One annoying thing that pregnant women sometimes have to deal with is feeling like they are being judged for everything that they put into their mouths. Of course, there are things that are unsafe to eat during pregnancy and the list of those things is something that most obstetricians and midwives discuss with their pregnant patients very early in the pregnancy. Unfortunately for pregnant women, everyone in society has his or her own idea about what pregnant women should and should not be eating.
These judgments from others could not come at a worse time – I mean, come on, those cravings are very difficult to ignore. Even when that lady standing behind you in line at McDonalds is whispering to her friend as you order a couple of double cheeseburgers. One food item that can be the cause of many a judgmental stare is coffee. Coffee tastes good. What’s more, it can perk you up a bit if you are feeling tired. So, is coffee safe to drink during pregnancy? Can you tell those judgmental whisperers behind you in line at Starbucks to, um, focus their attention elsewhere? Unfortunately, there is no real consensus on this issue.
The March of Dimes suggests that pregnant women should consume 200 milligrams or less of caffeine each day. That is approximately the amount of caffeine in one, twelve ounce cup of coffee. Excessive caffeine intake has been shown in some studies to be associated with miscarriage, yet other studies have shown no correlation. Other studies have associated caffeine with decreased blood flow to the placenta and other things. Also, coffee is acidic and can aggravate heartburn. I have experienced that, and it is not pretty.
Perhaps the best way to go as far as coffee during pregnancy is concerned is to play it safe. I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be, but I do consider the March of Dimes to be a credible source of pregnancy related health advice. One cup of coffee a day seems to be generally acceptable, but cutting it out altogether most days could help you to feel better. Fortunately, since a little coffee seems to be safe, you can indulge your craving once in a while. If there are any judgmental onlookers, you get to decide whether to look the other way or to let your hormones do the talking.
Photo by CarolinaJG on morguefile.com.