How Much Caffeine Is Safe During Pregnancy
Current guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other experts say that it’s safe for pregnant women to consume up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day .
More than that may slightly increase the risk of miscarriage, though the existing evidence is inconclusive. But because caffeine can permeate the placental barrier, most doctors recommend sticking firmly with the 200-milligram limit.
What if youre not a coffee fan but you love a morning cup of tea? The amount of caffeine per serving will vary from substance to substance, but here are some general guidelines:
8 ounces of brewed drip coffee: 137 mg
8 ounces of brewed tea: 48 mg
8 ounces of an energy drink: 100 mg
Keep in mind that caffeine is also found in chocolate and soda. And while its not necessary to give up caffeine entirely while youre pregnant, you’ll want to be mindful of how much youre consuming and err on the side of being more conservative.
For instance, since the actual amount of caffeine in a coffee drink can vary based on how its brewed and other factors, it can be helpful to read the labels and nutritional data from your favorite coffee chain.
Can You Drink Decaf Coffee During Pregnancy
Coffee is a popular caffeinated drink known for its energy-boosting and stimulating effects.
However, pregnant women may prefer to reduce or eliminate caffeine to avoid potential health risks.
Yet decaf coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine, which may lead some women to wonder whether its safe to drink during pregnancy.
This article tells you all you need to know about decaf coffee and pregnancy.
However, caffeine is broken down more slowly during pregnancy and can cross the placenta, entering the growing babys bloodstream where it cannot be broken down .
Although the exact mechanisms are not yet known, some studies have associated a high caffeine intake during pregnancy with low birth weight, growth restriction, miscarriage, and a higher risk of excess weight during childhood .
Yet, the exact relationship of caffeine to negative pregnancy outcomes is still an active area of research, and its effects may vary significantly between individuals .
Given the current level of knowledge, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine from all sources per day .
One cup of brewed black regular coffee contains 96 mg of caffeine. Therefore, most guidelines recommend limiting regular coffee intake to about 2 cups per day .
Decaf stands for decaffeinated and refers to coffee that has had at least 97% of the caffeine removed from the beans during processing.
How Much Coffee Is Safe To Drink While Pregnant
With different studies and medical opinions, it creates quite the gray area for women who just want to have a cup of coffee in the morning! Consulting your healthcare professional is always a good idea so that you can get his or her take on your pregnancy and what’s best for you. Many will tell you that less caffeine is better and that you don’t have to quit drinking coffee during your entire pregnancy.
You do not have to completely quit caffeine when you are pregnant, says Dr. Danielle M. Barrow, OB-GYN at ProMedica in Toledo, OH. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that moderate caffeine consumption does not appear to be a contributing factor to miscarriage or preterm birth.
Dr. Barrow adds that caffeines relationship to fetal growth restriction is unclear. Thus, it may be in your favor to lower your caffeine intake when pregnant. This probably means you’ll need to ditch the espresso and latte and choose a drink that is on the simpler side. Perhaps a cup of regular coffee or decaffeinated coffee should be on the menu.
Due to conflicting conclusions from numerous studies, the March of Dimes states that until more conclusive studies are done, pregnant women should limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day an average cup of coffee has 100mg of caffeine, explains Dr. Barrow. This is equal to about one 12-ounce cup of coffee.
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The Official Advice On Drinking Coffee In Pregnancy
Yes, you can drink coffee during pregnancy, but you might need to drink less than normal or switch to decaf coffee. This is because coffee contains caffeine.
The NHS says, when you’re pregnant, you should limit the amount of caffeine you drink to around 200mg a day. Higher levels of caffeine can lead to low birthweight and have also been linked to miscarriage.
An average mug of instant coffee has around 100mg of caffeine. A mug of filter coffee contains around 140mg of caffeine. You can find out the caffeine content of other popular drinks here.
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Is Caffeine Safe During Breastfeeding
The American Academy of Pediatrics says its safe for breastfeeding moms to have caffeine. A small amount of caffeine does get into breast milk, so limit caffeine if youre breastfeeding. Breastfed babies of women who drink more than 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day may become fussy or have trouble sleeping. You may want to drink less caffeine if your baby was born preterm or newborn because she may digest caffeine more slowly.
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How Much Is Too Much Caffeine
The general rule of thumb is that caffeine can cross the placenta and will also appear in breast milk. It is also thought that caffeine metabolizes much slower when youre pregnant and as a result the caffeine blood levels will remain high, even if your consumption is decreased.
Most doctors will suggest that caffeine should be cut out of your diet completely. If you absolutely must have caffeine daily, then limit your daily intake to less than 200mg. Over 300mg of caffeine consumed daily is considered high. There have been several medical studies that have shown that over 300mg per day has a statistically increased chance of causing one or more pregnancy complications.
