Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant?
Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant?
October 22, 2021

Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

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Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

You’ve probably been told to cut out a lot of things while pregnant—deli meats, unpasteurized cheese, alcohol—and that can be disappointing (especially when you’ve got a serious craving for a wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting). Coffee and caffeine in general are often associated with that list, but is it really necessary to make the switch to decaf for 40 weeks?

Is Caffeine Safe During Pregnancy?

Good news: you don’t need to cut out caffeinated beverages completely. “Fortunately, most data suggest that low to moderate caffeine intake in pregnancy is not associated with any adverse outcomes to the baby or pregnancy,” says Dr. Nathan Fox, ob-gyn and creator of the Healthful Woman podcast.

So how much is “low to moderate”? It’s typically defined as 200-300 mg of caffeine per day, so it’s a good idea to measure your intake by keeping track of how much caffeine is in different sources:

  • Coffee: Between 70 mg and 140 mg of caffeine per eight ounces, depending on the type of bean and roast.
  • Black tea: An average of 47 mg of caffeine per eight ounces (but as much as 90 mg).
  • Soda: 40-70 mg of caffeine in a 12-ounce can.
  • Green tea: 30-50 mg of caffeine per eight ounces.
  • Herbal tea: Keep in mind that while most herbal teas may say they’re uncaffeinated, they can still have as much as 12 mg in a serving. And most herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy, though raspberry leaf, peppermint, ginger and lemon balm teas are generally considered safe after the first trimester.
  • Chocolate: About 20 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of milk chocolate and about 43 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of dark chocolate. (Yep, chocolate has caffeine, too! So be mindful of how much you’re snacking on, especially if you’re also drinking caffeinated beverages.)

Keep in mind: Energy drinks are not recommended for pregnant people as they can contain other ingredients that aren’t safe to consume during pregnancy.

And if you’re wondering if any caffeinated drink is “better” for pregnancy than the others, don’t worry. “As far as we know,” Dr. Fox says, “the source of the caffeine should not make a difference on the effect.” So no need to feel like you have to switch to tea if you’re a coffee fan or vice versa, just be sure to keep an eye on how much you’re consuming.

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