting this to one cup per day (around 100mg).

You may find that ditching caffeine altogether means increased energy that is also more sustainable, as you avoid the big rush/big crash cycle.

Most experts say increasing magnesium is of utmost importance. Magnesium is one of the minerals required to break down the sugars that we eat into energy. If the levels are low, the heart has to work harder which leads to fatigue. Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet, increase whole grains and introduce a little more fish.

Another big no is skipping meals. Avoid the whole low blood sugar crash altogether by making sure you’re not skipping meals. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you make sure you’re getting a decent amount of protein in that first meal of the day, you are bound to notice a difference as this really does set your body up for the entire day.

Snacking smart is another imperative must. When you’re tired, your body craves things like sugary treats and simple carbohydrates to provide a quick rush of sugar into the blood. The perfect snack includes wholegrain carbs plus protein and healthy fat, such as – wholegrain crackers with peanut butter.

Fortunately, with a few lifestyle changes, pregnant women can still enjoy low or no-caffeine beverages and even a few peppy snacks. I’ve compiled some caffeine replacements to fit your cravings:

  1. Tea

Different types of tea contain different amounts of caffeine. If you are looking for something to replace coffee, however, a cup of green or black tea often contains less than half the amount you would find in a standard cup of Joe, per the American Pregnancy Association.

  1. Fizzy Water

Sodas are the caffeine culprits for many women, whether they contain sugar or not. If you must have a soda, switch to a caffeine-free citrus soda or root beer. Read the labels: not all root beer is caffeine-free. However, What to Expect suggests you consider sparkling water over soda during pregnancy, which has fewer calories and less sugar or sweeteners. Fizzy water can satisfy your carbonation craving without any caffeine, and as a bonus, it promotes hydration.

  1. Decaf Coffee and Tea

It’s kind of cheating because even decaffeinated drinks contain a little caffeine. However, decaf coffee contains minimal caffeine when compared to a regular. If you can’t live without your fancy coffee drinks, indulge in a treat from time to time: just be sure to request your latte in decaf form. You can also find many teas commercially available in decaffeinated varieties, including green and black.

  1. Fresh juice or smoothies.

What can a girl do on those hot summer days when iced coffee is calling your name? Try out fresh juice and/or smoothies for a boatload of nutrients and a natural energy boost! This might even be a great time to invest in a juicer so you can make delicious juice concoctions at home.

Shoshi W.
Shoshi is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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