Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy – Is It Bad or Safe?

If you cannot just jump-start your day without your daily Cup of Joe in the morning, you are not alone. Most Americans (150 million of them) are regular coffee drinkers, while Finns are the heaviest drinkers with an average consumption of 12kg coffee per person per year.

Now, what if you are pregnant? Can you continue drinking that much coffee?

Sorry to break the bad news, ladies, but NO!

BUT there is a silver lining.

Although it is advised to avoid coffee along with alcohol, smoking, etc. when you are pregnant, a lot of studies have proved that little to moderate amount of coffee intake does not harm you or your baby.

Caffeine Intake from Drinks

Although coffee is a major source of caffeine, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks also give you moderate amounts of caffeine. So, Caffeine being the harmful factor in coffee, watch out when you are drinking these too.

Here are risk factors:

can you drink coffee during pregnancy - is it bad or safe

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1. Coffee Reaches Your Baby

When you are getting your coffee, the coffee reaches your baby through the placenta. As your baby’s metabolism is not yet developed, getting rid of that coffee will be difficult.

2. Coffee is a Stimulant

Coffee being a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Both of them are not advisable when you are pregnant.

3. Coffee Can Cause Dehydration

Coffee triggers urination. If you are not drinking enough water, it may cause dehydration which may have adverse effect on your baby too.

4. Delayed Conception

Some studies showed there is a connection between heavy coffee intake and delayed conception.

5. Birth Complications

Among animals, high level of caffeine caused preterm delivery, birth defects and several other birth complications, including risk of miscarriage. Although there is no conclusive study with humans in this regard, it is better to avoid high amount of coffee.

6. After Birth Complications

The newborn baby may have withdrawal symptoms like getting irritated and being overweight

How can you drink coffee then?

7. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Drinking up to 200 milligrams of caffeine daily is considered safe. That is, during pregnancy caffeine intake should be limited to only two small cups of coffee

8. Drink Decaf Coffee

A lot of women ask, can I drink decaf coffee during pregnancy? Turns out decaf is not entirely caffeine-free, but there is a very little amount of caffeine in decaf coffee (~3mg per cup). Hence, pregnancy and decaffeinated coffee go hand in hand.

9. Drink Espresso

Although espresso is high on caffeine per milliliter of coffee, the cup size is very small. So, better take a tiny cup of espresso than a whole cup of latte.

Amount of Caffeine in Beverages

Follow the list to get an idea about how much caffeine is there in each beverage and plan your caffeine intake accordingly:

  • 8 oz. brewed coffee: 95-165mg
  • 8 oz. decaf: 2-5mg
  • 1 oz. espresso: 47-64mg
  • 8 oz. brewed black tea: 25-48mg
  • 8 oz. decaf tea: 2-5mg
  • 8 oz. energy drink: 27-164mg
  • 8 oz. cola: 24-46mg

So, if you are craving coffee during pregnancy, you now know how to cut back your coffee intake instead of avoiding coffee entirely.

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