A Toast to Decaf
It's not uncommon to brew an extra pot of coffee or indulge in a steaming cup of hot cocoa when winter roars outside our doors. However, keeping one's caffeine intake to a minimum is important, especially during the first trimester, says. Dr. Angle, pointing to a potentially increased miscarriage risk.
"Most authorities recommend avoiding caffeine altogether or at least limiting intake to one to two servings a day (less than 200 mg caffeine per day)," adds Dr. Green. Instead, Dr. Angle suggests pregnant women stay hydrated by keeping a glass or bottle of water nearby throughout the day. "They have an expanded blood volume to help support their pregnancy, so most women find that they are thirsty," she says.
Increasing fluid intake during the second and third trimesters decreases the risk of uterine irritability, uterine contractions, and the possibility of premature labor. However, cautions Dr. Valfer, while stepping up the consumption of fluids, be wary of the caloric content of those beverages so as not to gain excessive weight.
In fact, it is often during these cold months and holiday get-togethers when many people—pregnant or not—tend to indulge in extra snacking, acknowledges Dr. Green. "Concentrate more on eating healthily and you will have a much better chance of staying within the recommended weight gain (25-30 lbs.)," he says.
So, during the blustery, cold months of fall and winter, take extra care of yourself and your baby-to-be. Ask your OB-GYN if you are a good candidate for a flu shot, map out your Plan-A route (and Plans B, C, and D!) to the hospital in preparation for inclement weather, and enjoy this special and exciting time before your baby arrives.