When You Are Pregnant And Can't Have Your Usual Pot Of Coffee, Check Out These Alternatives.

You've celebrated your positive pregnancy test and all of a sudden you realize that this means that you should probably cut your daily coffee out of your morning routine. Time to panic? Not so! Read on for easy and fun alternatives to caffeine.
By Monica Beyer

No caffeine? Why?
You will want to monitor your caffeine usage during pregnancy because caffeine causes your blood vessles to constrict, which in turn can reduce blood flow to the placenta. The March of Dimes recommends no more than 200mg per day, or about the amount of one large cup of regular coffee. Some studies have linked high quantities of caffeine to miscarriage or stillbirth, and while the links haven't been proven, it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution and shoot for an even smaller goal. These tips will help you get inspired to reduce your caffeine intake!

You can try a wide variety of drinks that are caffeine free.

On cool days
Cooler (or just plain cold) days can make you crave a warm cup of coffee. Even though decaf coffee does contain a small amount of caffeine (generally about 10% of the amount present in regular brewed coffee), it is a great alternative to a cup of regular joe. Sticking to one or two cups of decaf should keep your caffeine consumption in an acceptable range (that is, little to none).

You can also try hot tea which is a treat if you haven't had it before. Using decaf or herbal tea is a great choice for the mom-to-be, and the warmth will be comforting on your hands and in your belly on the worst winter days. You can even try adding some creamer to your tea if you like it in your coffee.

Hot peppermint tea is great around the holidays and can also make a wonderful aroma around your home if you make a teapot full.

On warm days
If you enjoy your tea iced, why not try decaf or herbal tea on the rocks? Some of the fun, fruity flavors of herbal tea are excellent over ice (along with some honey or agave syrup to sweeten a little if needed).

Make ice cubes out of different fruit juices to add to your teas. Apple juice ice cubes are awesome in an herbal raspberry iced tea! This is also a good way to get a little more vitamin C in your diet as well.

Instead of drinking colas or other caffeineated sodas, make your own personal punch. Add a can of pineapple juice to a bottle of ginger ale, and keep cool in a pitcher in the fridge.

You can also look into buying (or borrowing) a juicer. You can enjoy a wealth of solid nutrition by juicing a bevy of fruits and vegetables, and it tastes great too. Try combinations such as a tropical theme with strawberries, mango and kiwi. Or what about apples, grapes and raspberries?

Another fun drink (which actress Rebecca Romijn recently revealed is her favorite) is to mix Vita Coco coconut water with lemonade. Enjoy your virgin martini in a fun glass to make it extra special.

What else contains caffeine?
Chocolate also contains caffeine. As mentioned before, small amounts are ok, so it's probably best if you don't park yourself by the candy bowl at your family gathering or keep a bag of chocolate treats in your desk drawer at work. Toss a few in your bag as you go out or have a couple with your evening meal instead of eating handfuls at a time.

Some medications also contain caffeine, such as the over-the-counter headache reliever Excedrin. You are probably already going over all of the medications you take with your medical provider so you can trust him or her to let you know which medications are safe to take at your stage of pregnancy.

So, instead of relying on your old, caffeine-drinking ways, branch out and experiment with other fun drinks while you are pregnant (and breastfeeding). Chances are you will find something that you love just as much (or almost as much!) and you will have no problem giving up your daily mug of coffee!

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