When I was at university, I worked part-time at an Italian restaurant and drank a lot of coffee. I drank so much that I pretty much became immune to this delicious drug. I could drink easily 4 cups before bed and still go to sleep. Now I don’t know what the quality of my sleep was like but let’s just say, coffee didn’t keep me awake.
Since then, my love affair with coffee has made me become a bit of coffee snob and café maven. Before kids, when I drove past a new café, it was a must that the car was to be stopped to try out what was on the drip.
Now with kids pretty much attached to me 24/7 it’s sub-standard coffee on the go. If someone said to me that coffee was bad for my health, well then we would have to come to some sort of compromise because hey, we need balance in our lives right?
Fortunately, the jury is out on that, as there are some pros for good coffee.
But if someone said to me that coffee increases my risk of a miscarriage, well that was an obvious coffee ban on the spot. I know what it’s like to have a miscarriage. Both of my boys were conceived after a miscarriage, so I get the heartache and the disappointment to learn that pregnancy didn’t progress. Although I cannot fully comprehend how hard it would be to have a miscarriage one after another, I have worked with clients who have and helped them with their pregnancy to full term.
What’s interesting is many of my clients happen to also be coffee addicts too so as painful as this might sound for those who love coffee and are trying to get pregnant, I’ll share some information to soften the blow.
I think firstly it’s important to know that miscarriages are more common than we know. We just don’t talk about it. Around 60-80% of miscarriages happen due to genetic abnormalities because it’s the body’s design to ensure we are destined to have healthy babies. Especially in our modern-day culture, we don’t really share our pregnancy news until the 12-week mark.
Having a miscarriage even in the first few months can be heartbreaking. I believe it’s important that women can feel safe to share within the inner circle of their pregnancy news so if it things don’t go to plan; they have a support network to comfort them during this venerable time.
In a study done by the Researchers from the US healthcare firm Kaiser Permante in Oakland, California, they found in their study that caffeine intake increases the risk of miscarriages. Now the study wasn’t talking about coffee specifically but coffee would be the biggest dietary source of caffeine. So if you’re not a coffee drinker, then consider other sources where you might be consuming too much caffeine, such as tea and energy drinks. Just drinking more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily, increases the risk of a miscarriage twofold.
What we found was that if women have heavy caffeine intake — greater than 200 milligrams a day — they have double the risk of miscarriage than women that don’t have any caffeine.
Dr. Li a Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiologist
Although it’s not clear how caffeine affects conception, what we do know is that caffeine crosses the placental barrier and can reach the developing foetus according to the study.
Some medical professionals speculate that caffeine can have an impact on the developing embryo in the uterus or even the maturation of the egg before conception even occurs.
It’s not forever. Bottom line, it’s probably a good rule of thumb to completely give up caffeine when you’re trying to conceive and at least for the first trimester of your pregnancy to reduce any risk of a miscarriage. Hey, there is always decaffeinated coffee!
For more tips to get you pregnancy ready, you can download the Core Basics for Balancing Your Hormones here.