Written by: Sheri November 24 2010
Have I expressed my love of coffee on this blog? I do love it.Not just the taste, but the experience of a warm cup in my hands, the earthy smell of the beans, the sipping.Ginger tea just doesn’t provide the same effect.
During my first pregnancy, I stayed away from caffeine all together.Toward the end, I allowed myself one cup of decaf a week, but that felt like a special treat.I had heard of studies that linked caffeine with low-birth weight, and I was determined to do everything possible to have a healthy kid.
When I learned I was pregnant this time around, one of the first things that caught my eye was a note from my doctor’s office about caffeine intake: basically one (normal-sized) cup of coffee a day is safe for the baby.
Earlier this year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued guidelines that recommend less than 200 mg of caffeine a day for pregnant women. (An 8-ounce cup of brewed, drip coffee averages 137 mg of caffeine.)
“Finally, we have good evidence to show that having a cup of coffee a day is fine and it poses no risk to the fetus,” Dr. William H. Barth Jr., chairman of the committee on obstetric practice and chief of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told U.S. News and World Report.
Lately, I have been indulging in my one cup a day.A lot of days, it’s the little break of sanity that allows me to stop, refresh, and carry on.The caffeine can be just enough to help me keep up with Aaron during those late afternoon periods of low-energy.
It’s not a choice everyone will make.I know plenty of women who still stay away from caffeine altogether, and others who carry on with several cups of coffee a day and have perfectly healthy kids.In one study in Denmark, women less than 20 weeks pregnant were randomly assigned to drinking caffeinated instant coffee or decaffeinated instant coffee. The study found drinking three cups of coffee a day in early pregnancy had no effect on birth weight, preterm births or growth restriction.
For now, I’ll follow the doctor’s advice and enjoy my one cup of dark roasted goodness.Yum!