Drink Coffee? Have a Longer Pregnancy

Posted on Mar 25, 2013 by 2 Comments
Drink Coffee? Have a Longer Pregnancy

How long was your pregnancy?  I am what my midwife calls a “slow cooker” – all but one of my eight pregnancies was 43 weeks. Yes, most of my children were 19 to 21 days late.

The only one that came on time was the first and that was because of an induction on my due date. I am pretty sure she wasn’t willingly on time. Chronic lateness is a characteristic that persists at my house, by the way.

Next question, do you drink coffee?

You may think that sounds awfully random, but according to a new Swedish study, caffeine consumption was found to lengthen pregnancy. Mother’s that had a higher caffeine intake averaged a whole five more hours of pregnancy per 100 mg of caffeine per day.

If the caffeine came mostly from coffee, that time increased to eight hours per 100 mg. That fact may indicate that there is some substance in coffee alone that interferes with gestation.

Apparently I was mainlining coffee.

Researchers also believe that coffee during pregnancy can lower a baby’s birth weight, leaving her open for complications and health problems.

Apparently my children did not read that part of the research because they were almost all over nine pounds and one was over eleven pounds.

The current recommendation for the World Health Organization is that pregnant women get no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. An average cup of coffee has between 100 and 200 mg, so let’s not even talk about that venti latte with an extra shot of espresso that beckons every time you drive by the coffee shop.

When I was pregnant, coffee was a necessity, not a luxury. I needed a good, strong shot of that stuff to get me up and moving in the morning. Another cup at mid-morning ensured that I didn’t fall asleep while I was vacuuming, and a mid-afternoon coffee break meant that we didn’t have just peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

I spent my entire pregnancy being exhausted to the point of narcoleptic behavior. I couldn’t even sit down and watch television in the evenings because I would be asleep before the first commercials were over.

Not too many years ago, researchers claimed that caffeine was linked with miscarriage and women should limit their caffeine intake because of that.

I am not a doctor, and I am not involved with research, but it seems to me that research flip flops every decade or so. It is difficult to keep up with all of the new guidelines and you can drive yourself crazy worrying about whether or not you are doing the right thing.

That is especially true when you realize that whatever you do today will be wrong in ten years or less.

I think with coffee, as with everything, it is a good idea to control yourself. All things in moderation is a good standard to go by. Unless you have a high risk pregnancy or certain medical conditions, it is probably just fine to have a couple of cups of coffee a day.

Did you drink coffee while you were pregnant?

source: NY Daily News

photo credit: ali edwards via photopin cc

Posted in: Maternity
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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  • http://www.momhomeguide.com/ MomHomeGuide

    My doctor told me not to drink coffee when I was pregnant. I guess that is why!

  • Penny W.

    No coffee, no chocolate, no soda! Boy did I do a happy dance after my pregnancies and breast feeding days were over! :)