Love the flavor of your favorite bean but want to play it safe?
Looking for ways to you can enjoy your favorite morning cup of joe while pregnant?
So, is decaf coffee while pregnant is an option?
You may have heard that too much caffeine during your pregnancy is not great for either you or your baby.
But can you drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
And if so, how much?
In this article: 📝
- Can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
- Is it safe to drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
- Is decaf coffee bad for pregnancy?
- Can decaf cause miscarriage?
- Can decaf coffee cause birth differences?
- How often can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
- What can I replace coffee with during pregnancy?
Can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, too much caffeine and pregnancy are not a great mix.
When you’re pregnant, caffeine metabolizes more slowly, meaning it stays in your system for longer.
Also, it can travel from you to your baby.
It’s a stimulant and, while that’s really useful when it comes to getting going in the mornings, your baby may not love it as much.
Their tiny bodies don’t have the enzymes to break it down yet.
Caffeine can raise blood pressure, increase your heart rate, and make you pee more frequently, none of which is very helpful right now.
So the advice is to stick to less than 200 milligrams a day.
(That’s about one and a half mugs.)
And that’s including all caffeinated foods and drinks, like tea and chocolate.
But is there a safer way to go while still enjoying that beautiful bitterness of your morning brew?
Is it safe to drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
So, is decaf coffee OK when pregnant?
Generally, it should be safe to enjoy decaf coffee during pregnancy in moderation.
But there are some things to be aware of.
Firstly, decaf is not no-caf.
It still contains some caffeine.
And the tricky thing is, it can be hard to know how much caffeine your favorite drink includes.
The USDA’s basic guidelines tell us that for a six-ounce serving of decaf coffee, you can expect to consume about 1.79 milligrams of coffee.
That’s not too bad if you look at the 200-milligram limit.
But here’s the thing, not all decaf is made equal.
This study found that ready-made decaf drinks can contain anywhere between zero and 13.9 milligrams of caffeine for a sixteen-ounce serving.
While that’s still not a dangerous amount, it’s not negligible.
So what might this mean for you and your baby? Let’s take a look.
Is decaf coffee bad for pregnancy?
The short answer is mainly no, it’s not bad during pregnancy.
In fact, decaf coffee is a great alternative for pregnant women who want to satisfy their coffee cravings without the caffeine jitters.
But before you start brewing that decaf coffee, it’s important to keep in mind that you still need to consume it in moderation.
Too much coffee, whether it’s caffeinated or not, can lead to dehydration and interfere with your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.
So, as with all things in pregnancy, moderation is key.
Also, keep in mind that decaf coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine.
While it’s not enough to affect most people, some pregnant women may be more sensitive to caffeine than others.
So if you notice any negative effects after drinking decaf coffee, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Can decaf cause miscarriage?
There have been long debates over the past decades about the risks of coffee consumption when you’re pregnant ‒ and even how much harm caffeine itself can do.
While previous studies showed no significant link between caffeine intake and pregnancy loss, 2021 research has suggested otherwise.
In fact, the later study suggests that even moderate intake could pose some risks.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “moderate caffeine consumption (less than 200 mg per day) does not appear to be a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth. The relationship of caffeine to IUGR remains undetermined. A final conclusion cannot be made at this time as to whether there is a correlation between high caffeine intake and miscarriage.”
So, lowering your intake by switching to decaf may be a great option.
But it’s still important to not overdo it, just in case.
Or swap out your cup of joe for a comforting caffeine-free herbal tea.
And while we’re here, know that if you experience pregnancy loss, it’s definitely not in any way your fault.
Having a miscarriage can be devastating.
Know that your Peanut community is there for you. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Can decaf coffee cause birth differences?
The word from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is that moderate caffeine consumption when you’re pregnant does not cause birth differences.
But if you want to be extra careful, you may want to switch to decaf or cut out caffeine completely.
How often can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?
While there’s no official word on how many cups of decaf are okay, adhering to the recommendation to consume no more than 200mg of caffeine daily should be ok.
In most cases, sticking to no more than 2 to 3 cups of decaf coffee will likely keep you in the safe zone.
What can I replace coffee with during pregnancy?
While decaf coffee is safe during pregnancy, you may want to switch things up a bit and try some other delicious and healthy beverages.
Here are a few options that will help you get your morning (or afternoon) pick-me-up:
- Herbal tea: There are so many delicious herbal teas out there that are safe to drink during pregnancy. Try a soothing chamomile tea or a refreshing peppermint tea to give you a boost.
- Fruit smoothies: Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals with a delicious fruit smoothie. You can mix and match different fruits to create your own unique flavor combinations.
- Sparkling water: If you’re looking for something bubbly to replace your coffee, try some sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice or a slice of lemon.
- Milk: Milk is a great source of calcium and can be a delicious and comforting drink. You can drink it hot or cold, and even add some honey or cinnamon for extra flavor.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is a hydrating and refreshing drink that’s rich in potassium and electrolytes. It’s a great way to start your day or to stay hydrated during a workout.
- Mocktails: There are lots of tasty mocktails to try during pregnancy, some with some great benefits!
Overall, there’s evidence to suggest that high caffeine intake during pregnancy can be harmful to you and your baby.
Substituting it out for decaf may help.
But the reality is, not all cups of decaf contain the same amount of caffeine, so it can be difficult to judge.
That means it’s best to still limit your intake.
Also, we’re all different.
Talk to your healthcare provider about what they think is right for you.
And here’s the very good news: you won’t have to be on a pregnancy diet, avoiding your favorite foods forever.
Soon you’ll be able to put your favorites back on the menu.