Caffeine during pregnancy – cutting it out
As I’m in the stages of planning a pregnancy I thought it would be good to start minimizing my caffeine intake and hopefully do without it altogether. Caffeine can be harmful during pregnancy because it has been linked to increased rate of miscarriage and still births. For newborns exposed to large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy, their heart rate and breathing rate can be faster and spend more time awake for a few days after birth. Caffeine during pregnancy can also restrict iron absorption. Because of these reasons, I’m trying to kick the habit and steer clear of caffeine altogether.
I’m two days in – hear that? Just two days in and I have one hell of a headache, feel as tired as if it’s the end of a busy week and I really had trouble concentrating at work today. It’s Monday and usually I’m fully refreshed after the weekend and have a lot of energy for the week ahead. I’m not a coffee drinker and generally only drink 3 cups of strong tea per day and maybe the odd diet coke.
As such, I’ve done some research into helping combat the problems of stopping caffeine during pregnancy.
Here are my top 10 tips to prevent caffeine withdrawal symptoms:
1. Drink plenty of filtered water (about 6-8 glasses throughout the day).
2. Give yourself longer sleeping time. Until you adjust your body’s going to feel fatigued and sleepy. Catch a few extra zzz’s to fully recoup.
3. Try and get in 30 mins of exercise a day – even a brisk walk will make you feel better and more lively.
4. Eat regular meals to keep your blood sugar levels up.
5. Drink green tea (1 or 2 cups a day reduces the risks during pregnancy compared to a high caffeine coffee), this has much lower caffeine – decaf teas also have much lower content but do contain some caffeine.
6. Try to minimize stress and give yourself extra time to relax.
7. Enjoy a hot bath – the steam and heat can relax you and ease a headache.
8. Get distracted – assign a game or task to distract you in your weakest moment when you are about to reach for a caffeine fix.
9. Listen to your favorite fun and up-beat music to liven you up when fatigue gets the best of you. If the environment permits, have a littel dance and sing aloud to perk you up.
10. Take pleasure in saving the money you’d normally spend on coffee – especially if you’re starting a family, you’ll soon need the extra cash or how about treating yourself to something nice as a reward!
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Wish me luck!