A few months ago, I wrote that I was giving up the java.  Although I didn’t want to publically admit it at the time, one of the major motivating factors was that we were gearing up to try to get pregnant.  I was a serious coffee drinker, consuming 2 – 4 cups a day, and figured that I should probably cut back before conception.

Cutting way back on coffee wasn’t as terrible as I originally thought it would be.  So much of my coffee ‘addiction,’ I realized, was about the ritual of coffee, not the actual caffeine itself.   I used other quit techniques to whittle myself down to a coffee or two a week and a cup of tea fives a week.  After a few weeks, I got to the point that I didn’t even NEED the caffeine to function.  I never thought that would happen – trust me!


Giving up coffee in advance of actually getting pregnant worked out pretty well – I really can’t imagine combining morning sickness with coffee withdrawals and crankiness. 


A few people have asked me what my views are on drinking caffeine while pregnant.  I’ll admit – even though I chose to give up my daily cup(s) of coffee, I have pretty relaxed views on caffeine intake while pregnant (actually, I have pretty relaxed views about a lot of stuff while pregnant, but that’s a post for another day). 


The issue with caffeine consumption is that caffeine crosses the placenta and is ingested by the baby; a small amount might not impact you, but the tiny baby certainly feels it.  High levels of caffeine consumption has been linked to birth defects, preterm delivery, and low-birth weight in animal testing; there’s also a link between high caffeine and delayed conception (source).  Other studies have shown an inclusive link between high caffeine and fetal growth restriction (source).  And, scarily enough, many studies (but not all) demonstrate a link between high levels of caffeine and miscarriage (source).


Now, when I say that I have ‘relaxed’ views about caffeine during pregnancy, I don’t mean to imply that I’m slamming espresso.  I have broken down and had coffee three times over the past nine weeks (and it tasted SO good), and I’ll drink tea nearly every single day.  I do, however, try to limit my caffeine intake to less than 100 milligrams when I drink it (side note: Did you know that Starbucks decaf actually contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine?) .  Most doctors will recommend you keep your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams or less, so I’m definitely erring on the side of caution. 


Why am I drinking caffeine at all?  Dude – I’m only human.  I totally respect women who become pregnant and eat and drink like saints.  More power to you… I just can’t do it all the time.  When I’m running on 5 hours of sleep and need to drive 40 miles to the Connecticut airport, you can bet I’m going to drink a small cup of coffee – otherwise, I’ll fall asleep at the wheel! 


As part of this journey, I’m trying hard not to beat myself up for not being the ‘perfect’ pregnant person… I think this is an easy trap to fall into, and I know I don’t need to start the mommy guilt already.  There’s always something to fear and obsess over when you’re pregnant, and the added stress of such guilt certainly isn’t doing me or the baby any favors.  So I’m really trying to take a moderate approach to things like caffeine because 1) the evidence that it’s 100% horrible in moderation is very inconclusive; 2) I’m making the effort to reduce my intake; and 3) my emotional health is perhaps just as important as my physical health. 


I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’re also preggers or a momma.  Did you give up coffee?  Did you eat and drink like a saint or play it more moderately?  How did you balance physical health with all those ‘guilty’ feelings?



  • kathleen @ the daily crumb November 10, 2011, 8:44 am

    i gave up coffee a few months ago when we really started trying to get pregnant (still trying!). like you, my doctor suggested limiting to 300 mg/day, but my acupuncturist is the one that told me to get rid of it all together. i still drink starbucks decaf regularly. i personally don’t think it is going to “make or break” a pregnancy, BUT, i also think there’s nothing wrong with controlling what you can control, especially with pregnancy, something we actually have very little control over. does that make sense?

    at the same time, though, you cant stress about perfection or you will drive yourself bat crazy (trust me… i’ve done it!)

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:21 pm

      I hope you get your sticky bebe soon!

  • Michelle @ The Cooking Life November 10, 2011, 8:47 am

    I’m almost 18 weeks pregnant and have definitely not been a saint when it comes to my diet! I do try to make wise decisions but sometimes, I don’t. I’m not a big red meat eater to begin with but in this pregnancy (my first), I’ve really needed protein so I’ve eaten a lot more red meat than what I would normally do (also eat fish and chicken). I’m not a big caffeine drinker – water’s my favorite – but I’ve missed the taste of black coffee so once in a while I’ll drink some decaf. Mainly I drink decaf orange spice tea and decaf earl grey. I’m being really cautious here, haha, but I think it’s just first time mommy nervousness. I certainly didn’t want to be a pregnant woman who threw caution to the wind and ate whatever she felt like. Thankfully we have pretty healthy eating habits plus we eat at a vegan cafeteria on campus 3x a week – so I get my veggies there if I’m not able to cook at home. ONe thing I’ve definitely kept up with is exercise. I’m not running like I used to but I work out at home several times a week and walk on campus as much as possible (campus – my hubby and I both work full time for a large university). Good luck on everything!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:23 pm

      Walking is my fav exercise! 🙂 Congrats on your pregnancy!

  • Emily November 10, 2011, 8:50 am

    I’m neither pregnant nor a mother, but was wondering if you’ve any thoughts on giving up coffee and feeling the difference in your joints? I’m currently eating as little grain as you are drinking coffee & there’s been some improvement and running is definitely easier, but I read this http://www.livestrong.com/article/281039-coffee-joint-pain/ and wondered if really i ought not be finally cutting back my coffee too. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:25 pm

      Interesting article! You know, I do definitely have less joint pain than I used to do in the past (overall), and even before ‘quitting,’ I drank less. So maybe it IS related.

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat November 10, 2011, 8:51 am

    This is one of the biggest things I’ve thought about for the day (far in the future) when I want to get pregnant. I believe that you’re being perfectly safe, and my class in developmental nutrition said that about 1 cup per day is perfectly safe. All I know is I get headaches if I don’t have it within an hour of waking, so more power to you for being so strong! My biggest fear is not knowing for those first couple of weeks!

  • vks November 10, 2011, 8:52 am

    I didn’t know about it delaying conception! Have you read anything about caffeine’s affect on men when trying to conceive?

    • crystal November 10, 2011, 2:06 pm

      All I have is my own experience, but my husband drinks 2 pots a day and I drank a pot before we started ttc. Both kids were made on the very first try.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:26 pm

      Not sure but I quickly googled and found some links – try googling ‘caffeine men fertility’!

  • Ali November 10, 2011, 8:54 am

    I switched to decaf when I was pregnant, and didn’t feel the effects at all (likely because I was sleeping a ton more). Something that did bother me, though, was how many baristas made comments to me about drinking coffee. I had several tell me I shouldn’t be drinking coffee because of the chemicals used to process decaf coffee. It was so annoying! Just one aspect of people feeling like they have the right to monitor pregnant women’s bodies for them. You really need to develop a thick skin when pregnant!

    • penny November 10, 2011, 8:59 am

      OMG yes! Co-opting women’s bodies is common enough. When pregnant, its worse. The only time is recently when I had my newborn in the carrier and I ordered a large mochachino. The barista warned me it was 3 shots of espresso. We agreed that the small would do fine and allow my kid to sleep 🙂

      • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:26 pm

        Yessss. I have a feeling I will get loads of inappropriate advice.

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe November 10, 2011, 8:55 am

    I think you’re completely right about stress being just as bad or worse than some of the “no-no” foods during pregnancy. It’s good that you’ve switched mostly to tea too. Most of the caffeine in tea is released in the first steep, so if you re-brew the teabag several times after that you can still get the ritual of making and drinking something without all the caffeine. I know a lot of tea drinkers that are sensitive to caffeine just throw out the first brew entirely!

  • penny November 10, 2011, 8:57 am

    Give up coffee?! Heck no. Two full term healthy pregnancies. With my first I gave up coffee and Diet Coke during the first tri but had a cup every few days later on. This last time I had a toddler at home and work full time – my single coffee a day was lovely. Lots of milk, no artificial sweeteners but totally necessary.

    I didn’t eat like a saint when pregnant. I had tuna about once a month. I had sushi this pregnancy – a few times from well known sources. And at the end of both I had a drink. Not much – maybe half a glass of wine a total of 6 times. And I ate candy.

    Its hard to balance it all. And for my first pregnancy I was super careful. I think its normal to get more lax.

    Take care and enjoy whatever tastes good and doesn’t stress you out.

  • Krista November 10, 2011, 8:57 am

    I am 29 weeks pregnant with my second, and I have 1-1.5 cups (small styrofoam ones) of coffee each day. That is less than the 4 I had pre-pregnancy! I did the same when pregnant with my 4 year old, I made sure my Dr was OK with it of course. I am also still running, although way slower and the runs are getting shorter as I get bigger. And I lift weights and do various Exercise TV or DVDs. My Dr told me to keep up the good work as long as I feel OK!

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner November 10, 2011, 8:59 am

    First of all, I think it’s impossible to eat like a saint when pregnant. The hormones make it extremely difficult to eat “saintly” since most of the things you might normally eat become totally disgusting to you. (I had a very strong aversion to raw spinach – something I would eat everyday in a salad + green monster before pregnancy. It is slowly making it’s way back into my diet postpartum, but it’s been difficult.) As for all the restrictions during pregnancy, I don’t think people need to worry completely. I still consumed drippy eggs (my uncle who is an OBGYN said that your gastric system should take care of it – anyone is at risk for E.coli with undercooked eggs, not just pregnant women) and would occasionally have goat/feta cheese, although that would freak my husband out.

    I did give up my daily morning coffee though. Like you, mine was more of a ritual – I didn’t need the caffeine. I drank it for probably the first few weeks then gave it up (I didn’t have much morning sickness). However, having an aversion to it made it pretty easy to give up. I haven’t introduced it back into my diet yet, and I don’t think I will. My teeth look so much better without all the staining it caused! Ha! I will occasionally have a Starbucks treat, but I don’t need coffee in my life anymore.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:28 pm

      My doc said dippy eggs were okay too, as long as they were steaming – YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • Jen November 10, 2011, 9:00 am

    Great timing on this post, I actually decided at the beginning of the week that I’d be cutting out the coffee after today because we’re trying to get pregnant. (Today is Swiss Almond Chocolate coffee at work, so I had to have one more cup!)

    I agree that moderation is okay, but will definitely be erring on the side of caution. There is no such thing as perfect, but instead what is right for you!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:29 pm

      Good luck with getting preggers!

  • Nikky November 10, 2011, 9:00 am

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I feel like every time I go to research some kind of food or whatever, there’s a forum somewhere talking about how such-and-such is going to make me give birth to a lizard or something.

    I’m for sure trying to be a little more cautious, I didn’t have the greatest eating habits and I almost NEVER drank water before I got pregnant. I’ve changed both of those, but I’m not giving up all deli meat, or a glass of soda with dinner or anything. I had a friend who gave up sugar completely the whole time she was pregnant. Sorry, sometimes momma needs a piece of chocolate.

    I’m one of 6 kids, though, so I do have my mom going “Listen, not one of you came out anything else than perfect… except maybe Nani with the suction cup mark on her head… and I ate like a normal human.”

