When I got pregnant it didn't take long for me to discover the laundry list of Do's and Don'ts associated with this exciting time in my life.
Not only are the endless recommendations a lot to handle, but I started to feel uncomfortable with the varying perspectives and opinions out there! So I decided that it's time to sift through the crap being thrown at me...what are the facts? What are the exact statistics?
I want to make it clear that this wasn't an attempt for me to bypass limitations. I want the absolute best for my little cooking bun! I just felt powerless...like I couldn't make decisions for my pregnancy on my own...that it was a one-size-fits all deal! I also have a hard time being told that I can't do something, when some women do, some women do not...some countries do, some countries do not etc. Who is right? What is right for my child?
Here are some of the opinions that confused the hell out of me:
"One cup of coffee a day is fine"
"Two cups of coffee per week is probably okay"
"Caffeine is terrible for your baby"
"A sip of wine here and there is okay"
"Avoid wine until the third trimester, and then a glass occasionally won't do anything"
"You can't have sushi"
"You can have sushi, just make sure it's a good quality"
"Avoid lots of fish because of the mercury"
"Eat lots of fish for the omegas"
This is merely a taste of the opinions I have received, and if you haven't experience this, stay tuned! So as you can see, the list of Do's and Don'ts became a bit questionable, and when that started to happen for me, I felt like I needed to do my research. Here is what I learned!
My midwife told me that 2 cups (8 ounces) is okay, but to be mindful of the effect caffeine has on me (I react strongly to it!). However, there are tons of people out there that believe no caffeine at all is the way to go. In fact, I was recently sipping on a much needed, very small cup of coffee when I was bombarded by "you shouldn't be drinking that young lady". After feeling like a terrible person for a few minutes I calmly thought, Okay, so what are the stats...why no caffeine? why 2 cups? Where are these numbers coming from, and what is right for my body and my child? Here is an excerpt from "Expecting Better: Why Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong-And What You Really Need to Know" by Emily Oster that I found interesting.
The big concern with caffeine and pregnancy is that it might lead to higher rates of miscarriage. Caffeine can cross the placenta, and it`s not clear how the fetus processes it....although there is speculation about these effects, they have not been proven. What has been shown in a well-controlled way is that very high doses of caffeine do cause miscarriages in mice and rats. But these doses are much, much higher than what people consume. In order to produce pregnancy problems in rats researchers require 250 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram per day. Translated to a human of 150 lbs, that`s a bit more than 60 cups of coffee per day
I began looking at various studies of women who drank no coffee, 0.5-2 cups, more than 2 cups and more than 3 cups of coffee per day that have been studied across North America, and another in Denmark. All of which came to similar conclusions: Between the non-caffeine group, and the 2 cups per day group evidence of miscarriage was statistically non-existent. What I found shocking is that in some studies, the women who drank more than 3 cups per day had a lower rate of miscarriage than the other groups. Perhaps this is a reflection of the varying results of tests and why the topic is still considered unproven.
Since the studies show that there is no evidence directly linking coffee consumption to miscarriage we should ask ourselves (being in charge of our own pregnancy) what is the bottom line? All evidence supports having up to 2 cups, even more. Personally, I know my threshold and drink caffeine only when needed, but I now feel comfortable knowing the evidence out there. It`s important for me to stress that I am not saying that my decision is the Right or Only way to go! However I do want to advocate for your ability to consider your pregnancy as a personal path...Especially during a time of So many opposing opinions out there! Becoming informed and reading these statistics helped me immensely, so I hope this helps you with your personal decision to! xo
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo