Pregnancy

Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

Team Peanut10 months ago5 min read

For the caffeine addicts among us, there’s one question that might be pretty concerning when we’re expecting: can you drink coffee while pregnant?

Drinking coffee while pregnant

You sure can! However, you will just have to embrace moderation. It’s not good to be buzzed on caffeine during pregnancy – neither for you nor your little one.

Why? Well, that’s what we’re looking at here. In this article, you’ll find all you need to know about drinking coffee during pregnancy.

In this article: 📝

  • Can you drink coffee while pregnant?
  • How much caffeine is there in…?
  • Why is caffeine bad during pregnancy?
  • How to cut down on caffeine?

Can you drink coffee while pregnant?

It can feel like you’re giving up a lot of your favorite treats during pregnancy. Alcohol? That’s a no. Seafood? Maybe not. Unpasteurized cheese? Mmm, nope.

But maybe the biggest challenge of all is caffeine. Many mamas will hardly bat an eyelid. However, if you’re here, on this page, reading these words, it’s probably a bigger deal. So, is it ok to drink coffee when pregnant? Or, how the heck will you survive without it? (We feel you.)

It’s not all bad, by the way. You don’t have to stop caffeine during pregnancy completely. However, most doctors recommend limiting caffeine to about 200mg (or milligrams) a day.

And, can you drink coffee in early pregnancy? Yep, the same quantities of caffeine are safe even during the first trimester of pregnancy.

How much caffeine is there in…?

What’s 200mg of caffeine in real terms? According to the folks at the US Food and Drug Administration, an 8oz cup of takeaway coffee has 80 to 100mg of caffeine. Two of those a day, then, is probably all you should be drinking. Bigger coffees will contain loads more, however. So, watch out.

Meanwhile, here’s the caffeine content of some other products:

  • filter coffee: 140mg
  • decaf coffee: 15mg
  • a can of Coca Cola: 30-40mg
  • a cup of black tea: 30-50mg
  • a can of energy drink: up to 250mg (generally best avoided when pregnant!)
  • 50g chocolate: 25mg (dark) and 10mg (milk)

You’ll see that it’s not simply a big “no” to caffeine. 200mg daily gives you some room to play with. Yet, anything more than two cups of coffee is probably a bit too much. (Don’t worry – we’ve got some tips on how to go caffeine-free).

Why is caffeine bad during pregnancy?

This brings us round to the problem of why caffeine is actually bad in the first place. In among the many rules society has for pregnant women (and the rules we impose on ourselves!) we can sometimes forget the specific reasons why. So, how does caffeine affect a baby?

The possible problems with caffeine (and we stress possible, since they’re not known for sure) are two. First, it may increase the risk of miscarriage. Second, too much caffeine can cause babies to have low birth weights. And that second issue may cause developmental issues through your little one’s life.

The trouble here is that mamas can hear this and go into a spin, cutting out every last trace of caffeine from their diet. Totally understandable. And absolutely fine, if you’d rather be safe than sorry.

Yet, the risks are really very low. Lots of studies have actually shown that the chance of a miscarriage from too much caffeine is tiny. Meanwhile, you do need to drink really a lot of caffeine for it to affect your baby’s weight. We’re talking as much as 8 cups a day (and we hope you’re not doing that anyway!).

The reason why healthcare providers recommend 200mg of caffeine a day is just to be on the safe side. And we reckon that’s a pretty good attitude to have.

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How to cut down on caffeine?

When you rely on coffee, living without it can seem impossible. It’s not – but you will have to think about ways to cut down comfortably. Depending on the person, kicking caffeine isn’t always easy. (Sorry!)

Limiting the amount of caffeine can start with swapping in decaf alternatives. Decaffeinated coffees can be nice – while you can try lots of different exotic varieties of naturally decaffeinated teas. If that’s your cup of tea. If not, water and fresh fruit is the way to get through when you’re craving a cup of Joe. These can both perk you up – and help with any headaches you might feel from the withdrawals.

So, can you drink coffee while pregnant? Yes. indeed. But quitting the caffeine may in the end be worth it – if only to give you the peace of mind.

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