    I guess I just try to figure what’s better, me stressing and freaking out over every. little. thing. I put in my mouth, or being relaxed and doing the best I can with what I know?

  • Beth @ 990 Square November 10, 2011, 9:02 am

    I’m not pregnant or actively trying, but I did talk to my doctor about this for “one day”. My doctor is VERY laid back about a lot of things during pregnancy (caffeine and beer/wine) and she said less than 2 cups is okay. I dread giving up my java, but the thing I would be really worried about giving up is my prescription meds. Going back to a life ruled by chronic bronchitis–>scary!

  • Vicky S. November 10, 2011, 9:03 am

    I actually haven’t given up coffee during my pregnancy. I cut back during the first trimester… mostly because I was throwing up ALL day for a few weeks (it was BAD). Now I am about 29 weeks along and I have a latte every morning. I do notice my little guy gets more active after my morning cup… maybe he’ll grow up a coffee drinker.

    I also believe that taking a sip of wine or beer is ok every once in awhile… my doctor thinks having a small glass of wine a week is ok… I wouldn’t drink a glass in one shot, but a sip here and there is a-ok with me.

    On another note… I have to admit I do get frustrated with people who decide to lecture me on the fact that I am a vegetarian… apparently A LOT of people think you need meat when you are pregnant… any thoughts? I think people can have a healthy pregnancy while being vegetarian or vegan!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:31 pm

      Don’t even get me started on the vegetarian lectures. I find that most people who lecture me about being a vegetarian are completely unhealthy and never touch a fruit or vegetable. “But where do you get your PROTEIN?” Ugh yeah. Where do you get your VITAMINS? LOL

      I take an Omega 3 supplement and my prenatal has B vitamins, so I’m sure I’m covered.

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over November 10, 2011, 9:04 am

    I think mommas-to-be should be as healthy as they can during pregnancy but it shouldn’t be a major source of stress (with the obvious exceptions of smoking and drinking – they gotta stop!). If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t be stressing – that’s not healthy either.

  • Dara November 10, 2011, 9:05 am

    For my first pregnancy, I started weaning myself off coffee a month or so before we wanted to start trying. I also became pregnant that first month of trying. I didn’t have any coffee at all during that pregnancy…it actually didn’t appeal to me AT ALL.

    I’m pregnant again (due April 3) and I’ve been a little more lax about what I eat and drink. I’ve always been a cream with a bit of coffee type of girl so if I’m feeling the craving for some joe, I pour the last dripplings of coffee from the pot my husband makes for himself in the morning. I’d say it’s less than a 1/4 cup. I load it up with milk and it’s delicious. I don’t do this every day — just a few times a week.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:31 pm

      April is a good month to be born in 🙂 Congrats!

  • Amy November 10, 2011, 9:05 am

    I’m almost 8 weeks preggers with #3 and I have to say I still get nervous about caffeine. I’m an ice tea drinker, which has less than coffee…..but I still try to limit myself to 1-2 cups a day.

    What I’ve been struggling with is, should I take zofran for my nausea or not? I got so sick all day with my last 2 pregnancies for the first trimester. I beared with it without meds for the first one, but the second one I took the zofran (which was a miracle drug for me). This time I really really tried to just deal with the nausea, but my attention to my kids was suffering and I couldn’t eat much. I started taking it on Tuesday. Life is great again now :). But that was a hard choice to make. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t take Tylenol when I have a headache. My 3.5 year old daughter was getting affected by my nausea….she started crying at preschool because she was worried about me at home. It was the right decision for our family…..but still hard.

    • Vicky S. November 10, 2011, 9:09 am

      for some reason Tums helps a lot with my nausea… I have no idea why…

      • tracy November 10, 2011, 11:11 am

        Mint flavor has been shown to help with nausea

    • Tricia November 10, 2011, 11:15 am

      Ok I am confused. My doctor gave my Zofran and told me I could take it every 8 hours as needed. I know taking no meds is best but are you afraid thata Zofran may be dangerous? I take it at least once a day. I am so sick.

    • Susan - Nurse on the Run November 10, 2011, 11:57 am

      Drugs are a wonderful thing, which is why we have them. 🙂 I’m an advocate of taking them when you need them, and Zofran is a Category B drug for pregnancy. I don’t work with pregnant women, but in the hospital we give Zofran allll the time for nausea and it is a wonder drug. (I even got it myself once…so good.) Use it if it works…and remember to refer to your doctor with any questions.

      • Tricia November 10, 2011, 2:11 pm

        Thsnks nurse Susan!

      • Amy November 10, 2011, 2:54 pm

        I’m a physician assistant and prescribed zofran for my surgical patients all the time……I know it’s safe…..but it just makes me nervous taking any meds while pregnant. It’s really just a stumbling block I have within myself. I feel like I should be able to fight the nausea on my own naturally, but I cannot. I know I’m a strong person, but it makes me feel weak to take it. But, I’m a better mom and wife for taking it….and most likely helping the baby more as I’m able to eat more balanced meals and keep them in :).

        • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:36 pm

          It’s better to be medicated then puking up all your food and water! Maybe just take it on the really bad days?

  • Rebecca November 10, 2011, 9:06 am

    My mother drank coffee every.single.day when she was pregnant with me. I turned out fine! A woman knowns her own body better than any medical specialist. I can understand limiting caffeine, but hey, if a cup here and there makes you happy and keeps you awake at the wheel, then drink it!

  • Crystal November 10, 2011, 9:07 am

    Thank you for addressing this, it is one of my biggest pet peeves that people think decaf = caffeine free! If your choice is to consume caffeine while pregnant, fine, but decaf counts! What are your plans on gluten, knowing how it effects your body? I am gluten-free 95% of the time, similar to you, and am curious about your plan!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:36 pm

      I’m still trying to mainly eat GF but it is soo sooo hard.

      • Sarah November 11, 2011, 2:23 am

        Have you given any thought to whether not eating gluten will affect your bub in any way? Like if it would affect his/her gluten tolerance? It probably has no correlation, but its something I’ve been worried about!! I was diagnosed with celiac a few months back, and am 3 months pregnant- getting cravings for bagels has not been an enjoyable experience.
        By the way, I’m so happy for you 🙂 you are going to be an amazing mum 🙂

        • Marie November 11, 2011, 9:33 am

          I’m not sure if gluten works like peanuts does – I know that if you’re allergic to dairy and you drink it while breastfeeding, you can pass on the ‘allergy’ to your kids (I think – don’ quote me on that). I’m not sure if it works the same for gluten.

  • sharon November 10, 2011, 9:07 am

    I love that you were honest in this post. When I was pregnant (9 Years ago!!) I tried to limit my caffeine intake. I was not a coffee drinker than, but I would allow myself to have a soda about every other day. It is hard to completely give up your life style when pregnant and change all of your dietary habits. You still have to live for those 9 months, but make some modifications. And, don’t worry about any guilty feelings you have, they are normal when your pregnant and carrying another life. Over all, you have a very healthy lifestyle, more than most people 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:36 pm

      Thanks girl 🙂

  • Morgan November 10, 2011, 9:08 am

    I started out eating like a saint, and actually had no caffeine (including chocolate) until I hit 32 weeks. However, I did so much research that it literally became impossible to avoid all of the food restrictions. I think women should do what makes them feel comfortable.

    People made fun of me because I did not eat lunch meat, sushi, undercooked anything, or caffeine during my pregnancy. Well, I had two miscarriages in the 6 months prior to conceiving our daughter. That will make you act crazy. I know that I did nothing to cause the loss of our first two babies, but I sure as hell was not taking any chances.

    Bottom line, babies are actually quite resilient, and women in other cultures eat all kinds of things that are considered bad in the US during pregnancy. I think to each her own.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:37 pm

      I’m sorry about your miscarriages but so happy to hear you now have a daughter. And I agree – I might act a little more ‘crazy’ if something like that happened to me… It would help me feel more in control.

  • Sarah November 10, 2011, 9:09 am

    I was really into my morning cup of coffee and drank a cup a day until I hit 6 weeks in my pregnancy. At week 6, morning sickness hit hard and coffee sounded and tastes TERRIBLE. I must have gone through caffeine withdrawal during that period and never noticed the headaches because I was so miserable everywhere else. I haven’t had a cup since! Tasted my husband’s white mocha last week- gross! The bitterness totally icks me out. Pregnancy does really weird things to your body, but I don’t miss coffee at all.

  • Kim @ vegan mama-to-be November 10, 2011, 9:10 am

    I’ve been erring on the side of caution as well with most things. I drink caffeine from time to time, and enjoy decaf latte’s every couple of weeks. Sometime during the 2nd trimester, I had frequent headaches that I could curb with a small diet coke (maybe 1x per week). I won’t mess around with any amount of alcohol, though, as a personal preference. Just don’t want to take that risk.

  • Carolina John November 10, 2011, 9:11 am

    Kelley cut out most coffee while knocked up, but still had a cup a week or so. The biggest guilt? she had two sips of red wine while pregnant with Ella and Ella was born with two red birthmarks called hermangioma’s. instant mommy guilt. you’re not alone, go for it.

    • Ann October 14, 2012, 6:42 am

      My daughter has a tiny hermangioma on her finger that is now growing, and I didn’t even take a sip of wine. I did drink coffee, however, but after researching it says that there is nothing diet-wise that a person can do to prevent hermangioma so Kelley should be guilt-free! Apparently there is a higher propensity for it to happen with those who are fair-skinned, which I am and which my baby is (despite having a Latino husband!) Hermangiomas form in the first trimester, actually, so they are REALLY unpreventable! Feel free to encourage Kelley and if she’s not breastfeeding, let the wine flow freely!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 10, 2011, 9:11 am

    Wow, call me naive but I didn’t know this about coffee! I gave it up about a year ago (mainly because I was trying to keep myself more hydrated and as a diuretic, coffee wasn’t helping!) and like you, couldn’t believe how fast I was able to do it. I thought I needed it to function, but healthy eating proved to be just as effective. Magic! 🙂

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 10, 2011, 9:11 am

    I went off coffee for a while because of digestion issues, my surgeon told me that it’s not about the caffeine but that coffee has too many chemicals in it and it’s not really that good … he gave me the clear on Friday to start drinking ONE cup of weak coffee a day if I’d like … he could care less about caffeine or not but I’ve decided to stick to decaf … it sucked getting of it, I don’t want to experience that detox again

  • heather November 10, 2011, 9:13 am

    I pretty much gave up caffeine during my first trimester (and gave in a few times like you did). Then in my second and third trimesters I would have one heavenly cup per day. I gave birth to a healthy 8 pound baby who was overdue. I also like the ritual of coffee, so if I felt like I was missing out, I’d get a decaf too.

    I was also pretty relaxed with a lot of the things you’re supposedto do and not to during pregnancy. I wasn’t willing to give up soft eggs, I ate some sushi, I had soft cheese, and both of us are fine. I just did things in moderation and it worked for me! Everyone has to do what works for them.

    • Vicky S. November 10, 2011, 9:19 am

      People glare at me when I buy soft cheeses! I have craved brie a lot as I begin my third trimester. At first I thought I couldn’t eat it… but it’s made with pasteurized milk! Apparently most US cheeses are ok… thank goodness… cause I love feta too!

