It’s been well-documented that my coffee addiction is … substantial. Briefly on hiatus during my pregnancy, I was reunited with my beloved beverage after the baby was born, and now I’m back in the habit.
Since I work from our home office and I’m also the primary caregiver for BSparl, sleep is a hot commodity. Actually, I don’t get to sleep much, so the coffee is very much my friend these days. Work hard, play hard, drink much of the coffee.
The other day, I was out with the baby, running a few errands. I had to visit the post office, the grocery store, CVS … and Dunkin Donuts. I try to make my order sound fresh and new (versus something I say almost without thinking), and I leaned out the window to order into the drive through speaker. (Instead of into the garbage can, which is something I’ve done more times than I’d care to admit.)
“Hi!” Total joy. “Can I please have a medium iced coffee with cream and two Splenda?”
“Sure thing. Please drive up.”
So I drive up. But when I get to the window, there’s a little bit of confusion.
“Okay, so one coffee with milk and sugar, two doughnuts, and a bagel with cream cheese?” The boy attending the window had a bag of deliciousness in his hand. My stomach said “YES! YES. THOSE BELONG TO ME.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*
I can already tell that this pregnancy is different from my first. When I was pregnant with Little Isis, I drank no caffeine and took no over-the-counter medication. I remember having a few headaches and Mr. Isis fighting with me to take a headache pill. I would then proclaim dramatically, “But I can’t! What if it hurts the baby?!”
This morning, now pregnant with my second, I washed down a Zyrtec and two Tylenol with a cup of coffee. The little bugger is going to have to grow up with Little Isis. He might as well start building up his tolerance to exogenous substances at some point. I figure, now that its got a closed neural tube and a beating heart, we might as well begin.
Still, you can’t blame a pregnant woman for being a bit neurotic. The feeling that one is solely responsible for the well-being of a developing creature, combined with often contradictory advice, is enough to make anyone nuts. Most online advice is completely and utterly useless. Take this answer from Russell Turk, M.D. on the popular pregnancy website BabyCenter in response to the common question, “Is it safe to drink diet soda during pregnancy?” He answers:
Diet sodas often contain both caffeine and an artificial sweetener. There are several types of artificial sweeteners you may see on nutrition labels:
Aspartame (NutraSweet): Seems to be okay when consumed in moderation (the amount found in one or two 12-ounce servings of soda per day).
Saccharin (Sweet’n Low): Saccharin was found to cause birth defects in laboratory rats when consumed in very high amounts. Because its safety in smaller amounts is hard to prove, I would advise avoiding it.
Sucralose (Splenda): This relatively new sweetener, a modified form of regular table sugar, appears to be safe. But because it hasn’t been extensively studied, it’s best used in moderation.
It’s generally bad advice and leaves one wondering: “What is moderation? Will one soda hurt my baby? Will two sodas hurt my baby? How about three?” The default answer when we don’t know seems to be to tell women to do things in “moderation.” This places the sole responsibility on her to know what moderation means, and allows her to feel the guilt if something goes wrong. I think that these imprecise answers leave many women feeling helpless and afraid. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Brain Confounds Everything*