Coffee and Caffeine Use During Pregnancy
Is it OK to Drink Coffee During Pregnancy?
If you're pregnant, check with your doctor about having caffeine. It's usually OK to have 1 or 2 cups of coffee, but it's best not to have more than that.
It's hard to know exactly how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee. The total can depend on things like the brand of coffee, how it’s prepared, and the size of the cup.
Studies show that getting more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day during pregnancy may not be healthy. This is about how much is in a 12-ounce cup or two 6-ounce cups of coffee. Drinking lots of caffeine during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and possibly other pregnancy problems.
How Can I Cut Back on Caffeine?
Having a hard time cutting out coffee all at once? Here's an easy way to start:
- Limit your coffee drinking to 1 or 2 cups a day and pay attention to the cup size.
- Start mixing decaffeinated coffee with regular coffee.
- In time, cut out the regular coffee altogether.
And remember that caffeine isn't only in coffee. Green tea and black tea, energy drinks, cola, and other soft drinks contain caffeine. Try switching to decaffeinated products (which may still have some caffeine, but in much smaller amounts) or caffeine-free alternatives.
If you're wondering about chocolate, which also has caffeine, the good news is that you can eat it in moderation. The average chocolate bar has only 5–30 milligrams of caffeine. So, small amounts of chocolate are fine.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- The Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth® is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
Images sourced by The Nemours Foundation and Getty Images.