      • Krista November 10, 2011, 1:17 pm

        All the feta I see at the stores is pasteurized, so I eat it pregnant! And this is the first I’ve heard of dippy eggs, and it made me laugh. I definitely still eat those.

  • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey November 10, 2011, 9:16 am

    I love coffee and espresso (and all things caffeinated really), and plan to decrease my consumption while pregnant – but definitely not stop drinking it completely. (Just my luck, I’ll probably not be able to stomach it, or something).

    I don’t have a problem with a coffee a day, or even a small glass of wine a few times a week. Being pregnant will NOT mean that I have to give up everything that brings me joy/helps me function. 🙂


  • Amy S. November 10, 2011, 9:16 am

    I’m not pregnant or a mommy, so obviously I can’t give any personal experience here. However, my mom broke a few pregnancy “taboos” with my siblings and I, and we all were full term healthy babies (I was the smallest at 8 lbs 15.5 oz!). The worst thing she experienced with consuming caffeine while pregnant was she had a diet Coke before an ultrasound with my brother, and he wouldn’t stop bouncing around to get a heart beat 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:38 pm

      Diet coke sounds amazing right now.

  • Linda November 10, 2011, 9:17 am

    You know, the moment you get pregnant, everyone has something to say, about how you are doing it etc. etc. Alot of people read books and go exactly by what the book says. I say (and I have never been pregnant) to just go with your body. My sister in law is preggers and has been on the couch since she took her pregnancy test. To me, I don’t believe in that, I know it can’t be easy but you gotta get up and move around right? I am interested to see how you keep up your fitness regime with a baby on board. Good luck.

  • Amanda November 10, 2011, 9:17 am

    I was also pretty relaxed about all the “rules” people have about pregnancy. Especially after 2 healthy babies…….moderation (or just cutting back) is all you really need to do.

  • Megan November 10, 2011, 9:22 am

    My husband’s grandma asked me a couple months ago if I drink coffee, and I commented that no, because I didn’t want to have to give it up before I got pregnant. She responded that she drank coffee through all of her 3 pregnancies and her kids came out fine. To each their own, but I never wanted to have to rely on something to get me through the day. I never really needed to, but some people do.

    I would love to know your feelings about the safe and “dangerous” foods of pregnancy – I’m battling some of that myself now. I want dippy eggs so bad!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:39 pm

      My doc said dippy eggs, as long as the middle was steaming, was fine! Many other commeneters said something similar.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 10, 2011, 9:26 am

    I’ve never drunk coffee or much caffeine at all, I just get lots of sleep and try to eat right. Hopefully these things will come in handy when we decide to have kids too 🙂

    I think it’s awesome that you’re trying your best!

  • Kindra C November 10, 2011, 9:30 am

    I am 36 weeks pregnant and sipping on my morning coffee right now! I have pretty much the same view as you, that caffeine (and other things during pregnancy) in moderation are alright. I regularly allow myself 2 eight ounce cups of a coffee a week. I figure that in the grand scheme of things, I exercise and I eat healthy 90% of the time…a cup of coffee is my reward for a job well done carrying my baby girl 🙂

  • Karen November 10, 2011, 9:31 am

    Once we started fertility treatments, I cut back from 2 cups a day to 1 cup a day. Now that we are pregnant, I still drink one cup a day. Sometimes in the afternoon if I am dragging, I will have a cup of reg. Earl Grey Tea. I am more worried about not eating raw fish.

    • Anna October 14, 2012, 6:46 am

      My only concern is with salmon. I actually know someone who was not pregnant that went into shock and was paralyzed for a while because she ate salmon that was undercooked at a well-respected restaurant. If you want to order sushi with salmon, ask for smoked salmon. That way it’s not really raw.

  • ste November 10, 2011, 9:32 am

    I had to give up coffee in the first trimester with my daughter because it made me gag. (Drank tea instead.) My son didn’t have the problem. I drank two cups of half decaf a day – same as one cup but I got to enjoy it a little longer!

    While nursing my daughter, it took me four months to realize she did not do well with any levels of caffeine, even if I drank a half decaf amount right after I fed her so it would take its course over the next 2.5-3 hours. The most terrible caffeine withdrawal headache for me the day I quit.

    With my son I decide not to find out the hard way. The day they cut him out of me I backed off caffeine completely and let the pain killers from my c-section take care of the withdrawal headache! Once in a blue moon I’ll had my americano at home with 1/4 decaf. Truly only about a dozen caffeinated beans in there and it’s enough to give me a little help on the days I’m struggling because I woke up too many times that night.

  • Erin November 10, 2011, 9:34 am

    I fully agree with you. I am 30 weeks along and while I have definitely cut back my caffeine consumption, I”ll still indulge up to a few times a week. One thing I’ve learned is that you can order a “half caff” latte at Starbucks, and that it only has about 75 mg of caffeine. It sounds like you have a good plan in mind!

  • Andrea November 10, 2011, 9:35 am

    As always, you seem to have developed a balanced and healthy approach to this new challenge in your life. Kudos to you!

  • Emily November 10, 2011, 9:35 am

    I’m glad you’re not trying to be “the perfect pregnant person!” It’s impossible and will just leave you being nervous and uptight about everything instead of truly enjoying your pregnancy:)

  • Rachel @ Mommygetsmoving November 10, 2011, 9:36 am

    I didn’t drink coffee while pregnant. By the end if I ate something too sugary my son would do baby aerobics. So I can only imagine what he would have done with caffeine.

  • Ashley @ The Fit Academic November 10, 2011, 9:38 am

    I have to say – I do research on child development and have recently been doing LOTS of in-depth research on maternal effects during pregnancy. (e.g., how the mom’s diet and temperament can influence the child’s development both in the womb, and have long-term effects into adulthood!!!!)

    I’ve got to say that although diet is very important, emotional “health” or “stability” of the mother is EQUALLY (if not MORESO) important than her physical diet!

    If a Mom suffers from acute stress/anxiety/depression, it can have worse effects than if she’s actually nutritionally starved!

    Although I haven’t looked at the impact of coffee, specifically, my other research would indicate that YOU ARE 100% RIGHT! Intake of coffee (especially in moderation) is probably nowhere NEAR as “bad” for the baby as the stress/anxiety/depression you might feel if you were “not allowed” to have it & felt deprived.

    Long story short…keep doin’ what you’re doin! : )

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Awesome. I love being right 😉 Heh.

  • K November 10, 2011, 9:40 am

    I felt crippled with guilt over the fact that, for the first 3 months of my pregnancy, I struggled to maintain the virtuous diet I was used to. I spoke to my naturopath about this and she reassured me that pre-conception nutrition and habits go a long way toward creating a good first trimester environment for your babe. Whew! I definitely had major aversions to everything I was used to: veggies, all major protein sources and especially leafy greens…so much for a green monster a day keeps the doctor away! I gave up caffeine altogether about 6 months before we started trying and to be honest, I feel amazing since I did this. I’ve had a few sips of champagne, a slice of brie and a few not-quite-set eggs since I became pregnant, but absolving myself of th guilt has made me love and appreciate my body so much more than I new possible. At almost 5 months, I am still deeply in pregnancy purgatory (don’t look the least bit pregnant, but a shade rollier than normal) but I still feel like an earthy mama goddess most days… Now that the incessant barfing thank headaches are over. Everyone is an expert on pregnancy and parenting and everything that the pregnancy industry puts out for us to read seems to intensify the risk culture of pregnancy, but in reality, I think that as long as we do our best and enjoy life, babies can sense the vibrations of our happiness and health.

    • Meagan November 10, 2011, 10:35 am


  • Maria November 10, 2011, 9:40 am

    Hey Caitlin!

    Congratulations on the pregnancy!

    FYI-I just recently learned this rule myself, but it is actually “publicly” and not “publically.”

    Just thought I would give you a heads up!
    Safe travels!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Good to know! Thanks girl!

  • Jackie November 10, 2011, 9:44 am

    I’m just about 25 weeks right now…

    Like you, I gave up caffeine when trying to get pregnant (as in zero caffeine, not even tea/chocolate/etc.). I had such an awful withdrawl experience, I’m a little apprehensive to drink it again. I sort of felt like an addict coming off a much stronger drug (like, throbbing headaches, fever, chills, stomach aches…really bad). It’s hard for me to imagine something capable of causing all that can really be as innocuous as I thought it was.

    So no serious caffeine for me while pregnant. I’ll have decaf occasionally (for the taste). And one day (after the 2nd trimester constipation really set in), I had a half-caff cup just hoping to “move stuff along.” 🙂

    But I’m sort of lax about other eating rules. I eat raw cheeses, I eat nut butter every day, I have sips of my husband’s “adult” bevs, I eat fish almost everyday (I’m a pescatarian), stuff like that. I haven’t had sushi (sigh), I’ve avoided fish with high mercury, we’ve switched from soy sauce to Tamari, and I don’t take medicine.

    My thought is it’s nine months. I can go nine months of MY WHOLE LIFE without a glass of wine or a tuna roll, you know?

  • Brendali Leonardo November 10, 2011, 9:47 am

    Hi Caitlin!

    I want to first say I knew it! Haha. I suspected a while back you were prego and I am soooo happy for you!!!

    Secondly, I am 28 weeks pregnant. The one thing I have learned is that EVERYONE will have an opinion, EVERYONE. Its up to YOU to do what you feel is best, and what you feel is right for you and the lil’ bun in the oven. I have been critisized (sp) for drinking coffee, saying I am eating sushi (which I obviously stuck to the safe ones), wearing HEELS (dont even get me started on the ten thousand reasons I shouldnt be wearing heels) and for eating too much/too little. Most people mean well, but only you can decide whats best.

    I am a coffee fanatic. I love it, and I live for it. I sometimes do decaf with a little regular, or straight decaf, and sometimes I just drink a cup of regular coffee!

    Remember, its all what you feel is comfortable for you to do!

    On that note, CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN!!!
    Will you be starting a seperate section for babyhtp?

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Naw, I’ll just do all the baby stuff on here. I can’t imagine running three blogs, I would go nuts.

  • Amanda @ JustAmandaJ November 10, 2011, 9:48 am

    My first pregnancy I went cold turkey and quit coffee and so forth all together for about three months and then I pretty much said F this and just kept it to one cup or one soda or whatever a day. My baby girl was born just fine (late and 8lbs 7oz). I also ate runny eggs and had a couple of not cooked subs. My opinion is pretty much that they didn’t know this crap back when we or our parents were born and everyone (mostly) turned out just fine so why should I beat myself up over it.

  • lindsay November 10, 2011, 9:48 am

    I disagree with with your views on some parenting/pregnancy things but I REALLY liked your take on this. I think you will be a great mother. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:42 pm

      Thanks Lindsay 🙂

  • Kelli November 10, 2011, 9:55 am

    I was gon ho my first pregnancy my second I was much more lazed drank coffee occasional and had a couple glasses of wine my last trimester and my munchkins both turned out a ok my MIL drank coffee and smoked cigarettes all 5 of her pregnancies and my DHnand his siblings came out healthy not that I’m condoning. That just making a point that moderation I think is a good way of thinking

  • Nicole Mullins November 10, 2011, 9:56 am

    While I was drinking my coffee yesterday morning, my husband and I had the discussion about me giving up coffee if I got pregnant again. The first time around, I wasn’t such a big coffee drinker so giving it up was no big deal. I doubt I drank a single cup during those months. If there’s another pregnancy, I think it would be a little harder to give up because I like coffee so much. I know I don’t NEED it but it tastes good!

