Cutting the caffeine: Giving up coffee while we’re trying to get pregnant

My partner Sam and I love our morning ritual: we wake up early, go for a run, and then grab large lattes on our way home. We sip our drinks, read the morning paper, and then get ready for work. I’ll often grab another large coffee mid-morning, and on a long workday, I’ll have another in the afternoon. Sam uses the espresso machine at work to make himself a coffee during the day when the mood strikes him, and sometimes if it’s been a really busy day, he stops to pick up another coffee on his way home from work. Needless to say, coffee plays an important role in our lives.

When we recently decided that we’re going to try to get pregnant we were both a bit blown away when our family doctor told us that we’re drinking way too much coffee. He said there is growing evidence that caffeine has a negative effect on men and women’s fertility and that if we’re serious about wanting to get pregnant, we need to dramatically cut back our coffee consumption, not just while we’re trying to get pregnant but also during the pregnancy. All I could think was, “No more coffee? For 9 whole months or more?” Sam and I looked at each other in disbelief. Our doctor suggested that we start by trying to decrease our caffeine intake rather going cold turkey.

After doing some research on the internet we decided there was some pretty good health reasons for slowing down our caffeine intake – whether or not we are trying to get pregnant. So we made a pact to limit our coffee to our morning lattes, and use the money we’ll save on coffee the rest of the day to treat ourselves every few weeks to dinner at our favourite restaurant. So here we are, almost a month into our new routine. It certainly hasn’t been easy – especially the first two weeks when we both were a bit grumpy and irritable – but it’s getting easier. Both of us are finding that we’re sleeping better, and we’re not quite as “wired” as we seemed to be before. Even though it’s been challenging, if cutting back on our caffeine helps with a pregnancy, then it’s worth it. And these added health benefits are icing on the cake.

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