An 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains approximately 95mg of caffeine and an 8-ounce cup of brewed tea contacts around 47mg. A 12-ounce caffeinated soda contains around 33mg of caffeine.
There is no set standard for decaf coffee, as it can contain anywhere from 3-18mg of caffeine. Ideally you would read the label prior to consuming, but the waitress in the restaurant youre in might not know the caffeine amounts in their decaf coffee.
Is Caffeine Bad For Pregnant Women
In the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about pregnant women drinking caffeinated products. This study was based upon testing they performed by giving various dosages of caffeine to lab mice. The animals showed increased rates of birth defects, still births, and miscarriages when given caffeine while pregnant.
The FDA concluded if caffeine is bad for pregnant animals, it must be bad for human beings.
As far as medical studies are concerned, the FDA experiments on pregnant lab mice are as far as it goes. This is because it is not ethical to give pregnant women drugs to study the results. So, while lab mice may have an increased miscarriage rate, its not 100% conclusive proof that pregnant human beings will react the same.
Caffeine is a drug. It will get into your blood stream, cross the placenta and even be present in your breast milk. It will put a strain on your liver, which is already maxed out processing the increased hormones your pregnant body is producing.
It has been stated that caffeine has the biggest chance to cause pregnancy complications when youre in your 1st trimester of pregnancy. This is the critical point in time when the fetus is developing. Adding any sort of drug is not a good thing to do.
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Low Birth Weight Growth Restriction And Cognitive Development Impairment
A study in 2008 showed that blood flow was reduced in the placenta after the consumption of 200mg of caffeine. A reduced blood flow could mean that the nutrients the blood carries cannot be supplied immediately to the needing fetus. This can be why the baby can be born with low birth weight, inadequate body growth, and brain problems.
Aside from the decreased blood flow, high caffeine levels also cause the fetus to have increased catecholamines, leading to increased heart rate. An increased heart rate impairs the fetus oxygenation. The fetuss impaired oxygenation can cause it to grow slowly, as the lack of oxygen slows down its body processes.
Pregnancy And Caffeine: Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant
A cup of joe. Mom fuel. Hot java. Jitter Juice. Whatever you like to call a cup of coffee, there can be no debate that coffee is an extremely popular drink. 90% of adults in North America consume caffeinated products each day. But, this popularity comes from a reason it can be addictive. Caffeine, the methylxanthine alkaloid that comes from coffee beans, is highly addictive and is used in several popular drinks and foods.
So, should I drink caffeine while I am pregnant?
While you may love the buzz, you may want to pass up your routine fresh brewed coffee while pregnant. Why? Experts from the American Pregnancy Association have stating:
…caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy.
While it can be difficult to quit caffeine, it is ultimately widely recommended by major obstetric institutions to limit caffeine consumption while you are pregnant. The keyword in most statements is limit your caffeine intake while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that moderate consumption of caffeine, does not appear to contribute to miscarriage or preterm birth.
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Is Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy Bad For My Baby
Research shows caffeine is a stressor in pregnancy, and babies with stress in the uterus are more likely to have health problems as children and adults, one of those problems being overweight. Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones talks about why large amounts of caffeine intake during pregnancy can restrict growth and development of the fetus.
May 31, 2018
We’ve talked before on The Scope about the recommendation that women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day. Now that would be about two small cups like the cups that your mother used to put coffee in, or one 12-ounce cup. Not the extra grande or supersized cups of coffee, or cans, or Coke cans of caffeinated soda. The reasons for this recommendation comes from the Scandinavian studies that are very large and can follow moms, and babies, and dads of babies.
There’s a suggestion that consuming more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day slightly increases the risk of miscarriage, and consuming large amounts of caffeine or caffeinated beverages, that’s usually coffee in Sweden and Norway, can restrict growth of fetuses in development. This suggests that large amounts of caffeine may be a stressor in pregnancy. And we have evidence that babies that are stressed in the uterus are more likely to have health problems as children and adults. One of those problems is being overweight.
Orzoro Soluble Coffee For Pregnancy
Instant Orzoro coffee is very popular, although it is not really made from coffee but from roasted barley. The relationship between Orzoro Soluble coffee and pregnancy is also in question, mainly because of doubts about its composition.
However, it does not contain caffeine, so in this sense, there is no problem in drinking Orzoro instant coffee during pregnancy. It is a good substitute for coffee for pregnant women, as is the case with other cereal coffees. But beware because it does carry sugar and other compounds that are not as healthy as the manufacturer paints them. But when it comes to caffeine, which is what we are concerned with on this page, Orzoro coffee in pregnancy is totally harmless.