    I wish I had ate a little healthier when I was pregnant but if pouring gravy over my dinner was wrong, I didn’t want to be right. Haha. I just have to remind myself of the big picture. I wasn’t boozing it up, I didn’t smoke, I ate MOSTLY healthy; so minor “mess-ups” aren’t the end of the world. And if you ever REALLY need some reassurance, just talk to some older folks about their pregnancies and newborn babies. You know, the kind that smoked their entire pregnancy, drank wine everyday and gave birth while they were high on narcotics…

  • Johanna B November 10, 2011, 9:57 am

    Well, for one thing, it was a long time ago when I was pregnant (1987). I wasn’t a coffee drinker anyway but I was a serious diet coke addict. I limited myself to 2 a day. My daughter turned out fine. I did however refuse to take any over the counter medications while I was pregnant.

  • Katie November 10, 2011, 9:58 am

    Oh, nutrition during pregnancy. Here’s the thing. I found that there is enourmous amount of judgment in the area of what pregnant women should be doing. And, in my opinion, it comes from other women. This idea that you can have a perfect pregnancy, a perfect birth, a perfect breastfeeding experience. What I wish I knew 6 years ago when I was expecting my first son is that there is no perfection in motherhood. There is no medal if you avoid coffee and puree your own baby food. That process of realization and being gentler with myself took a while with regards to motherhood.
    As to what I ate, I really found that I ate what I wanted to – almost needed to. I stoped my 1 diet coke a day habit for my first pregnancy, but confessed to my OBGYN that I couldn’t with my second. I also needed hot dogs. Weird, right? Chicago style hotdogs with relish and a pickle and a hot pepper. I’m not originally from here but I NEEDED to eat them. It was such a wonderful time, especially the first pregnancy when you have the most time, to just enjoy the process. rest, eat move and soak it all up! There is no exact right way to take care of yourself during pregnancy. I know you’ll do great.

    • lynne @lgsmash November 10, 2011, 11:05 am

      Your comment reminds me of Pam and Angela on The Office – Angela is so critical of Pam during their pregnancies. I don’t think that if I were Pam, I’d be able to take Angela’s incessent criticizing so gracefully and it’s a bummer to know that we women are each other’s biggest critics.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:43 pm

      Love this comment.

      • Anna October 14, 2012, 6:47 am

        Me too!

  • Jenny November 10, 2011, 9:59 am

    With my doctor’s okay, I had a cup of coffee every day of my pregnancy. I was pretty relaxed about most things, but did my research to ensure that I was not likely harming my child. Mentally, it really was a struggle to deal with all the mixed messages out there. I experienced a little bit of depression during pregnancy, probably due to the stress of trying to find balance between what I knew was right and what others told me. Being a first time mom, it was really hard.

    My daughter is now 3 months old, I am breastfeeding, and at this point, I have a MUCH easier time making the decisions that are best for me and my family without freaking out by the mixed messages of everyone else. She was born a healthy, 9lb baby and continues to thrive. I drink coffee, alcohol (occasionally), eat whatever, and live life as normal. In order to be a good mom to her, I need to be happy. Running, coffee, and cocktails make me happy 🙂

    Listen to your own gut and forget the haters. You’ll be just fine and grow a healthy, beautiful baby.

    P.S. Limit your time on The Bump. It will make you go crazy, if you let it.

    • Marcy S November 10, 2011, 10:02 am

      I agree with limit time on The Bump it does drive you crazy!!

      • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 6:44 pm

        Yeah – the Bump makes me feel nuts.

        • crystal November 11, 2011, 1:45 am

          Comments like this make me wish there was a like button like facebook has.

          • Marie November 11, 2011, 9:32 am

            HTP needs a like button!!!

  • Marcy S November 10, 2011, 10:01 am

    I easily gave up caffeine over the past 19 weeks. It wasn’t too hard for me, except when I realize I’m really thirsty and my husband has a diet coke in the car or tea.. I break down and have sip or two but that is it. I haven’t done as well sticking to eating well, I’ve splurged on ice cream every night, & halloween candy, baked goods, and chips more often… I have managed to keep eating salads and veggies as much as possible. So overall I don’t feel too bad about my decisions. The only hard thing is I currently have a ton of congestion and broke down to take some decongestant and feel awful about it.. the doctor ok’d it, but I still feel like it has to effect the baby.

  • Sara November 10, 2011, 10:02 am

    I also am not pregnant nor a mother, but I gave up most caffeine a few months ago. It really wasn’t hard at all. If I get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, I don’t need any at all. I have started drinking a Diet Dr. P or the occasional small cup of coffee in the morning if I didn’t get enough sleep. Gotta do what you gotta do, but when I am pregnant, I hope to avoid caffeine entirely, or at least as much is manageable. You have to be able to function too! That’s essential!

  • Khushboo November 10, 2011, 10:10 am

    I like your attitude! There are so many things pregnant women can do/eliminate but let’s be honest: how realistic/fun would that be! I think as long as you find a balance, a few cups of coffee isn’t going to do any harm!

  • Jenny November 10, 2011, 10:14 am

    well I quit coffee cold turkey in the first trimester after being used to 3-4 cups daily. I think it was habit more than anything. But now that I am at 28 weeks I find myself way more lax in what I eat/drink. I’m back to 1 cup coffee a day(sometimes less). And yes I do have a sip of wine every now and then too!

    • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl November 10, 2011, 10:22 am

      I’ve heard of women having a small glass of wine every now and again while pregnant! My mom did with me and I turned out fine. 🙂

  • SkinnyRunner November 10, 2011, 10:14 am

    i dig your relaxed approach to pregnancy. all our parents and parents parents probably didnt go crazy psycho and we all (sorta) turned out fine.
    giving up coffee would be really hard. and id probably still drink a little. wine, sushi, ok i can deal but coffee would be tough.

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count November 10, 2011, 10:14 am

    Good luck with giving up coffee. That would be difficult for me!

  • ali November 10, 2011, 10:19 am

    Being a public figure talking about your pregnancy, you’re going to get scrutinized for every choice you make. That being said, I have a gorgeous, healthy four month old baby girl and my motto during pregnancy was everything in moderation. During my first tri I eliminated caffeine and artificial sweetners entirely. After that, I totally drank coffee and tea and even the occasional diet soda! (gasp!) I ate whatever cheese I wanted, didn’t microwave my lunch meat and even had the occasional sip of wine from my BFF’s glass. You have to keep yourself relaxed and happy for a healthy pregnancy so stressing about every tiny thing isn’t good for you or baby HTP. Good luck with your pregnancy and I hope you feel better soon. I thought I was going to puke constantly until I was 10 weeks.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:05 pm

      Thanks sweetie! I hope I have energy again soon.

  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl November 10, 2011, 10:19 am

    I’m so glad you are honest in the way you feel and don’t try to conform to what is “correct.” I was pregnant almost 11 years ago and I didn’t drink coffee then but I did drink Mountain Dew. I had to have it! While I didn’t drink a lot of it on a daily basis, I did drink a bottle I would say daily. My son is just fine and my pregnancy went fine! I don’t think some caffeine intake is bad.

  • Jessica November 10, 2011, 10:23 am

    I was very laid back while pregnant, I still drank de-caf starbucks on occasion, I still drank pepsi, but like you, I limited my intake to ~100mg/day. I feel like if you didn’t eat/drink everything that someone says you shouldn’t while pregnant, you wouldn’t eat or drink anything! I took it easy on lunch meat and I don’t drink or eat fish anyways, but I would have avoided those, but really other than that I just tried to make concious decisions and do things in moderation.

    • Jessica November 10, 2011, 10:24 am

      P.S. I am actually more stringent about my caffeine intake now that I’m breastfeeding. I haven’t noticed any change in my daughter when I do have it, but I don’t want to risk losing sleep because some passed through my breastmilk to her 🙂

      • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:05 pm

        Makes sense!

  • Nena November 10, 2011, 10:23 am

    You scared me with all the info on what caffeine can do to the baby. I’m 28 years old and not looking to get pregnant anytime soon (35 max) lol but I am super addicted to coffee. I drink like two to three cups a day. if it’s coffee, two cups in the morning. If it’s a latte (skinny) I have one. I don’t know if I can give that up. But the way you’re puting it might, I might be scared into it. LOL. very interesting info.

  • Jessica November 10, 2011, 10:24 am

    I am a mother of a 6.5 month old and I tried my best to be a saint during my pregnancy but I let things slide occasionally. I gave up caffeine completely which wasn’t too hard. I was never a huge fish or lunch meat person so that wasn’t hard either. My biggest struggle was alcohol because my husband and I are home-brewers so I was constantly tempted (but never indulged). Some OB/GYNs are cool with the occasional drink but mine was not. Fetal Alcohol syndrome is scary.

    • Stephanie C November 10, 2011, 4:07 pm

      I am not a huge coffee drinker either, but this (beer) is what will be a huge struggle for me when we decide to get pregnant (thankfully, I’m at least 3-8 years out). How did you do it?!

      • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:06 pm

        I will prob get shot for this, but I have had a few sips (SIPS!! Like one at a time) of beer when out with friends.

        • crystal November 11, 2011, 1:47 am

          Every research article on FAS I have seen has been moderate to heavy drinkers, like the women who binge drank every week. Not the ones who had a glass of wine once a week. I asked my midwife to be sure and got the go ahead to stop spazzing out and enjoy a small glass of wine.

  • Amy November 10, 2011, 10:30 am

    Oh yes. I gave up caffeine (which really just meant coffee) around week 8 – not because I was terribly concerned about it, but because I had developed a terrible aversion! It just didn’t taste the same to me anymore.

    Once my first trimester was over, I tried coffee again and it was just as good – so now I’m back to about one cup a day. Yum.

  • Rebecca November 10, 2011, 10:31 am

    I love this post. I’m 10 weeks pregnant and tried to go cold turkey with no coffee when I found out. Lately I’ve switched to half-caf and only have about a cup or less a day. It’s seemed to work pretty well. I also LOVE honest tea green tea which has about 25 mg. I’m still drinking it on occasion.

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows November 10, 2011, 10:32 am

    I gave up coffee. And I didn’t have caffeinated soda at all during the 1st trimester, but then I broke down and had caffeine a few times over the remainder of my pregnancy.

    My thing about caffeine in pregnancy has to do with the woman’s attitude. If a woman says she’s okay with drinking coffee and treats herself once a week or whatever, then that’s fine. But there are women, with caffeine and other things during pregnancy that have the attitude that they can do whatever they want, and to me that just screams “SELFISH AND NOT READY FOR MOTHERHOOD”.

