Dec 27, 2011

I have had to learn the hard way to avoid caffeine during pregnancy…

Ok, we all know I hate being the messenger of bad news, but… I am living proof that Caffeine really is not optimal during pregnancy.  Trust me, this breaks my heart more than yours.  I would drink a pot of coffee on a good day before baby.

Once I got pregnant and was told to limit myself to a maximum of two cups a day I was less than pleased.  I mean come on! I had to give up smoking, drinking, raw fish, yummy soft cheeses… and now loads of caffeine too? Well, I didn’t give up the caffeine all together, screw that! What I have come to realize in my third trimester is that “screw that” really meant, screw me! Here is why I have all of the sudden come to this realization…

Remember how last week I had to go to the hospital with what I thought was preterm labor and found out in the end I was really only dehydrated and had a bladder infection?  That morning I drank a large Mocha and thanks to the diuretic properties of caffeine, I peed my brains out. While I didn't drink more than the 200mg allotted, I still managed to become dehydrated.  This dehydration is what led to me having a day filled with extremely uncomfortable Braxton Hick's contractions.  Basically I had to drink copious amounts of water to get myself, and the baby, balanced back out to stop the contractions and discomfort.

Needless to say the hospital orders were to avoid caffeine all together until my doctor said otherwise. Two days later the nurse practitioner called to let me know that my cultures were still not finished growing, so my test results were still not back from the hospital lab. She also said she was not convinced I had a bladder infection after all.  Since the holiday weekend was coming up she went ahead and prescribed me an antibiotic just in case I needed it.  She promised that taking the antibiotic would not hurt the baby in any way, bladder infection or not.

Long story longer... I decided since she was not “convinced” and I was taking an antibiotic anyway… I could have a cup of coffee.  (Reminder: I am a first time mom ding-dong, and at 33 years old I’m still fond of learning my lessons the hard way!)  After going two days without coffee and drinking gallons of ½ cranberry juice ½ water, l thought I was going to drop a tear when that first sip of coffee hit my lips.  Then 20 minutes later I felt the old pang of menstrual cramps (the feeling of contractions) and then peed out all of the gallons of water I had drank over the last 2 days, in 50 trips to the bathroom over a 10 minute period. Needless to say… lesson learned!

Moral of the story: Caffeine is a diuretic and so is pregnancy! I have 5 weeks left of pregnancy and I am just not going to put myself through anymore unnecessary problems, or trips to the porcelain pot. I am not saying give up caffeinated beverages because it is bad for the baby, because it’s not if you stick to the 200mg a day restriction.  I’m just saying pregnancy is sucky enough at times, so if you want to control some of the sucking, you might want to give up the caffeine until baby arrives. If nothing else, during your third trimester when you are peeing a 100 more times than the second trimester, try to decide if cutting out caffeine would cut your potty breaks in half… It has surely made a noticeable difference in mine.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. Have a cup delivered to you directly AFTER birth at the hospital by a loving significant other or family member. Last pregnancy, the first thing I did on my night home was eat a boatload of sushi and drink two glasses of wine. It was the most pleasant meal I've had in my life. There was no filling up half a roll in. There was no heartburn. No nausea! No after dinner shot of blood thinner. There was only blessed blessed deliciousness and being tipsy while my husband held the baby.

    This time, I haven't given up things besides alcohol (and I had half a cup of red wine at Thanksgiving). I eat raw fish and raw oysters like they are going out style and I just shoved a bit of brie into my mouth just now, heartburn be damned.

  2. Bravo Brave one! My sister said with the second you are less scared to go off the restricted list... Now the raw fish scares the crap out of me, but the brie is something I may have snuck into my mouth a time or two...