I adore coffee: the rich aroma, the comforting taste, the warmth of a steaming cup on a chilly morning. I can’t picture a day without my favourite mug and a steaming cup of coffee. But, when I got pregnant with my first child a few years ago, my coffee habit went out the window. Caffeine safe during Pregnancy.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. That smell was no longer appealing to me. The flavour was also repulsive, so I had to say goodbye to my old love for a whole two years! It’s been two years!
So going coffee-free the first time wasn’t even a consideration. But, finally, I re-established my morning routine and returned to the great coffee. Then came the arrival of baby No.2. I didn’t have any coffee aversions this time around, unlike my first pregnancy. So I was faced with a dilemma: should I drink or should I not drink? And determining how safe coffee is for pregnant women in the first place.
Here’s what I discovered if you’re a soon-to-be Mama who enjoys coffee.
Is it OK for me to consume coffee while I’m pregnant? How much caffeine is safe to consume when pregnant?
Yes! The good news is that you can still drink a cup of coffee in the morning or mid-afternoon. Hurrah! That is if morning sickness isn’t a deterrent.
Despite a slew of studies on the subject, none have identified a conclusive link between moderate caffeine consumption and pregnancy outcomes. However, excessive drinking is still not recommended. Caffeine consumption is thought to be connected to growth limitations, premature birth, and even lower birth weights.
So, what is the maximum amount of coffee that is deemed safe?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pregnant women can consume up to 300mg of caffeine each day. This is seen as acceptable*. Caffeine isn’t only found in coffee. Tea, chocolate, soda, and other beverages are available. So it’s not as simple as asking yourself, “How many cups of coffee can I consume in a day?” Caffeine safe during Pregnancy.
Note: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends a maximum of 200mg. Caffeine safe during Pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at how it works:
60mg – instant
80mg of homebrew
100mg regular cappuccino
Up to 200mg long black
Decaf – between 3 and 12 milligrammes
40mg black tea
20mg green tea
5mg decaf tea
0mg herbal tea
Diet cola contains 46 milligrammes of caffeine.
Coke Zero contains 34 milligrammes of cocaine.
Mountain Dew has 54 milligrammes of caffeine.
Pepsi – 38 milligrammes
100g 86mg dark chocolate
What about decaffeinated coffee? Is it safe for me to drink decaf coffee while I’m pregnant?
The trick with decaffeinated coffee, like normal coffee, is not to drink too much of it. If you consume a lot of it, you may exceed the daily caffeine limit of 300 mg.
Another thing to remember about decaf is to always check the back of the pack. Some brands incorporate methylene chloride, which is a chemical that can be used to decaffeinate coffee.
In greater doses, this solution is known to be hazardous to one’s health and has been linked to cancer. So, if your decaf has this listed on the back, avoid it at all costs.
Why should you avoid coffee while you’re pregnant? Caffeine safe during Pregnancy?
While excessive coffee drinking during pregnancy has been associated to gestational growth restriction, premature births or miscarriages, and lower birth weights, the truth is that, aside from these negative effects, experts are still unsure how caffeine impacts your kid.
That’s not to imply you should go out and drink as much coffee as you like (Hint! It’s not a good idea). Here’s what we do know instead:
- Coffee is a diuretic, which means it will cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently. You may also become dehydrated. To keep your hydration levels in check, drink a glass of water alongside your coffee.
- It can cause heartburn – heartburn is a common complaint among pregnant women, and coffee can exacerbate the problem. If this describes you, you should stay away from the dark for a bit.
- Coffee is linked to anaemia, so avoid it if your iron levels are low or you’ve been diagnosed with prenatal anaemia. Caffeine interferes with iron absorption and can make you feel even more exhausted.
Can I consume coffee while TTC (trying to conceive)?
First and foremost, congratulations on your pregnancy, and second, yes, you can drink coffee. However, just like when you’re carrying a baby inside you, it’s advisable to keep your consumption to a minimum.
For parents-to-be, staying under the 300mg limit is a smart idea. It reduces your chances of miscarriage and may help you have a healthy pregnancy. You’re on your way if you combine this with those prenatal vitamins.
But TTC dads, take note: this one affects you as well. To help promote a safe pregnancy, TTC fathers should likewise keep to the 300mg limit. But don’t worry, once the baby arrives, you can drink as much coffee as you like (within reason!).
Is there a difference between coffee and tea in terms of safety?
Are you considering replacing your cup of coffee with another hot beverage but aren’t sure if it’s worth it? Yes, it is. Tea, on average, has a lower caffeine content than coffee. However, this does not imply a free-for-all.
Same as with your cup of Joe, if you switch to tea, you need to monitor how many cups you have a day. Especially if your brew of choice is black.
The silver lining? Some types of tea – fruit, herbal, and decaf – contain very low levels of caffeine so you can enjoy them pretty freely. So, you’ll never be without a warm beverage. Caffeine safe during Pregnancy
Alternatives to coffee for pregnant women
If you can’t get your hands on the black stuff, don’t worry; there are plenty of delightful hot beverages out there to tempt your taste buds. Caffeine safe during Pregnancy
- Chicory is the way to go if you’re seeking for a coffee-tasting (kind of) alternative that’s nearly caffeine-free (38mg).
- Herbal teas, particularly ginger tea, can help manage morning sickness symptoms while keeping you hydrated. But stay away from things like guarana, duck roots, juniper berries, buckthorn, fennel, lovage, motherwort, borage, and sassafras. These aren’t the best options for expecting mothers.
- Going green with green tea is the way to go. It does include caffeine, but it also has other health advantages. So, if you’re in need of a warm beverage, make a cup.
- Hot chocolate — not entirely caffeine-free, but significantly less so than coffee, hot chocolate is an excellent substitute.
- Chai latte – If you like strong flavours, a warm chai latte might be right for you. However, if you want to cut back on caffeine, look for teas that don’t contain black tea.