    I try not to be judgemental about caffeine, coffee, etc while a woman is pregnant, but I find it difficult sometimes. I do want the rest of my pregnancies to be very healthy and very clean, because I truly believe it’s best. Plus, because of my own situation with losing my son, I blame myself and wonder if any of the less than perfect decisions I made contributed to his death. I fear I may be extreme. But as long as a woman isn’t being completely ridiculous with drugs and alcohol, I really should lay off the judgment. I’m working on it.

  • Kim @ girlevolving November 10, 2011, 10:33 am

    I went down to one cup a day, and then eventually just cut it out all together. It was a “better safe than sorry” approach, since caffeine has been shown to cause miscarriages. Now Leo is 3 months and I still drink decaf just because I don’t need to be addicted again!

  • Meagan November 10, 2011, 10:34 am

    If I could give you a standing ovation, I would. I hate, hate, HATE the paternalism that happens to pregnant women and the pressure to be a martyr for your baby.

    When I was pregnant people would practically decide for me what I could and couldn’t have. Oh? You have a slice of deli turkey? Don’t you want something else? Oh? You’re drinking coffee? Reeaaaallllyyy? We won’t even touch the wine issue.

    I tell you, by the end of pregnancy I was ready to cut some…well, you know. Can you tell this issue gets me worked up? Hah.

    It takes a lot of courage as a pregnant public figure to post something about being relaxed during pregnancy. I expect you’ll hear and earful over and over again. So…here’s to you!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:11 pm

      agree 100%

  • Lauren @ LaDolcePita November 10, 2011, 10:39 am

    Kudos for not beating yourself up. Your diet/lifestyle is already healthier than the majority of pregnant women out there, so a few cups of coffee aren’t going to hurt. A few of my friends drank coffee in moderation through pregnancy – and even would have the occasional small glass of wine every few weeks – and their babies came out beautiful & healthy.

  • Morgan November 10, 2011, 10:48 am

    You’re only human is right! It’s modern science that has pregnant women this crazy over everything that can and can’t eat or drink. When our parents were pregnant with us, there weren’t all of these worries, and we all survived!
    That being said, I gave up coffee from about weeks 8-20 just because it nauseated me, then I had a cup a day afterwards, through nursing too.
    The guilt didn’t come for me. I was as healthy as I could be, but I also felt totally depriving myself and stressing about everything would be worse for the baby!

  • Jen November 10, 2011, 10:53 am

    I switched to half-caff when we first started trying to get pregnant. I planned on still drinking half-caff throughout pregnancy, but by week 5, the smell of coffee made me gag. I started drinking decaf again once I hit the third tri only because it was the time of year pumpkin coffee came out 🙂

  • Kristin November 10, 2011, 10:59 am

    I am preggers (due May 6th) and was a pretty religiously drinking caffeine person a day, all day, and went as cold turkey as I could when I got pregnant. I now drink tea every other day or so but always make sure I stay under the 200 mg. I was more paranoid my first trimester but I am becoming more lax in my second trimester. You are right, sometimes you just NEED the caffeine! And as long as we arent shooting back 4 shots of espresso, its okay, right?!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) November 10, 2011, 10:59 am

    This is a great post and hot topic for some I am sure. I totally agree with your mindset. I too gave up coffee slowly while we were trying to get pregnant. Once I found out our IVF worked I totally eliminated caffeine for a long while. Now I have a cup of normal coffee maybe once a week or once every two weeks. I was really cautious at first because we had invested so much money to get pregnant that I didn’t want to do anything that I would later blame myself for – but that was really just my own deal! I love your approach… the goal is health not perfection! 🙂 Good luck!

  • Katie @ Livehalffull November 10, 2011, 11:00 am

    I’m not pregnant but would like to have kids some day and this crosses my mind a lot. I’m absolutely addicted to coffee and drink it daily. My fiance and I were talked about how addicted we were the other day. Its kind of sad! In college, I drank way too much caffiene (didn’t we all?) and for awhile gave up coffee. But I love it too much and went back!

  • YummySushiPjs November 10, 2011, 11:02 am

    I had a cup of coffee, just one, every day during my pregnancy. I also had lunch meat, sushi, and several other “forbidden” foods. My doctor (and my own research) agreed that most of these things are fine for most people. My doctor also told me she had ZERO issue with me having a half a glass of wine at night during my final few weeks to help me sleep. I didn’t end up doing it, but I would have. I have European friends who have had 1-2 glasses of wine with relative frequency after their first trimester with zero issues. More often that not, I think people are overly cautious. That being said, it’s hard enough not to be paranoid when you’re pregnant, so I would never fault anyone for being overly cautious.

  • kelly November 10, 2011, 11:03 am

    I gave up caffeine a few months before trying to get pregnant too 🙂 I had a few lattes here and there, but they actually made me so jittery that it made me not want one again! I found decaf lattes from starbucks were just as tasty as the regular ones 🙂 Overall, I tried to get as much nutrition in me while pregnant, but definitely had my vices. Ice cream and chocolate were every day musts for me, as well as the occasional small glass of wine 🙂

  • Kate November 10, 2011, 11:05 am

    I just had my daughter 8 days ago and I regularly drank a small cup of half caf coffee throughout my pregnancy (about 3 times a week) and went decaf when I felt like I didn’t need the caffeine. Except for the first trimester, when I didn’t drink any because it made me want to baaaaarf. 😛 I didn’t have any guilt over caffeine, but I did when I needed to take medication (I developed a rare pregnancy complication called cholestasis and needed steroids and other medication to control it until I could safely be induced). I had horrible guilt over this, but my doctor kept reminding me that my daughter needed me to be both mentally and physically healthy, and I couldn’t do that without controlling my condition, even if that meant medication. I’m happy to say that my little girl is doing great so far. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:15 pm

      You should like you are lucky enough to have a great doc! Glad your little girl is okay.

  • Tricia November 10, 2011, 11:06 am

    Whew! I am 12 weeks prego and having the same issues. I find myself rationalizing the one cup of coffee or dare I say a coke because the headache would cause me to take medication. What is worse? A small dose of caffeine or meds? I have drastically cut back but still find I need some form of caffeine per day. Sorry little peanut. At least you are still eating healthy. I haven’t had a veggie in over 2 months. Major sickness!

  • YummySushiPjs November 10, 2011, 11:08 am

    Also, a funny story about people’s opinions:

    Right after I had my daughter (like two or three days after) our elderly neighbor brought over a plate of brownies, but brought sugar cookies for me because nursing women can’t have chocolate! The hell? I thanked her, waited until she left, and ate two brownies. 🙂

    • Samantha @ Mama Notes November 10, 2011, 12:46 pm

      If nursing or pregnant women can’t have chocolate I would have been in BIG trouble. ha! I have the proof in two healthy beautiful kids that eating chocolate is juuuuust fine. 😉

  • marci November 10, 2011, 11:09 am

    I decided to not give up coffee, but only drink about 1/2 cup a day, and sometimes skip it. I have always been a very light caffeine drinker, only in the mornings, and only for one main reason—to get the bowels moving. I think it’s just as important in pregnancy when constipation is a major side effect to keep them moving. That’s pretty much the only reason I drink it. TMI?

  • Michelle November 10, 2011, 11:14 am

    A friend of mine is a nurse with less than ideal work hours so she is a coffee/caffeine FIEND. When she got pregnant, her doctor recommended that she cut back, but not cut out. Due to her body being so used to soo much caffeine, her dr suggested the withdrawl symptoms would be significantly more risky for the baby and so they worked together to reduce her caffeine intake step by step, but I think she was still at a cup or 2 of coffee a day when her baby was born (perfectly healthy). I think there are risks in eveything, and its up to the parents to arm themselves with info, adn then make the best choices for their growing family.

  • Priyanka November 10, 2011, 11:16 am

    I say we are all humans, there are preachers and really I just let them preach. Not that I am going to down a full caf. coffee, but I am being more educated and conscious now. If I drink a decaf, I drink warm water or herbal tea through out the day.

    I just need to have a relatively strong coffee or tea occasionally (love the latter more since I am Indian) because managing grueling grad school research and pregnancy can be a bit of a task sometimes.

    Follow your bodys’ cues, I think sometimes we consume stuff cuz our selfish side is really craving it, but once we have it the to-be momma side really finds it sickening. I have seen chocolate brownies do that to me and hence I am being cautious about chocolate in general.

  • Jamie @ FoodinRealLife November 10, 2011, 11:17 am

    I eased off coffee when I first got pregnant and then developed strong aversions to the taste and smell, so it was really easy to do that. In my 2nd tri I started drinking a large mug of half caf every morning before work. I’m sure you are already aware, but certain herbal teas are not safe to drink during pregnancy. I stick to peppermint and decaf green tea.

  • Rebecca November 10, 2011, 11:19 am

    I agree with your general, relaxed stance. So much of what we “know” now is very, very new. For example, only recently did it become OMGTHEWORSTTHINGEVER to drink alcohol when pregnant. Women had been drinking while pregnant all the time because there was no science to tell them not to. And while infant mortality has shown steady decrease, it’s not like all the people born before the 1970s (when FAS was first created)are really screwed up or anything. For the most part, they’re healthy, normal people.

    I’m not saying you should go get wasted (you probably shouldn’t), but people are way too extreme about pregnancy rules now. I personally think that a lot of the hype is just that–hype and scare tactics–another way to guilt women.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 10, 2011, 11:23 am

    Well I’ve never been pregnant, but I think a cup every once in a while won’t hurt. And I know what you mean about the ritual of having coffee! I don’t need it, but I like having that warm cup every morning!

  • Moni'sMeals November 10, 2011, 11:32 am

    YOU: Why am I drinking caffeine at all? Dude – I’m only human.

    ME: Brilliant!! 🙂

  • lauren November 10, 2011, 11:35 am

    My sister is having her fourth and was complaining about headaches, so I suggested she try half a can of coke and her first reaction was NO WAY, there’s caffeine in coke (although she eats / drinks chocolatey beverages…)
    I’m a google freak, so I looked into it and a can of coke only has 30-35 mg of caffeine which is comparable to Dunkin’s decaf (<32mg).
    I think I'd give it up for the most part, like you are…I worked at a DD in college, caffeine seems to have no effect on me anymore 🙁 but I love the taste!

  • Robin November 10, 2011, 11:38 am

    I think taking a relaxed stance is very helpful in having a relaxing pregnancy. You are going to go through a lot of changes and being stressed is not going to help. I think cleaning up your diet is important, but if you mess up here and there, it is not going to hurt the baby. Congrats on your pregnancy!

  • Cyndi November 10, 2011, 11:39 am

    You’re on the right track – no need to completely drop everything with a wives tale attached to it. The only thing I completely dropped was soft cheeses – bacteria is kind of freaky to mess with. But I ran, had some joe and late in the game had a few celebratory glasses of vino. I now have 2 healthy, athletic, well rounded boys who eat a very healthy diet and love to show off their muscles. Oh, and I DIDN’T breastfeed – it just wasn’t for me and my boys needed more food than I could provide. So don’t let anyone freak you out. It’s like anything, do your own research and listen to your common sense. My girlfriend assured me my then toddler son would outgrow the need for wide shoes, he’s now 10 and in a men’s 8.5 wide!

  • Sarah @ w30 November 10, 2011, 11:44 am

    “Dude – I’m only human.”

