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Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?

last year5 min read
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Last updated: Jan 24 2023

Love the flavor of your favorite bean but want to play it safe? So is decaf coffee while pregnant is an option? Read on to find out.

Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant?

Looking for ways to safely enjoy your favorite morning cup?

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 decaf coffee safe during pregnancy?
  • Can decaf cause miscarriage?
  • Can decaf coffee cause birth differences?
  • How often can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?

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.

So what about decaf coffee during pregnancy?

Is this a safer way to go, while still enjoying that beautiful bitterness of your morning brew?

Is decaf coffee safe during pregnancy?

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.

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.

And ACOG, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says “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 two to three cups will likely keep you in the safe zone.

Decaf during pregnancy — the bottom line

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.

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