Caffeine intake during pregnancy

Caffeine is the most frequently used drug during pregnancy. In small amounts, caffeine is considered safe for the fetus. But experts caution pregnant women to keep their caffeine use below 200 mg a day.1

  • Pregnant women who ingest more than 200 mg daily have a higher rate of miscarriage.1
  • 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 and energy drinks also have caffeine.

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.

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).

Last Updated: November 28, 2008

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