    Love that. And I love that you are taking a balanced approach of doing your best for the baby and cutting yourself a little slack to not be 100% perfect 100% of the time. I think you are in a unique position as a blogger. If you didn’t set personal boundaries, it could be easy to think you have to be an absolute saint (or for others to expect that of you), but by setting an example of balance, you have the opportunity to help relieve some of the mommy guilt your readers may feel.

  • JESS November 10, 2011, 11:49 am

    hey there! so i dont usually comment but i def have a few things to say about this. for one, i am a little over 4.5 months preg. i, by nature, am quite neurotic, so it really helps that my dorctor is SUPER helpful in being liberal about what you can and cant do while preg. Basically (and he has delivered thousands of healthy babies) his stance is MODERATION! So I have about 8 oz of coffee a day. Listen, I like it! Yes, I feel guilty at times about things (EX; i will eat tuna once a week and have a diet soda once a day), but if it isnt one thing it would be something else. You just cant do that to yourself- it is bad for you and the baby! So I balance by having a more liberal doc who is qualified, competant but doesnt drive me crazier than i already am 😉 i have limited my vices and always live by MODERATION! there will always be SOMETHING to worry about – but we have to try not to sweat the small stuff.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:16 pm

      Moderation is awesome. I agree!

  • Stacey @ Here's to Life November 10, 2011, 11:58 am

    I’ve taken in caffeine while pregnant too. During the first trimester, I stopped drinking my daily pot of joe and switched to all decaf or nothing. But in the second trimester, I’ve gone back to the occasional half-caf/half-decaf latte (more like 2-3 per week since Egg Nog came back). The little bit of extra juice it gives me definitely helps the fatigue that comes from not sleeping well with a big baby bump! It’s much needed some days. Definitely understand the, “Dude, I’m only human!”

  • Emily November 10, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I gave up all caffeine except some in chocolate for my entire pregnancy. I think it was a big contributing factor for my sluggishness the first trimester (although to a certain extent, that was expected). I didn’t have any caffeine withdrawals and I just chugged water instead of drinking coffee. I survived and lasted about 3 months after their birth. Now I allow myself 1 cup a day. It doesn’t seem to effect the twins when I nurse them, so that one cup a day is pretty glorious after not having it coffee for almost a year 😉

  • Jamie November 10, 2011, 12:03 pm

    I did not give up coffee and I don’t feel guilty about it. My doctor gave me the green light and I felt positively exhausted most of the time. Like you, I didn’t “slam espressos” but I really think that the decision should be left up to the individual. I don’t know why everyone feels like they are entitled to an opinion about things like this.

  • Jess November 10, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I’ve never been a coffee drinker but ocassionally I just need a Coke. I was pretty good while I was pregnant, especially during the first trimester, but every once in a while I needed that Coke. I didn’t ever feel guilty about it.

  • Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT November 10, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Oh my gosh, one has to give up java to have a healthy pregnancy?!?!?! I don’t know if I could! 😛

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes November 10, 2011, 12:14 pm

    I don’t drink coffee anyways, (sometimes I wish I did!!) but I do drink Diet Coke a few times a week. With my first pregnancy, I didn’t have ANY caffeine. Well, I guess there is caffeine in chocolate. But none in drinks, I guess. Then with my 2nd I ended up have CAFFEINE FREE Diet Coke a few times a week. 🙂 As your pregnancies go on, you get a little more relaxed. 😉

  • Jen November 10, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Haha I don’t know if you watch The Office, but Angela would be calling DSS on you: http://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/the-incentive/1359217

    I think it’s such a 19th century “angel in the house” leftover expecting women to perfect during pregnancy and the guilt and shaming that goes along with scrutinizing every choice a pregnant woman makes. Of course you want to do what’s best for you and the baby, and I don’t think an occasional cup of coffee is condemnable at all.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:18 pm

      hahaha the Angela/Pam dynamic is awesome.

  • Kim November 10, 2011, 12:18 pm

    While pregnant with my son I had horrible morning sickness from day one to delivery. I actually lost 65 lbs, have permanent scarring in my throat and lesions in my stomach lining. I tried everything under the sun including homeopathic solutions, medications, old wives tales . . . And nothing worked. The only relief I found was in half a can of coke once day. That was one of the only things that would not make me sick and settle my stomach for a bit. Bottom line, I think that only you can determine what a healthy balnce is for you and your baby nomatter what the world tries to impose on you. That can of coke kept me from passing out and helped me keep my sanity almost daily and helped me deliver my son who is now a smart, healthy 2 year old.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:18 pm

      That sounds like morning sickness from HELL. You poor thing!

  • Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 10, 2011, 12:18 pm

    A relaxed approach is totally respectable. I think I’ll just have to watch my caffeine intake from tea and chocolate. Can’t get enough chocolate!

  • Allison November 10, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I think everything in moderation is important. With my first pregnancy I gave up caffeine, deli meats, cheeses, sushi, etc, and I ended up gaining 50 pounds! I think it is because my whole food routine was rocked. My second pregnancy, I just didnt have alcohol (not a smoker) and I gained 30. I would say my second pregnancy was MUCH healthier eating the “bad” things. But, I am firm believer that every mommma has to do what is best for her, and if giving things up is important to them, then they should!

  • Amber K November 10, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I’m not currently expecting, nor do I have any children, but I enjoy your very sane approach. Mommy guilt is huge (my best friend who has four kids is always feeling it), but you can’t beat yourself up. People will want to judge every single decision you make, so it’s best to just concentrate on how your decisions make YOU feel.

  • Hillary November 10, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Oy. The thought of giving up coffee when I get pregnant down the road makes me shudder. I think I’ll go the moderation route, as long as my doc is ok with it.

  • Krista November 10, 2011, 12:28 pm

    The one thing that my doctor was adamant about not ingesting while pregnant was any artificial sweetener. Of course the biggy when my kids were born (1999 & 2002) was aspartame. To this day I can not tolerate juicy fruit gum b/c that was the only one that was aspartame free!

  • Catherine November 10, 2011, 12:28 pm

    I love your relaxed approach. It’s funny because I kind of thought you’d be the TOTAL opposite!

    I chose to completely give up caffeine and a lot of other “questionable” foods. Still, I’m beginning to wonder if this is any healthier for the baby because excessively worrying about everything does cause a great deal of stress. For example, I recently drank a cup of caffeine-free tea. Afterwards I googled it and read that some herbal teas “might” cause miscarriage. I’m guessing the emotional meltdown I proceeded to have was worse for her/him than the cup of tea! 🙂

    Also, I got a dose of reality on Monday when my prenatal doc called and told me that my blood tests revealed that I carry the cystic fibrosis gene. I had no idea because nobody in my family has it or knows of a relative who had it. In order for the baby to get the disease, both parents need to be carriers so he had to get bloodwork done and we have to patiently wait 2 weeks for his results. I realized that I can’t control everything that happens during this pregnancy. I need to learn how to relax a bit more, so I can really absorb & enjoy this time in my life. Googling every little thing so I can stress about it is probably more harmful than soft cheeses, dark chocolate, and deli meats.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:19 pm

      So scary about the CF gene! We opted out of that. Maybe we should do it???

      I like I’m a lot more relaxed than people think I am, in general. 🙂

  • Trish November 10, 2011, 12:32 pm


    I am also pregnant- just finished the 11th week and I AGREE. I had no idea how much this was going to change what/how/when I eat. You have to do what works for you. And…congrats by the way:-) I loved your post about burps…I am a teacher and I have had to hold them in while teaching..the students are suspicious:-)


    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:20 pm

      Hehe i burped through my entire connecticut presentation – gross.

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me November 10, 2011, 12:36 pm

    When I was pregnant I had 3 caffeinated drinks a week, usually iced tea with lunch. I had black tea in the mornings on Saturdays. But there were a lot of other “rules” that I thought were dumb. So I ate lunch meat (from a reputable source, nitrate free) every day at the end. It was one of my biggest cravings! Also I had a sip of multiple beers and wines but waited until I was 37 weeks to have a full beer. (only did that once though, it was a celebratory thing)

    Now that I’m nursing I have 1 cup of coffee in the morning and that’s it. I also drink one drink at night when I nurse her so that it’ll be thru my system in time for the next feeding. That 1 drink works wonders for my sanity!

  • meredith (pursuing balance) November 10, 2011, 12:36 pm

    good idea just to remind people to talk to their md or an rd about what they should and should not be consuming during pregnancy. while there is some general advice, it’s good to get information from a provider who knows your personal medical history, the medications you take, lab values, etc.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 10, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Such great responses! I think that I am more a “ritual” person when it comes to coffee drinking. I would definitely switch to decaf or something because I cannot give up my morning hot piping delicious cup of coffee. I actually gave it up for six months earlier this year. Worst. Idea. Ever.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans November 10, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Caitlin its not rally my place nor am I an exert but what concerns me about this is not your caffeine consumption but your schedule. I think the baby would benefit from a mom who got more sleep!! I know that was an example but I also know you are a busy lady so its something to think about. Good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:22 pm

      I knowww. I am trying so hard to slow down. I’m turning down speaking engagements (which is so had to do).

  • Susan November 10, 2011, 1:01 pm

    With both pregnancies it was pretty easy for me to give up coffee-even walking past a Starbucks was enough to make me nauseated! I was much more strict with my first pregnancy. I was so worried about doing something wrong. I was definitely more relaxed with my second and added coffee in moderation after my nausea passed. You have to do what feels right for YOU!

  • Kate November 10, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I gave up coffee/tea and coke almost entirely for the first trimester (I had a couple of cups of decaf, and I think one small regular instant coffee?), so my only caffeine would have come from chocolate. Now I drink mostly Caro (do you have it in the states? a cereal based “coffee” drink?), but do have a cup of instant every few days at work.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In November 10, 2011, 1:12 pm

    I totally agree! In europe people are much more relaxed during pregnancy – a glass of wine is fine on occasion, as is coffee. Just don’t overdo it!

  • Crystal November 10, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I grew up in Europe, where people have much more relaxed views on diet and pregnancy. Women often drink moderate amounts of coffee while pregnant. Many European women even drink an occasional glass of wine or beer when they are pregnant! It’s weird to see Americans be so paranoid about pregnancy–one of my friends avoided chocolate because of the caffeine in it. To me, avoiding chocolate would be more dangerous than actually eating it, especially for the people around me, lol.

    • crystal November 10, 2011, 2:16 pm

      I agree that America is so insane when it comes to rules. No alcohol at all! You realise Europe isn’t churning out FAS babies by the truckload b/c their moms relax w/a small amount of wine every so often right? No sushi! You do know that in Japan it’s ok right? And people neglect to tell you that one of the riskiest activities you will ever do is drive. The risk of serious injury from driving is at least 50 times more than that of getting sick from sushi from a reputable place, but no one is telling pregnant women not to drive.

    • Emily W November 10, 2011, 4:13 pm

      My grandma insists that drinking a little wine is good for the pregnant woman and the fetus. While I don’t think I will partake while I’m pregnant, it’s always a good reminder that splurging on a cup of coffee every once in a while isn’t a reason to guilt trip! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:22 pm

      I love the last sentence of that comment. LOL!

