Can I Drink Coffee While I am Pregnant?

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 published several articles 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, (200 mg per day) does not appear to contribute to miscarriage or preterm birth. 

In Short: Limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day

Whether you are aware or not, caffeine is actually in many different drinks, such as, energy drinks, soft drinks, and teas that vary in caffeine quantities. Being that it is recommended to limit your caffeine intake, it is important to quantify the number of milligrams of caffeine you are ingesting. 

Caffeine in common drinks:

  • Espresso: 240–720 mg
  • Coffee: 102–200 mg
  • Yerba mate: 65–130 mg
  • Energy drinks: 50–160 mg
  • Brewed tea: 40–120 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee: 3–12 mg
  • Cocoa beverage: 2–7 mg
  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg

Can caffeine cross the placenta?

Limiting the amount of caffeine you are ingesting is important, however, it is important to remember that the effects of caffeine on your baby are still unclear. It has been found that caffeine can cross the placenta and travel to a growing fetus. While experts have confirmed that caffeine can travel, the effects on an unborn child are not conclusive despite several studies. The American Pregnancy Association suggests that moms avoid caffeine as much as possible during pregnancy and while they are breastfeeding. 

Whether you can give up coffee completely from your diet or not, if you are pregnant it is important to limit how much caffeine you are ingesting. While pregnant, the best way to monitor your caffeine intake is by looking at the back label and analyzing the milligram count.