How To Wean Yourself Off Caffeine While Staying Somewhat Sane

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by Elle on June 4, 2012

Now that we’re embarking on IVF in the next few months, I seriously need to get my act together and prepare my body, which I should have been doing long ago. Unfortunately, other than taking prenatal vitamins, I haven’t been doing anything else.

Making lifestyle changes is important for both my BF and I. We  have to make sure we’re both as healthy as possible for IVF. He actually lives a far more healthier lifestyle than I do. He’s never been into coffee or tea I’m the wine fan in the house and on those rare occasions he has a drink, he’ll usually nurse a light beer all night. His soda of choice is ginger ale, which doesn’t have caffeine, but he’s minimizing that to decrease his sugar intake.

I have to make a lot of lifestyle changes to prepare my body for IVF. What always works best for me is to break up one major goal into small parts.

So this week is:

Break up with caffeine week!

When it comes to fertility, caffeine can actually make a bad situation worse. Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day can decrease fertility by 26%. With our existing infertility issues, we can’t afford to have any more factors decreasing our chances.

As if that little statistic wasn’t scary enough, I came across this article too:

Caffeine causes constriction of blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to the uterus and prevent eggs from attaching to the uterine wall.

Alllllrighty then… CAFFEINE IS OUT!

I don’t typically have more than a cup or two of coffee, but if I miss that cup in the morning, I will not be a happy camper… and neither will anyone who has had the misfortune of interacting with me that day.

Here are the typical symptoms of caffeine withdrawal:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

I’ve tried stopping caffeine cold turkey in the past and it wasn’t pretty.  By the end of day 2, I would have happily eaten coffee beans. Needless to say, it didn’t work out and I gave in to my caffeine addiction.

This time, I’m not going cold turkey.

I need to have a strategy, so here’s the plan:

1) Pour less

Each day, I’m planning on pouring myself less and less coffee. I only need a few sips to give me that caffeine kick in the morning. I often find that my coffee is cold by the time I actually finish it, which means that I don’t really need the entire cup.

2) Mix decaf and regular coffee

Apparently, decaf isn’t completely caffeine-free either, but it only contains about 7 mg of caffeine per cup compared to regular coffee, which has can have about 200 mg of caffeine.  Although decaf will help with those mid afternoon cravings, I don’t plan on going crazy with the decaf either.

3) Drink lots of water

I actually got this tip from one of my awesome tweeps Melanie who also has a blogs . If you’re not on Twitter, run (don’t walk) over there, the support and comfort from others on this TTC and IVF world is amazing. Apparently drinking a lot of water helps decrease withdrawal headaches.

4) Rest, rest and more rest

My sleep habits suck and lately I get anywhere from 4 – 6 hours a night so I NEED coffee to get myself going in the morning. Instead of depending on coffee, I’m giving myself a bedtime. Even if I can’t sleep, I’m going to be in bed by 10:30.

I’m not expecting to be completely free of caffeine withdrawal symptoms, but I’m really hoping that this strategy will help me minimize them. It’s the only way I’ll be able to maintain this caffeine-free way of life.

The goal is to be caffeine-free by the weekend (I have seven days). I’ll come back with an update on this.

Do you have any tips on cutting out caffeine?


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