  • TeenyLittleSuperChef November 10, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Thanks for such an informative and honest post about caffeine consumption. I have never been pregnant but my hubby and I are planning on trying sometime very soon. I have already stopped drinking alcohol and I’ve been toying with the idea of quitting coffee too, but each morning I wake up and get the pot going without even thinking about it. I agree with you that it becomes a ritual. I think trying to adopt some other habit in the morning, like heating up a pot of hot water for tea, will help me curb my habit. Besides, having a little bundle of joy is way more important than any old cup of coffee. Wouldn’t you think?

  • Jocelyn November 10, 2011, 1:23 pm

    A lot of people say that if you are trying to get pregnant, you should be acting like you are pregnant. Well we’ve been trying for 19 months now and I would not have been a happy camper if I completely gave up coffee, alcohol and everything else on day 1. However I have made a good effort to cut down, especially after I know I’ve ovulated that month. However one thing I will not cut out until I get pregnant is hot yoga. I love it so much and it is my sanity. Plus I won’t do it at all during pregnancy so might as well get lots in now.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:23 pm

      I hope you get pregnant soon! Good luck and baby dust.

  • Brie @ Brie Fit November 10, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I quit caffeine almost cold turkey as soon as I got a positive test and still miscarried. I still had a few cups of decaf coffee, and some dark chocolate. After the miscarriage, I stayed off caffeine just because we want to try again ASAP and don’t want to go through the withdrawal process again.

    When I get pregnant again, I will remain caffeine-free. I will do absolutely anything to prevent having another miscarriage. It sucks.

    • K November 12, 2011, 9:51 am

      Agree. Knowing the pain of miscarriage and infertility, it’s easier to give up caffeine than to blame myself if something is wrong with the pregnancy/baby. But, I also believe it is a personal decision to make with help from your doctor, so I don’t see anything wrong with you doing it. It’s just my issue, and my fertility doc said I should give up caffeine to maximize my change of a good pregnancy outcome.

  • Jeannette November 10, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I’ve given up all coffee but it’s solely due to morning sickness! I am 9 weeks and since the morning sickness kicked in I haven’t been interested in any hot beverages- which is a tragedy since its Gingerbread Latte season! At first I did switch to decaf and once I get my appetite back I plan on drinking a cup of decaf (coffee or tea) a day if I want it. I did not cut back on caffeine when trying to conceive- the link was too tenuous to give it up before I absolutely had to! But once I got pregnant even the possible link between caffeine and miscarriage was enough for me to give it up. I think after the first trimester it’s fine in moderation!

  • Vanessa (@IsleStyleLiving) November 10, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I quit regular coffee as soon as I got a BFP on that home pregnancy test.

    I drink decaf regularly (at least 3x/week) but also used to get my caffeine from dark chocolate.

    But after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I cut back A LOT on the chocolate.

    So I get my caffeine from decaf coffee. Honestly I don’t miss the caffeine because like you, I think I’m addicted to the ritual of it, not the actual buzz.

    I can’t wait to have a real cup of coffee though! 6 weeks to go!

  • nancy November 10, 2011, 1:42 pm

    You are going to get way more advice that you want just because of the nature of your job. Just remember that every mom is different and every pregnancy is unique. Don’t let anybody else get in your head. You already eat way better than 99% of the population so please give yourself a break. If a cup of tea or coffee is what your body wants, please have it and enjoy it. I would have lost it not drinking tea during my pregnancies. Sometimes it was the only thing that I could keep down. Eat what your body wants (knowing that may change significantly from day to day) and relax. Baby needs a healthy and peaceful mom. Your mom instincts will tell you what is right for you.

    • CaitlinHTP November 10, 2011, 7:23 pm

      thank you nancy!

  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen November 10, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I gave up caffeine during my first trimester, and for a little ways into my second. But I started drinking caffeine again because I just needed a little pick me up every now and then. As long as you don’t go overboard, and you’re mindful of how your body and baby are reacting, you’ll be just fine.
    I think that nobody can eat like a saint all the time, but I think you’re doing a GREAT job!! 🙂

  • Ashley November 10, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I’ve never been a soda or coffee drinker, so I didn’t have to give up that.

    I was pretty sick the first 15 weeks and lost about 10 pounds, so my doctor said that if it sounded good and I thought it would stay down, eat it. She didn’t care what, as long as it wasn’t raw meat. So I ate lots of saltine crackers, and um, onion rings. Not sure why I always wanted onion rings, but man.

    I do love a good caesar salad, so some places that make their dressing with raw eggs I avoided, but other than that I didn’t worry too much about my diet. Stayed away from alcohol and raw foods, that was about it. But I wasn’t much into healthy eating before my first pregnancy. I think the second go around will be much different now that I’ve changed my eating habits.

    And like the previous poster said, you eat an incredibly healthy well balanced diet most of the time, more so than the majority of the population, so I wouldn’t worry too much!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) November 10, 2011, 2:02 pm

    I wasn’t too big on caffeine before (it gives me the jitters!), but during pregnancy I didn’t have any. Well, that’s a lie. I drank decaf, which as you know still has some caffeine in it, but the research I read said anywhere from 8-15mg per cup. For me, I like the ritual of coffee, too, more than the caffeine kick!

  • crystal November 10, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I drank coffee (1-2 cups a day) after my first trimester. Those first 13 weeks the smell made me sick. I drink caffeine while nursing too (I have no aide how people get through the nonsleeping newborn phase w/o caffeine). I had the midwife ok for a glass of wine once or twice a week towards the end too, so most people probably think I’m a horrible mother who cares more about herself and her comforts than her child *shrug*. I say, know the risks (real risks, not imagined ones) and benefits and make an informed decision that works for your family.

  • Candice @ Sailing on Paper November 10, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Honestly I think as long as you have done your research and talked to your doctor, then there’s no reason to be worried. The stress of wondering whether or not you should have a cup of tea probably is more harmful than the actual caffeine. I think you’re taking a very balanced approach–you will stay healthy while enjoying a treat or two along the way.

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch November 10, 2011, 2:32 pm

    I gave up caffeine entirely until late in my pregnancy, when I’d have one serving of something maybe once a week. I ate well, but I ate too much and gained too much weight and worked wayyyyy too much and slept way too little. No pregnancy is perfect, and it’s just your job to minimize risk factors you can control. Healthy baby, healthy mama. That’s all! You’re doing great!

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 10, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Good for you! I think every little bit helps when it comes to giving your growing baby what it needs (and not giving it what it doesn’t need)! I’m not a coffee/caffeine drinker, but I do like the occasional latte just for taste. The idea of becoming dependent on caffeine actually freaks me out a little!

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY November 10, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I am not a mommy but when I get pregnant you better believe I’ll be having my daily cup of joe still. Like you I love the ritual. However, since I’m prone to acid reflux and I hear that a big baby pushing all your organs around can cause acid reflux so I’d quit the joe if the acid reflux is a problem.

    • Marissa C November 10, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Yeah…at about 32 weeks heartburn set in and straight coffee definitely does evil evil things 🙁

  • erica November 10, 2011, 2:58 pm

    the thought of having to give up coffee sends waves of terror through my body. (just kidding…sort of) my friend who is a new mommy and regular coffee drinker quit cold turkey, but she said she never experienced any withdrawls, which surprised her. my other friend would have a pepsi every once in awhile when she needed a little caffine boost.

    i really wonder what i will do….i think i’ll stick with a cup a day….

  • Pam C November 10, 2011, 2:58 pm

    I’m sorta high risk when it comes to pregnancies and so when I suspected I was pregnant before I quit caffeine while working the night shift… talk about hard. Since then though I haven’t really felt the need for caffeine like I used to. You’d be surprised how much a nice cold drink of water and a quick snack like yogurt can help. I feel it’s best to not restart the torrid affair Caffeine and I had. hahaha

  • Tara November 10, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I drank coffee my whole pregnancy but just about 6 ounces with milk because I also couldn’t give up the morning ritual. Baby is here and healthy. I also just started having a little bit each morning yesterday. I had stopped since we were in the hospital a few days and I was a little nervous about breastfeeding and caffeine but he is fine and still sleeping like a champ.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 10, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Hi Caitlin. I switched to decaf when we were trying to get pregnant and going through treatment, and now, at almost 6 months pregnant – I find that I no longer crave caffeine at all! As to diet – I have been trying to trust my instincts,and go with what feels right and ‘safe’ for me 🙂

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} November 10, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I gave up all caffeine in the first trimester and since then limit my consumption to >100 mg a day. I try to eat as healthy as possible but don’t stress if I give in to a craving for something not-so-healthy. I think my overall diet trumps those occasional lapses. 🙂

  • Marissa C November 10, 2011, 3:46 pm

    I’m not giving up holiday Starbucks lattes at 36 weeks!

    I was never a HUGE coffee drinker to begin with, though. I did start drinking straight coffee less and switched to more lattes…surprisingly much lower in caffeine:


    The baby would go a little nuts after regular coffee and I like lattes better, so it works for me!

    I have avoided alcohol altogether, though. Interestingly, most of the studies have looked at binge drinking vs. no drinking, which isn’t the way most of us drink! There has only been one study that I know of that looked at drinking in moderation–I think they found that drinking in moderation may be linked to kids who have behavior issues at 3 & 4, but it is a hard link to make. And unfortunately, there probably never will be a study looking at drinking in moderation (unless it happens in Europe), because it would be considered unethical to do it! So for now, I figure I can abstain for 9 months and enjoy a nice glass of wine when we get home with Baby Noelle 🙂

    Finally, did you find the whole Kate Middleton/Peanut Paste thing hilarious? I’ve NEVER heard of peanuts being a no-no in the US, so I’m wondering if it is a British thing? Please ask The Husband! I was reading an article about it on the Daily Mail (guilty pleasure) and there were loads of comments from Americans saying things like, “Umm…what are they talking about? I thought peanuts were fine!”

  • Claire November 10, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I’ve only ever been a 1-2 cup of coffee per day sort of person. For all three of my pregnangies I totally went off coffee in the first trimester, I couldn’t stomach it. By the third trimester I could handle it again. But when I went back to it in my first pregnancy, I found I didn’t like it with sugar anymore, and I never have since – weird, but good.

  • Noelle November 10, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I weened myself off the first trimester and like you didn’t think it was possible. Then didn’t have any the second except OCCASSIONALLY or decaf and then by the third I had it sometimes and got a lot more relaxed about all of the rules.

  • kathy November 10, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I gave up caffeine and anything else that did not help my growing baby. I figured it was not forever.
    I think the big thing that woman need to worry about is artificial sweetners and prescription drugs. I really hate the saying I turned out fine people use that for everything. Anyone wondering why there is so many kids now with so many issues. Saying they can not give up cigerettes because baby will go through withdrawal.

  • Alison November 10, 2011, 4:36 pm

    I am pregnant (and also due in June!) and I completely LOST all interest in coffee around 6 weeks.

    I was not a coffee drinker with my first two, but I was when getting pregnant this time. I felt comfortable drinking 1 to 2 cups of coffee day in the morning. My midwife said “if you feel a buzz, the baby does too” and left it at that.

