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Caffeine During Pregnancy

Topic Overview

Many women have caffeine during pregnancy. And in small amounts, caffeine is safe for the baby. It's a good idea to keep your caffeine intake below 200 mg a day, because:footnote 1

  • More caffeine may be connected to a higher rate of miscarriage. There is not enough evidence to know for sure.footnote 2
  • Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more often. This can cause you to lose important minerals, including calcium.
  • Caffeine can interfere with sleep for both you and your fetus.

Avoid caffeine, or limit your intake to about 1 cup of coffee or tea each day.

Caffeine can be found in many types of drinks and in chocolate. The amount of caffeine in your coffee or tea can depend on the serving size, the brand, or how it was brewed.

  • Coffee drinks such as a 16-oz mocha can have 175 mg of caffeine, and a 12-oz regular coffee can have as much as 260 mg of caffeine.
  • Tea can have 30 mg to 130 mg of caffeine in a 12-oz cup.
  • An ounce of milk chocolate can have 1 mg to 15 mg of caffeine, and dark chocolate can have 5 mg to 35 mg of caffeine.
  • Many soft drinks have caffeine.
  • The total caffeine in an energy drink may be more than the recommended amount.

It is important to keep track of your caffeine intake throughout the day. Check the label if you do not know how much caffeine is in your drink or chocolate bar. Talk to your doctor about caffeine and nutrition during pregnancy.

References

Citations

  1. Weng X, et al. (2008). Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and risk of miscarriage: A prospective cohort study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Published online January 28, 2008 (doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2007.10.803).
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2010). Moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 462. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 116(2): 467–468.

Credits

Current as of: May 29, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology