Pregnant. Why I quit caffeine.
16 May, 2023
There are two times in the day that make for the optimal brew experience in my opinion. The first one being in the morning, the one we all talk about; as you open your eyes to the world and unenthusiastically make your way to the kitchen, the smell of morning coffee is only rivalled by freshly cut grass in the springtime AND the second time being early to mid-afternoon, around 2pm. The 36 brews during the rest of the day just don’t compare (hold your horses, before you get worried about me, the 36 is more like 3).
So, who am I and why do you care? Well, I’m Ryan’s partner (he calls me his better half and of course I agree) and although part of Blendsmiths and a huge advocate of our blends, I am a self-confessed coffee drinker, in fact, we all love coffee here but there is a quota.
Thea Alba, Baby Blendsmith Number 3
In June 2022, we fell pregnant with our first child and it’s no secret that caffeine isn’t top of the Christmas card list for most paediatricians. Why you might ask; Caffeine is a stimulant that can cross the placenta and affect the developing fetus. Consuming high levels of caffeine during pregnancy has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight, and other adverse effects on fetal development. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, which is about one 12-ounce cup of coffee. However, some studies suggest that even lower levels of caffeine intake may be associated with negative outcomes for the developing fetus. Enough to throw that £60 Ethiopian Gabisha coffee in the trash right?!
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IS OFTEN DRIVEN BY MARKETING CAMPAIGNS, BUT HAVE CONSUMER HABITS CHANGED THE CAFE SCENE?
I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks, so I decided to quit caffeine for the following 9 months. At this point, you might think the simple solution would be to revert simply to decaf coffee. Well, I did, for a while. There are some amazing decaf coffees out there, and I don’t particularly drink coffee for the highs and low, and I certainly don’t buy into the ‘death before decaf’ suggestion. I swapped out my usual routine to drinking Blendsmiths Masala Chai Blend (instead of just at the tasting table). Chai tea is typically made with a blend of spices, milk and black tea! However, at Blendsmiths we remove the black tea which makes the blend caffeine free. It’s worth noting, whilst there is no direct evidence to suggest that drinking chai tea during pregnancy is super harmful, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
That being said, there are a few potential benefits to drinking non-caffeinated chai tea during pregnancy. Here are a few: 1. I found it to be incredibly comforting and a soothing drink: Pregnancy can be a stressful and anxious time, and a warm cup of non-caffeinated chai tea can help you to relax and unwind, especially during the winter months but I’ll tell you what, those iced chai’s during the sweaty and uncomfortable months of June and July were a god send. 2. It can help with digestion: The spices in chai tea, such as ginger and cinnamon, are known to aid digestion and relieve nausea, which can be common during pregnancy. I suffered with bad dry retching in the first months, the spices in the chai blend certainly helped to calm things down. 3. It can provide antioxidants: Chai tea contains antioxidants, which can help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. 4. It can be a good source of calcium: If you use milk in your chai tea, it can be a good source of calcium, which is important for the development of your baby's bones and teeth.
Our little girl Thea is now 6 weeks old, I’m still not drinking caffeine as I’m breast feeding and do you know what? Although it’s hard to say that quitting caffeine has had a big part to play in boosting my overall mood because right now, I’m still going through an incredible amount of turbulent emotions. I’m certainly not getting the waves of anxious heart palpitations my body and my brain had gotten used to. The journey of pregnancy is hard and difficult to process the changes to our bodies. My mission wasn’t to become some health junkie, I simply wanted to make a couple of small and manageable changes that might help me cope with the journey a little easier. Plenty of walks, cleaning (believe it or not), listening to positivity podcasts (whilst cleaning), surrounding myself with positive people and food/drink choices really helped me and I’ve continued this after birth.
Credited to the author:.