    For me it was definitely about the morning ritual, I totally get that. I honestly have zero interest in it right, I may feel differently once the morning sickness passes. I too read many studies and articles and made the best decision for me! That’s all you can do.

  • Emily November 10, 2011, 4:43 pm

    I am 29 weeks pregnant and have drank 1/4-1/2 cup of coffee daily throughout my pregnancy. I have thankfully had a very healthy pregnancy. Only excessive caffeine intake (in excess of 5 cups per day) has been linked to miscarriage and or conception difficulties. There is not an evidenced based study that caffeine actually causes birth defects in human beings. My OBGYN and the mid-wife practice I go to has confirmed that under 200 mg of caffeine is perfectly safe. Pregnancy is a wonderful experience but you really are put through the wringer as far as what you can and can not do. I think a little bit of caffeine is the least of our worries.

  • clare November 10, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I remember when I was about 5 months pregnant with with second baby (and mom to a preschooler), and had not had coffee since becoming pregnant, I was so run down, and headachey my O.B. said “Drink some coffee! You’ll feel better!” So I did, and I DID feel better. I drank 1/2 cup a day for the rest of my pregnancy, and felt just fine. (;

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny November 10, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I’m pregnant now with baby #2 and I feel the same way you do — I think my emotional health is probably as important as my physical health, and so I have significantly cut my intake, but a couple of cups a week are completely necessary while I’m trying to keep up with my 2 year old, keep a healthy workout schedule, keep my home, and stay happy. I did the same with Baby #1 and she turned out beautifully perfect 🙂 Good luck!

  • Maria (RealFitMama) November 10, 2011, 6:33 pm

    When I was pregnant with Linsey I was an awful mess diet wise and fitness wise and ended up gaining 65lbs. With Regan it was a totally different story. I ran, was a vegetarian, lifted weights and gained 32lbs.

    I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all when I was pregnant with Linsey but I could chug some soda (maybe that’s what’s wrong with her?? 🙂 ) but during my pregnancy with Regan I had given up soda, but was a major coffee drinker. I scaled it way back to a couple coffee drinks a week until after she was born.

    I think you’re doing great!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 10, 2011, 6:34 pm

    I gave up coffee a month ago and I hardly miss it now! You’re right that it’s more about the ritual of drinking coffee than the actual coffee. Now I enjoy a cup of tea in the mornings and I hardly notice the difference!

  • Laura November 10, 2011, 8:46 pm

    While I typically find it a major suck, I’m lucky in that I’m allergic to coffee and will never have this problem when I’m pregnant! I do worry about tea though, because I love my iced tea! However, I’ve almost completely made the switch to green in the mornings and herbal later so I think I’ll be okay in the way distant future 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie November 10, 2011, 9:20 pm

    I’m pregnant now on my second and I never gave up caffeine. I think if I was a soda drinker I might but with coffee and tea it’s a natural source of caffeine and if you take down how much you drink by a bit you’re fine. What my midwife told me is that caffeine affects your baby ten times more than it affects you. If you are wired, your baby is going crazy. If you’re happy/awake, your baby is a little energetic.

    So, I wouldn’t stress about it. I personally get a STRONG coffee aversion while pregnant so during at least the first trimester I’m coffee-free. haha.

  • Coco November 10, 2011, 9:21 pm

    I’ve never been pregnant- but I think that something like caffeine is fine in moderation, or should I say that when I get pregnant I will continue to drink coffee:)

  • Effie Glover November 11, 2011, 6:14 am

    I couldn’t give up my coffee while pregnant. However I traded my Diet Coke for caffine free Diet COke. Which to me tasted the same and gave me that same great feeling i needed in the afternoon. I wasn’t the perfect eater at all, my downfalls were bagels.

  • Kimberly @ Healthy Strides November 11, 2011, 11:12 am

    I did not give up caffeine. Nope. Not me. My doctor said just to limit it, and I stuck around 100 mg a day. I think the more pressure you put on yourself to eat perfectly, the more likely you are to pick up a venti latte and some chocolate-covered beans.

  • Dani November 11, 2011, 11:14 am

    I am currently 35 weeks with my first baby and did not give up caffeine – during the second trimester I would have about 6 oz. of coffee a day and now I typically have about 3-4 cups a week. It’s funny to me with all the evidence out there that caffeine in moderation is ABSOLUTELY fine during pregnancy, people still freak out about it. Listen – after 9 plus months of giving up all kinds of stuff, carrying a baby, and going through the labor/delivery process…..my God, we should be allowed a cup of coffee if we want it. I see so many first-time mothers (esp. in the blogging community) that are trying to win some sort of pregnancy martyr award(“I am definately having an ALL-natural birth!!” “Only cloth diapers for us!!” “No sugar/caffeine/tylenol (even if I have a headache so bad I am in tears!)”……….it is refreshing to read this and some of these comments that are agreeing with the ‘moderation is ok’ mentality.

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture November 11, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I’m not pregnant or a mummy but I completely agree with your approach. The best bet is to take care but ultimately don’t get stressed out over what you should and shouldn’t be having. I may be completely wrong but I think your body will give you the right signs! So excited to follow you on your journey! Enjoy it! 🙂

  • Tina November 11, 2011, 6:32 pm

    I should’ve realized I was pregnant when I was totally turned off by the taste of coffee. It tasted metallic to me. That affect wore off by the time I was in my second trimester but at that point I pretty much stayed off caffeine. I’ve heard that if you stay off or mostly off caffeine through the final trimester and nursing, your baby will sleep better. That certainly seemed to work for me–my son was sleeping through the night (12 hours of nighttime sleep with one feeding) by 6 weeks old!

  • Becka November 11, 2011, 7:20 pm

    I’m 28 weeks pregnant (almost 29) and I went coffee free, cold-turkey style when I found out I was pregnant and I used to drink a pot a day! I have no idea why but it was like turning off a light… i just didn’t want it. Till this month (when Starbucks holiday stuff has started to come out) so I’ll get a decaf latte maybe once a week. 🙂

    But… I did my share of eating “no-no” foods. I’ve been eating tuna my whole pregnancy (CRAVED IT) and feta and goat cheese (I’ve been told that as long as it’s pasteurized it’s okay and most cheese, even soft, in the US is.)

    I had to stop looking up “Is it safe” because pretty much everything online says that everything is unsafe. They can’t do any real testing on pregnant women so they just tell you to avoid everything. I’ve joked on multiple occasions that if it was up to the internet, I’d be living in a padded room with nothing but a treadmill in it. 😉

  • Lauren November 11, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I live in France and I’ve never heard of a pregnant woman here giving up coffee or even cheese (and bear in mind that for us pasteurized cheese is icky cheap stuff, which does not count as real cheese).

    And yet, strangely, we seem to be able to produce babies as well as the rest of the world… 😉

    • danielle November 12, 2011, 8:03 am

      I like this comment. People here to to seriously chill and stop beating themselves up, it’s so much worse for the baby to worry about every little thing than it is to eat a hot dog or have a cup of coffee once a week. Sheesh.

  • BethT November 12, 2011, 1:14 pm

    I would not have survived pregnancy without caffeine. I also ate too much lunchmeat, but you know what? My baby and I are fine 🙂 All things in moderation continues into pregnancy, too, in my opinion.

  • Angie November 14, 2011, 1:17 pm

    With my first pregnancy I completely gave up caffeine and then with each subsequent pregnancy I had slightly more per day. During my 4th pregnancy once I was in the 2nd trimester(ended in June of 2011 with a bouncing baby boy!) I had about 2 cups of coffee a day. it was just too hard to deal with the 3 kids I had at the time without my morning joe. During my first trimester coffee made me feel sick…

    I had read the studies that you have read and decided that the risks they discuss didn’t really apply to me at that point. I didn’t know I was pregnant with my 4th until I was almost 10 weeks along; I get pregnant VERY easily; and I have large babies!

    The only pregnancy rule I was really anal about was to be careful about listeria – no unpasteurized soft cheeses and always heating up my cold cuts before eating. Apparently I tested negative to the listeria antibodies which meant it would have been very easy for me to contract it.

    You have to make the decisions that are right for you and your family and be somewhat chill about it. There is too much information available for the vulnerable, hormonal pregnant woman – it is easy to drive yourself crazy with worry. But wait until the baby is actually here…then you’ll know the true meaning of worry!

  • Kathy November 14, 2011, 2:23 pm

    I didn’t have to worry about giving up coffee when I got pregnant. When I fell prey to morning sickness, I also could not stand the smell of brewed coffee. I got deathly sick. So much for my morning Joe. Though I almost always drank decaf (yea I know there is still caffeine in that), I would have loved to be able to continue drinking a cup a day, but I simply couldn’t get past the smell. (The same thing with burning wood. Oh barf) After the baby, I was fine.

  • Sarah November 15, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I did eventually give up coffee during my pregnancy, but it was more because it was just way too acidic for me during the second half of the first trimester. After that (and I could handle coffee again), I just decided to stick to decaf since I knew I wanted to limit my caffeine intake and I’d rather save my caffeine milligrams for chocolate!

  • Emily B November 19, 2011, 8:10 am

    Hey Caitlin,
    Try peppermint tea, I’m not pregnant but it tastes amazing, is 100 percent caffeine free and cures gastric upsets like wind and nausea. My sister and I love it:)

  • Joanie November 24, 2011, 2:56 pm

    I allowed myself one cup of coffee a day while I was pregnant. I cut out pop completely. I also had a glass of red wine here and there in my 3rd trimester.

    Congratulations! Being a mommy and pregnant is the best thing in the whole wide world! I have been reading your blog since it was Run Bride Run so it is fun to read about your life changes!!!

  • Joyce November 27, 2011, 12:22 pm

    Congrats on the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the toughest part about giving up coffee was finding an alternative. Some herbal teas were big no-nos and then i found out that green tea hinders absorption of folic acid, so be careful! http://www.babycenter.ca/pregnancy/nutrition/foodsafety/greenteaexpert/

  • Amy November 28, 2011, 3:28 pm

    im trying to get pregnant now and actually never thought of giving up coffee when trying. i only drink a cup a day (usually) so who knows if that even makes a difference. something to think about though! congrats 🙂

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  • Sheila morris April 26, 2014, 4:00 pm

    I drank on cup with my son when i wanted to. With my second chimd which i am carrying now i drink one and then a cup of half calf if needed. Having a toddler and being prego is exsausting.

  • Krista January 13, 2016, 6:15 pm

    I realize this post is very old and you’re probably onto new journeys in your life!

    However this is my third pregnancy and the second time during this pregnancy I am kicking the caffeine, I’m kind of an all or nothing girl. “Cutting back” always turns into drinking the same amount or more in a few weeks. So I found myself drinking 1/2 cups a day again after having zero for 2 months. All it took was a few sips of my husbands white chocolate mocha and I was back on the train.

    But I realized in my first pregnancy that caffeine was actually making me more tired. I drink it for a boost, and it works at the time, but then I crash and continue to be in a less energized state well into the next day. So, of course, I drink more. Today is my second day without caffeine again. And although I’m exhausted right now I know I’m going to feel better after a week or so. And hey if I start walking again I’ll have even more energy!

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