And when someone asks you aboutOrzoro coffee when youre pregnant, you know what to answer: its not really coffee, so it cant be equated.
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Coffee During Pregnancy: How Much Is Considered Safe
Because there are enough studies that show dangers with consumption of 300mg, from miscarriages to lower birth weights, many practitioners take a better-safe-than-sorry approach and advise pregnant women to limit caffeine consumption to no more than 200mg per day.
Some women follow this recommendation, while others choose to skip the coffee altogether, especially in the first trimester when miscarriage is more likely. Talk to your healthcare provider about whats right for you.
And keep in mind: Caffeine will cross the placentait can limit blood flow to the placenta and increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also puts additional strain on the liver, which is already busy processing the increased hormonal demands related to pregnancy.
How Much Is Too Much
Most people get their liquid caffeine fix with a soft drink, energy drink, tea or coffee. If youre pregnant, the American Pregnancy Organization recommends you limit your caffeine intake to 200 mg a day and this includes food with caffeine, too.
But how do you know if youre reaching your limit? Caffeine can be found in the following and the amount can range from brand to how its prepared:
- 1 soft drink can: 40 mg
- 1 mug of tea: 75 mg
- 1 250 ml can of an energy drink: up to 80 mg
- 1 mug of instant coffee: 100 mg
- 1 mug of filtered coffee: 140 mg
- One mug of decaffeinated coffee: 12 mg
- One mug of hot chocolate: 9 mg
Be sure to let your doctor know how much caffeine you drink or eat so they can help guide you toward the right caffeine intake level, says Dr. Svets.
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Why Is Caffeine A Concern During Pregnancy
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. It can disrupt your sleep and even your babys. If you have too much caffeine in your system, you will notice changes in your babys movements and sleep patterns. Your babys developing metabolism does not have the capability to metabolize caffeine.
Caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that you will be urinating even more frequently than you are now. This reduces your bodys fluid levels, which can potentially lead to fatigue and dehydration. It is important to be very mindful of your water intake and rehydrate if you are consuming any caffeine.
Research shows that miscarriages have been linked to a daily intake of 200 mg or more of caffeine. The average 8 oz cup of coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine. Studies on animals have also shown that caffeine can cause birth defects within the offspring. Babys developing bodies do not possess the chemicals necessary to break down caffeine, such as adults do. Due to this, the caffeine stays in the babys bloodstream longer.
How Much Caffeine Is In Your Favorite Drinks & Snacks
- Coffee, average :
- Brewed, 8 oz. | 95 165 mg
- Brewed, decaf, 8 oz. | 2 5 mg
- Espresso, 1 oz. | 47 64 mg
- Latte, 8 oz. | 63 126 mg
Avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action. If you must get your fix, it is best to discuss this with your healthcare provider to make the healthiest choice for you and your baby.
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What Does This Mean For Pregnant Women Who Like To Drink Coffee
Current obstetric guidelines in Australia are in general consensus that it is safe to consume up to 200mg of caffeine a day about two espresso shots – but intake safety should always be considered with your obstetric team.
This safe guideline has been previously reinforced by several studies, most notably one from Norway. Drawing on data from over 64,000 kids, the researchers concluded that low to moderate maternal caffeine intake during the first half of the pregnancy was not associated with any consistent, long-term effects on the neurodevelopment in term-born children.
So where do we go from here? This latest report indicates that there just might be a little more risk than we previously thought when it comes to drinking coffee during pregnancy. But for my pregnant mums, I will be reassuring them that if you stick within the safe guidelines, then there is very very little risk to baby.
And whats the alternative? One would argue a pregnant mum desperate for a coffee is far more dangerous!
Cutting Down On Caffeine
Caffeine is found naturally in some foods and drinks, such as tea and coffee. It is also added to some products such as energy drinks.
One study found that energy drinks, instant coffee and cola had the strongest links to pregnancy complications. It is best to try to avoid these during pregnancy and find replacements. Energy drinks and cola also contain lots of sugar, so it is good to limit these as part of a healthy diet.
Be aware that decaffeinated products still contain a very small amount of caffeine. The amount may vary, but it is still much lower than regular caffeinated products.
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I found slowly weaning myself off caffeine and onto decaffeinated versions of tea and coffee was a good way to reduce and majorly decrease my intake. Now I don’t even really miss the caffeine buzz.
If you are drinking coffee because you are feeling tired, the best thing to do is eat a balanced, healthy diet to make sure your energy level is maintained. You can also read our tips for getting more sleep during pregnancy.
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