Can I still have coffee while pregnant?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
The caffeine in coffee and other beverages may be associated with decreased birth weight. Also, there is some evidence that caffeine may be related to miscarriage and stillbirth. Because of these factors, it is important to avoid high levels of caffeine during pregnancy, either by limiting your intake or eliminating caffeine from your diet altogether.
Sarah Krieger
Nutrition & Dietetics

The short answer is: "yes". But here is the long answer and reasons to be cautious:

300 mg caffeine is currently the recommended amount from health professionals based on a review of various studies on caffeine in pregnancy.

Too much coffee can cause dehydration as caffeine is a diuretic, which makes you want to pee even more-like you need that! The bottom line is that decaf coffee can give you that same taste you crave, the aroma, but with a fraction of the caffeine.

Know that caffeine is crossed into the placenta and that it is found in so many other foods and adds up quickly. Here are examples:

  • Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz.) 400 mg
  • Starbucks House Blend Coffee (16 oz.) 259 mg
  • Dr. Pepper (12 oz.) 37 mg
  • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Diet Coke (32 oz.) 124 mg
  • 7 Eleven Big Gulp Coca-Cola (32 oz.) 92 mg
  • Ben & Jerry's Coffee Buzz Ice Cream (8 oz.) 72 mg
  • Baker's chocolate (1 oz.) 26 mg
  • Green tea (6 oz.) 40 mg
  • Check Vitamin water labels as well and so many non-100% fruit drinks-read the ingredients label.
Experts recommend pregnant women not drink more than two cups of coffee daily, about 200 mg. Researchers in England found that pregnant women who drank more than that were likely to have underweight babies. The caffeine in coffee also has been associated with spontaneous miscarriages.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.