Step 1: Get pregnant.
A few days ago, I read about the dangers of having coffee and certain other foods during pregnancy. Immediately after that, I asked my mother if she remembered having coffee while she was pregnant with me because the very thought of an espresso lover like my mother being deprived of coffee, was astonishing to me. To my surprise, she replied with, “I don’t know!” Pondering over her response later, I realized that the reason why she doesn’t remember is because she never actively stopped herself from consuming coffee- she just never felt like it!
This is where the role of teratogens and morning sickness comes into play. Teratogens are agents that cause abnormality after a fetus is exposed to it for a long period of time during pregnancy. They are known to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. Some examples of teratogens include coffee, alcohol, tobacco and many known drugs like cocaine and heroin. These substances are a danger to the fetus and can cause a variety of issues. For example, consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause complications such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Such a syndrome includes possibility of microcephaly (fetus born with an abnormally small head), hyperactivity and mental and motor retardation. Some mental health effects are also observed as an adult such as depression and criminal activity. Moreover, smoking increases the risk of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This syndrome includes the possibility of death of the child in the night by mostly unidentifiable causes and also reduces the flow of oxygen to the fetus, increasing the chances of stillbirth. Lastly, some foods such as coffee and certain raw vegetables can lead to potential miscarriages. Coffee contains large amounts of caffeine that can be harmful when passed on to the fetus.
The solution to avoiding potentially teratogenic foods is morning sickness that includes nausea or vomiting that occurs typically after the sixth week of pregnancy, or two weeks after a missed period. Such sickness helps create an aversion to foods that pose a danger to the fetus and the mother-to-be. It acts as a sort of “health insurance” for the mother’s physical wellbeing when her immune system is suppressed to prevent rejection of the child in her uterus. This is Nature’s way of preserving the child and mother’s wellness when the body is not able to by itself. About 1/3 women who don’t experience much morning sickness are reported to have a higher risk of miscarriages due to the inability to resist some food items. Such cases require women to be extremely careful with their diet and be regular with their doctor appointments. Hence, if you are looking for a way to fight your caffeine addiction, pregnancy is one way out. As for the men, there is always the weaning method!