Please don't judge, but do I really need to give up Diet Coke? — The Bump
1st Trimester

Please don't judge, but do I really need to give up Diet Coke?

Just how dangerous are caffeine and aspartame to my pregnancy?
Is it one of those "we can't really know, so better safe than sorry" things?
Or are there known risks?

I know it's selfish but I'm just having trouble with the idea of giving up my only source of caffeine. I average about 40-60oz a day. I know, it's really bad. Maybe if I limit myself to one 20oz bottle?

Pregnancy Ticker

Re: Please don't judge, but do I really need to give up Diet Coke?

  • jessafishyjessafishy
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Photogenic
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    edited February 2017
    I'm not giving up my coffee. Most OBs will tell you that you can have up to 200mg of caffeine a day.

    I'm not sure on the aspartame because I absolutely despise it.
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  • The reason caffeine is so bad during pregnancy is that it causes the blood vessels in the placenta to dilate and it can weaken the tissue. My midwife said 1 cup of coffee per day, and no more. I don't use artificial sweeteners, so I can't tell you why they're bad. 
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  • 40-60 ounces a day is a lot of soda for really anyone, but especially pregnant women. I still drink Diet Coke (and coffee and other sodas) while pregnant, but more like 1 Diet Coke a week. I also tend to prefer Dr Pepper while I am pregnant and drink regular instead of diet (but also in limited amounts).

    Do you drink water as well? I am surprised you don't get dehydrated. 

    I would try to slowly wean yourself off of it- you may get headaches if you stop suddenly.
  • saladflambesaladflambe
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    edited February 2017
    Can't speak to the caffeine aside from stay at 200mg or under per day, but I drank caffeine-free diet coke and other aspartame-laden beverages throughout pregnancy without issue. 

    I developed a horrible water aversion during pregnancy, so that was fun. :no_mouth:
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  • Thanks ladies. I do agree that I need to at the very least cut back. I also heard that splenda is generally better than aspartame so I may switch to the diet coke made with splenda. I'll try getting down to one a day.

    Also, yes I do drink water. I have a 32 oz water bottle and I make myself drink at least one of those a day while I'm at work, and then I usually have a smaller glass in the morning and one at night. I should probably be drinking more but I struggle to get through even that amount most days.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • My OB says 1 cup of coffee a day is fine and won't hurt baby. Caffeine can cause growth retardation in LO and in higher levels isn't good for the placenta. Giving up caffeine was hard for sure. Peppermint and raspberry green tea are my new morning pick me ups.

    As far as aspartame is concerned, 1 in 4 people are allergic to it. If your LO happens to be that 1 in 4, you could miscarry. I am one of those who is allergic so I wouldn't ever touch that stuff ever anyway. Allergies aside, I personally wouldn't risk it. There are plenty of other diabetic friendly sweeteners out there that don't pose the risk.
  • That is a lot of diet coke.  There isn't a lot of research on the effect of aspartame in pregnancy, so it's hard to comment on that - but most doctors suggest no more than 150-200mg of caffeine per day. Diet coke has roughly 3.5mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.  So I mean you COULD have 40-50oz and be under the caffeine limit.  I personally wouldn't want to take in that much aspartame though.  I'd suggest switching to coffee or tea sweetened with sugar or regular coke (in far less quantity due to the empty calories) if you need the caffeine.  Artificial sweeteners kind of freak me out generally, so I try to avoid them basically all the time, not just when I'm pregnant.

    I try to stick with lightly sweetened tea because it gets you a small amount of caffeine and is basically water so it's hydrating as well.
    Me: 37 DH: 37
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    DS born 9-5-18

    lund
  • If it helps, I recently started buying the small, 8 oz cans instead of larger bottles. I think it is useful if you are trying to cut back.
    lula922
  • I agree with everyone else that you should probably reduce your intake. I'm not one of those people who claims that all man-made chemicals are "toxic", but the truth is that we really don't know how they affect fetal development because so few studies are done on pregnant women (for obvious reasons).
    Large quantities *could* end up replacing vital nutrients that the baby actually needs, so it wouldn't hurt to bring it down to 20 oz. 
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I have really wanted a diet coke a few times during my pregnancy.  I researched and 1 12oz bottle has about 50mg caffeine.  So that and 1 cup of coffee (home brewed) should be fine. 
  • I don't think, or have any proof, that this is true at all, but I tell myself that caffeine makes for a more hyper baby/child haha. Usually curbs my craving pretty quickly ;) 
  • Yes you have to quit immediately!!! Bahahaha!!!!! Meh, everything in moderation. As long as you aren't drinking, smoking, and using drugs I think just do the best you can. (This coming from a sandwich meat, sushi, pop drinking mama of almost 4 hopefully haha, I'm not winning any awards any time soon)
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  • I mean, there's danger lurking everywhere - listeria in dole salads really made my mcds craving seem less unhealthy lol. When I was pregnant I just used common sense. No lunch meat and sushi from questionable sources but I certainly enjoyed it. I probably averaged about 4-5 diet cokes a week (I practically had an IV in pre-pregnancy) and I mean, my baby was born healthy but of course correlation does not equal causation. I'd definitely cut down a bit, but I wouldn't stress too much over it. I mean, you're not doing lines in bathroom, you're not chain smoking....you're good girl!  

