March 06, 2003
permalink coffee and alcohol

Most people apparently lose their desire for coffee when they get pregnant. Not me. Before I got pregnant I would have two bialetti or espresso style coffees a day. Sometimes a third if I was really exhausted at the end of the day. During this pregnancy I cut back to just the one, first thing in the morning, which all my reading and discussions with doctors/diabetes educators/midwives told me was quite safe.

Occasionally I have a very small second cup in the afternoons, as I have done just now. Once I had a long black as my second cup in the afternoon which was incredibly strong. My god! It was horrific! I was sooooo speedy and completely wired. It took me many hours to come down. Not a nice experience!


Alcohol is more interesting. I'd become used to drinking a glass or two of red wine most nights after work, and often on weekends. Probably not a great idea, but I was being so strict with my diabetes and work was quite stressful, so a glass or 2 at night I guess became a habit. In the time before I knew I was pregnant (so I guess it would have been about 2 weeks after conception) I was probably drinking a glass of red say 5 nights a week. Once I knew I was pregnant, I suppose I asked my endo. He said one drink was fine. (and one coffee a day was fine) so I kept drinking, probably about 3 or 4 nights a week, just the one glass.

But this very low rate drinking soon wore off too. I guess I started reading books and web sites, most of which used the line. "no safe level of drinking during pregnancy has been identified, so we recommend avoiding it, especially in the first trimester". I resented it at first, thinking the books were puritanical. And indeed found a web site that looked very very credible that said regular, low amounts of drinking during pregnancy have been shown to cause no harm. It cited numerous research studies. I think the web pages were set up by a female doctor in the US who was getting outraged by all the moralistic, destructive ads appearing on US television that purported, 'even one drink during pregnancy can harm your baby'.

Anyhow, when my morning sickness (mainly just 24 hour a day queasiness) set in at around 5 weeks, I just didn't have a desire to drink alcohol anyway. So from then on I haven't, except for 2 social occasions, at which I had just the one glass. Some women report that alcohol smells and tastes foul to them during pregnancy, like vinegar. I didn't find that. I just wasn't interested.

Posted by patton at March 06, 2003 01:05 PM
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