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ARGH. “women experience a unique, physical aversion to coffee during pregnancy”

I know I’ve mentioned caffeine consumption in pregnancy before, but there’s so much to talk about! A good friend of mine is a coffee addict. Every morning. Post meals. She loves it. When she was pregnant, though, the thought of coffee repulsed her. She couldn’t even smell it without getting sick.

I’ve been doing some inquiries about food aversions and cravings during pregnancy, all of which I will share with you. Let’s start with this one: coffee.

In an article I stumbled upon, almost all the women surveyed reported having some sort of nausea or vomiting, peaking between 5 to 8 weeks gestational age. Almost all the women in the study either decreased (59%) or completely quit (37%) drinking coffee during this time period too. Coffee was the third ranking trigger for their nausea. Strong odors and meat were first and second, and following coffee: spicy foods, dairy products, motion, stress, tobacco, poultry, fish, and fried or greasy foods. Less than a quarter of all women reported decreasing coffee intake because of “doctor’s advice”. The majority (65%) reported decreasing coffee because of an aversion to it. It repulsed them.

Caffeine consumption

As you can see from the graph, the mean daily consumption of caffeine – mostly coffee – decreased dramatically during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The authors concluded that “women experience a unique, physical aversion to coffee during pregnancy.” My friend would definitely agree!

Also, if you’re the investigative (aka nosy) type, you now have a potential first clue that a friend or co-worker is preggers: a sudden aversion to her once loved coffee. You’re welcome.



C.C. Lawson et al. Changes in caffeine consumption as a signal of pregnancy. / Reproductive Toxicology 18 (2004) 625–633


Dec 16, 2012

Original post published: 

* Content reviewed annually for accuracy 

  1. Mimi says:

    This is probably the worst part of pregnancy, the aversions, but I really, really miss my coffee, and appreciating good smells like fresh laundry, furniture polish, flowers, coffee, spices and seasonings etc. it all disgusts me. I’m so sad and I have twenty six weeks left to go before I can find some relief.

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