To caffeinate or not to caffeinate, that may be your question. When I had Makayla in 2012, I don't recall a daily caffeine limit, I believe I was just told to avoid it and that made sense so I quit cold turkey and had one heck of a no-caffeine hang-over for days. It was down right miserable. Now, fast forward 5 years later and I am expecting baby # 2 (woohoo!). I did it again, quit cold turkey and was almost bedridden for the first day (Yes, this opened my eyes to possibly, maybe, probably having a slight...ok severe caffeine dependence) I couldn't tell the difference between pregnancy related nausea and headaches and lack of caffeine, it was all just soooo pleasant! (pshaw!) So, by day two I needed the ability to function again, I did 4 oz of organic whole bean coffee fresh ground and blended with MCT oil and grass-fed butter (baby needs nourishing fats and so does mama!) and it was enough to take the edge off and back to chaotic life I went. But I only did that for about 2 more days. Then coffee just didn't sound good for several weeks and I was ok.
At my first OB visit one of the staff provided "nutritional guidance" (sort of... I suppose as complete as western medicine non-nutrition trained personnel can provide) and it listed caffeine under 200 mg per day as being safe for baby. While I am not totally convinced we should be doing a daily dose of caffeine while building a human inside of us, it can be a nice treat here and there or when there are some days of serious energy struggle. But I would recommend that if you are going to indulge now and again to keep it below 200mg AND to blend that coffee with fats to slow down the rate at which the caffeine enters your blood stream. One, that will help give you more sustained energy without jitters and if it slower getting into you, I want to believe baby is less effected.
Quality of coffee counts. Skip those single cup pre-ground coffee crap that sits in plastic and then is heated in plastic, those can't be good for anyone! There have also been many reports of ground coffee being mixed with fillers like corn and dirt! (Read USA Today article here). Read What's Wrong with Buying Pre-Ground Coffee.
Coffee is also a high mold (aka Mycotoxin) risk food. While some argue the % of exposure is low and we get toxin exposure from so many other places on a daily basis. But I argue, if we are constantly bombarded with toxins, we should do our best to limit where we can and where we know we are at risk. So pounding many cups a day is not only bad for baby, but could be bad for our long term health if we are taking in higher amounts of toxins. So you want to aim for caffeinated single source, whole bean organic coffee. Wet processing seems to be the method that produces the lower toxin beans as well, but that may take some research to find out if your current beans use that method.
Decaf might seem the logical way to go when you are pregnant, however caffeine prohibits the growth of mold so it protects the beans somewhat from this type of potent mold growth. You might be saying well doesn't brewing the coffee kill the mycotoxins? Roasting can kill off some of the toxins, but unfortunately, your brew never gets hot enough to kill 100% of those nasty rapscallions, so choose better quality. Read Debunking the Myth About Mycotoxins to better decide for yourself what is right for you.
If you still want to indulge now and again, here is my
Mama-to-be Coffee recipe:
4-6 oz hot, organic fresh ground coffee
1-2 tsp MCT oil or 1 scoop MCT oil powder (Non-gmo)
2 tsp - 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter (I use Kerry Gold, day to find at the the grocery stores)
3 Tbsp organic half and half (When you froth the cream it is going to give you tons of volume to make you feel like you have a full latte in your cup, but we keep the caffeine low)
sweetener of choice
cinnamon or pumpkin spice if desired
Frother (I happen to have inherited this one and love it )
Favorite mug (you know you have one...or two!)
A minute to yourself to savor it! (wishful thinking?)
Warm the half and half for about 20-30 seconds in a mug in the microwave. Pour hot coffee into a glass blender. Add in butter, MCT oil, any sweetener or spices. Blend until it begins to froth (about 20 seconds). Remove warm half and half from microwave. Pour into frother and pump until it froths up to a nice thick fluffy consistency. Pour coffee from blender into your mug, then pour in the frothed up cream. Top with a dusting of spices like cinnamon or pumpkin for a fall treat. The froth tastes up a lot of volume and makes you feel like you are getting a larger cup of coffee, when if fact you are probably getting 48-72 g of caffeine (4 oz or 6 oz of coffee respectively).