The Truth about Caffeine

white ceramic cup with espresso coffee

Caffeine intake during pregnancy is widely disputed. What is the truth about whether or not caffeine is safe during pregnancy?

Not much was known about the effects of caffeine on the newborn 40-50 years ago. Today we know that caffeine is a stimulant and crosses the placenta and will reach the baby. There is some evidence that large amounts of caffeine intake can actually cause miscarriage in the first trimester or increase your chance of having a very small or “low birth weight” baby.

Experts agree that no more than 150mg of caffeine intake daily should be safe for most women.

Here is a list of popular drinks and foods with the approximate amount of caffeine included:

  • Double Expresso -160mg
  • Drip Coffee – 90mg
  • Soft Drinks – 45mg
  • Green tea – 30mg
  • Dark Chocolate – 30mg (1.45 oz bar)
  • Milk Chocolate – 11mg (1.55 oz bar)
  • Decaf Coffee – 5mg
  • Herbal tea – 0mg

Just remember that it is a cumulative affect, so if you have one cup of drip coffee in the morning, a soda for lunch and a piece of dark chocolate later in the day, your total caffeine intake for the day would be 175mg.

It is best to check with your own medical provider if you have any health issues that might be worsened by caffeine intake whether you are pregnant or not.

Do you like drinking coffee during your pregnancy? Why or why not?

Be sure to review other foods to avoid or limit as well as general nutrition recommendations during pregnancy. For a list of other substances to avoid, click here.