An aversion to certain foods and drinks, including coffee, is one common symptom of early pregnancy. While pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman, many women experience a disgust for coffee while in their first trimester of pregnancy. Among the possible reasons for this reaction is the body’s attempt to protect the fetus from extraneous substances.
The most obvious sign of early pregnancy is a skipped or delayed period. Depending on your body weight and other personal factors, you may begin experiencing pregnancy symptoms within a week of conception, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Aside from an aversion to coffee and other drinks and foods, you may also experience fatigue, nausea, back aches, headaches, frequent urination, breast tenderness and darkening of the skin around your nipples.
The Science of Aversions
As you enter your first trimester, your body begins to crave certain nutrients that are necessary for fetal tissue development, such as protein and carbohydrates. In addition to craving certain foods, your body may also trigger aversion to foods and substances that may be potentially dangerous to the fetus. If you normally drink coffee in the early hours, you may also be experiencing your aversion as a result of morning sickness. According to MayoClinic.com, morning sickness occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to your uterine lining, causing your body to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which is typically accompanied by nausea.
A study published in the 2004 issue of “Reproductive Toxicology” observed the coffee-drinking habits of 105 women in early pregnancy. Of all the women, 96 percent decreased or quit drinking coffee during their first trimester. Of these, 65 percent reported experiencing an aversion to coffee, resulting in nausea, appetite loss and vomiting. Another study published in the 2007 issue of the “British Medical Journal” presented evidence that suggests the possibility of an increased risk of infertility, birth defects, stillbirth, premature birth, miscarriage and fetal growth restriction in pregnancies where caffeine was consumed. Unfortunately, the results are conflicted, and more evidence is needed to make a definitive claim.
Talk to your doctor before consuming caffeine, or any other mind-altering substance, while pregnant. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that elevates the quantity of stress hormones in your body. As a result, it is generally considered unadvisable to consume caffeine during pregnancy.
- MayoClinic.com: Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much?
- MayoClinic.com: Nausea During Pregnancy: A Good Thing?
- British Medical Journal: Coffee and Pregnancy
- American Pregnancy Association: Pregnancy Symptoms -- Early Signs of Pregnancy
- Reproductive Toxicology: Changes In Caffeine Consumption As A Signal Of Pregnancy