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  • FWIW, my non healthy kid (special needs, CHD etc) was my pregnancy where I did everything "right". I didn't eat or drink anything I shouldn't, avoided caffeine, rested as much as possible, ate really healthy, and he still has medical issues that I had ZERO control over.
    With DD1, she was a surprise and I smoked and drank for the first week (pre five weeks pregnant) because I was not expecting to get pregnant, I ate anything and everything, worked full time at a gas station, lived on slurpees and fast food, and she's healthy as hell haha!
    With DD2 I wasn't terrible but I was really sick and had to be on a bunch of medications. She came early but was and has been extremely healthy since.

    Sometimes things happen that you can't predict or control. Be kind to yourself mama. Let yourself have a diet coke or 5 :)
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    aylofosho
  • Just how dangerous are caffeine and aspartame to my pregnancy?
    Is it one of those "we can't really know, so better safe than sorry" things?
    Or are there known risks?

    I know it's selfish but I'm just having trouble with the idea of giving up my only source of caffeine. I average about 40-60oz a day. I know, it's really bad. Maybe if I limit myself to one 20oz bottle?

    I don't know about giving it up since many drs have told me 200 mg is okay. I would suggest cutting back though to 1 or 2 cans (or 1 20 oz bottle) per say @daisieblue ;  Also no judgement from me - I had to cut back on my soda / caffeine intake too.
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  • I hate to say it but that amount of Diet Coke is pretty toxic for your body even if you aren't pregnant. I don't drink pop but I'm sticking with one cup of coffee a day:)
    vrj0522
  • No judgement, just info - I'm not a caffeine drinker so I'm going to leave that aside...
    I am allergic/intolerant/something to aspartame and have read a lot about it trying to figure out why my body reacts the way it does even to small amounts - from everything I've read, aspartame is linked with higher rates of diabetes/blood sugar issues, higher weight gain, cancer, messing with brain chemistry, and other fun things in adults.  Not that it def causes that stuff in everyone, but, even if I could use it, I would worry about exposing my fetus and their developing body to it.  I'd recommend cutting back significantly... But I have no actual info that says aspartame would cross the placenta/affect the fetus. I just think it shouldn't be on the market for anyone...
    28yo, TTC#2 since 6/2014
    Kiddo #1 = 10 cycles of trying, 1 CP and is now a toddler
    TTC#2 since 2/2017

  • MJA80MJA80
    10 Comments 25 Love Its Photogenic
    member

    I feel your pain. I have switched from Diet Coke to Diet Pepsi as it's sweeten with splenda. I have about 20 ounces in the morning with caffeine and then later in the day if I want more, I switch to caffeine free. It's hard because I don't want the calories of regular, but also want to feed my addiction


    Moderation is key. Do what feels right for you

    vrj0522
  • No judgment here I drink that much Diet Pepsi daily... and did with my other three pregnancys also... the 8 year old has a weird twitch but whatever... ( totally kidding about the twitch)... having some Diet Pepsi right now, I work nights and can in no way survive without it right now!!! Did I mention I'm an RN who totally knows better but a girl can only give up so much!!
    aylofosholula922
  • holli0801holli0801
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited March 2017
    Whoa. That's a lot of soda! You know that, though! Cutting down is a great idea. But Splenda? Have you tried that shit? Ick! I would drink the regular with real sugar. Real sugar is better than artificial sweeteners, in my opinion. ... I craved some soda last pregnancy but I was like once a week. One cup of coffee a day after the first trimester (I just waited due to paranoia of miscarriage) 
  • Have you tried flavored seltzer? I was a Diet Coke Addict for a long time, but switched for health reasons. One of the best choices I've made. I still treat myself to a fountain soda every once in the while.
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