Best Coffee During Pregnancy (A Crucial Clarification)

Short Answer: Coffee may not be a good choice of beverage for pregnant women due to its high caffeine content, which can be harmful to both the mother-to-be and her unborn child.

Caffeine exacerbates frequent urination, heartburn, and other pregnancy issues. In fact, consuming about 150 to 200 mg of caffeine or a cup daily may result in low birth weight or even miscarriage.

During pregnancy, your body’s ability to break down caffeine slows down resulting in a higher concentration of this stimulant in your bloodstream.

As a consequence, the possibility of developing unwanted caffeine-related symptoms increases.

For that reason, it’s better to cut back on caffeinated drinks and food during pregnancy. It can be challenging, especially if you’re a coffeeholic but motherhood comes with sacrifices and this starts by cutting back on your caffeine intake.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why consuming coffee during pregnancy is not recommended. Hopefully, after going through this article, you’ll be more informed.

So let’s get going!

Is consumption of coffee safe in pregnancy?

A pregnant woman with her hands shaped like a heart on her tummy

Coffee consumption is not considered safe during pregnancy. This is due to the caffeine content present in coffee.

Even if you really love coffee, my advice is to give it up when you’re pregnant in favor of healthier alternatives so that you and your unborn child can avoid the harmful effects of caffeine.

During pregnancy, excessive caffeine intake is associated with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), which refers to babies being too small according to their gestational age.

IUGR is the case when the baby’s growth rate is slow, and the expected weight isn’t ideal for that particular stage of pregnancy. Also, it’s used to refer to babies with low birth weight.

It’s observed that pregnant women who consumed more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day had smaller-sized babies compared to those who didn’t consume caffeine at all.

However, some other studies conclude that there is no link between moderate caffeine intake during pregnancy and premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage, or IUGR.

Still, the safest option is to cut off your consumption of coffee during pregnancy to avoid risking your baby’s growth and development.

If you want to know more about the unhealthy effects of coffee, you can check out my in-depth post right here.

Can caffeine cause miscarriage?

A cup of coffee held by a woman.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and low birth weight.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, women who consumed a lot of caffeine during their pregnancy had a 95% chance of having babies with low birth weight.

Caffeine is bad for pregnant women because it passes through the placenta and is absorbed by the baby, which can lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, or even miscarriage.

On the other hand, some studies claim that there is a weak link between caffeine and congenital disabilities, and no long-term effects on children were observed in terms of their behavior and development.

Keep in mind that the vulnerable baby in your tummy doesn’t digest caffeine as well as you. That also means the fetus will react to the stimulant in the same way as the mother does.

Content of caffeine in some common products

Though coffee is a high-caffeine source, you should also be aware of the other caffeine sources in your daily diet, including a variety of food and beverages.

The table below indicates the typical amount of caffeine present in some popular products:

Products Caffeine content per 250 ml
Instant coffee 60-80 mg
Filtered coffee 60-120 mg
Tea10-50 mg
Energy drinks80 mg
Coca Cola243-32 mg
Dark chocolate21 mg per 50g (about 2 rows)
The caffeine content in some popular products.

If you need a quick energy boost while pregnant, try the following:

  • Drink water – hydrate! And you may infuse it with lemon, cucumber or a frozen strawberry
  • Eat small frequent healthy meals containing green leafy vegetables and protein rich foods
  • Choose energy boosting snacks like nuts, bananas, apples, mangoes, sweet potatoes and oatmeal to name a few
  • Go for a walk or do gentle exercises
  • Do some meditation

Watch the following video to know more about how caffeine affects you during pregnancy:

Caffeine in pregnancy

How does coffee affect pregnancy?

Coffee and all other caffeinated beverages tend to have adverse effects on pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Some researchers may recommend restricting your caffeine intake to a maximum of 200 mg a day which is about one cup of coffee, depending on the size of the cup.

However, more researches are in favor of cutting off your caffeine intake entirely while you are pregnant.

When you’re pregnant, it takes longer for the body to metabolize caffeine, which means that the stimulant stays in your bloodstream after consuming it.

As we’ve talked about a while ago, anything you ingest is also ingested by your baby.

Caffeine is also said to hinder the absorption of iron – one of the most needed minerals during pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, you need a double amount of iron as when you’re not. This is required to make more blood to supply oxygen to the baby inside you.

Caffeine may also affect you and your baby’s sleep. And we all know, sleep is really important in many body functions but more so in pregnant women like recharging you and keeping you more focused. Sleep also affects your delivery and labor time.

So it’s always better to be on the safe side and limit your coffee consumption or avoid consuming anything caffeinated.

Is decaf coffee ok during pregnancy?

White tiles spelling out decaf.

Some experts claim that decaf coffee might be a good alternative if you really can’t give up on coffee when you’re pregnant. But to me, that’s just a claim.

You should be aware that decaf coffee contains 97% less caffeine than regular coffee, so it’s not entirely caffeine-free at all. That remaining 3% still has the potential to jeopardize your unborn baby’s growth and development.

Furthermore, some coffee brands contain detectable levels of methylene chloride – one more important reason to stay away from caffeine when you’re expecting.

Consumption of methylene chloride while pregnant can harm the fetus by attacking its nervous system.

It’s a toxic, volatile chemical, and its long-term exposure in adults can cause kidney, liver, reproductive toxicity, and even cancer.

Alternatives to coffee for pregnant women

Tea on clear mug with leaves on the side.

If you’re searching for safe beverage alternatives during pregnancy, here are a few caffeine-free recommendations:

  • hot mulled cider
  • beetroot latte
  • herbal teas like rooibos, chamomile or ginger
  • turmeric latte

It’s best to cut off caffeine during pregnancy and just sip on a warm caffeine-free drink to make yourself feel relaxed and calm.

To sum it all up

Coffee consumption is not considered to be safe during pregnancy.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy may cause jitters, headaches, insomnia, and frequent urination.

During pregnancy, excessive caffeine consumption has been linked to preterm birth, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. I recommend that you take this matter seriously to keep your and your baby’s health safe throughout your pregnancy.

When you’re pregnant, it’s critical to be mindful of everything you consume because it travels through the placenta and is ingested by your baby.

There are numerous coffee substitutes available that not only taste great but also have multiple health benefits. Go enjoy them to have a guilt-free drink.

Finally, schedule regular appointments with your doctor and take good care of your health because it’s also your baby’s health.

Congratulations, mom-to-be, and stay healthy!

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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