Can I Drink Coffee While Pregnant? Print

Is it safe to drink coffee during pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Drink Coffee During Pregnancy by Andrea HolwegnerThe short answer is yes, if you want to, but in smaller amounts.  Drinking one to two cups of coffee per day during pregnancy is generally considered safe.

The issue with coffee, of course, is the caffeine.

Caffeine is a stimulant that is found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate. It can also be added artificially into drinks and foods. Caffeine can reduce tiredness and improve mental alertness but when taken in large amounts, can lead to insomnia. Too much caffeine can also make you feel jittery or anxious and cause a rapid heartbeat or headache.

During pregnancy, caffeine passes through the placenta to your baby. Your baby’s body cannot process the caffeine as quickly as you do so babies can experience the same stimulating effects that occur when adults drink coffee. This means you might find that your baby is kicking and moving around more after your morning brew.

Based on scientific research it is recommended that pregnant woman consume less than 200-300 mg of caffeine per day. This will ensure caffeine does not have a negative effect on your baby. As a point of reference, it is recommended that non-pregnant woman and men consume less than 400 mg per day. Amounts above 300 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy have been associated with smaller babies and has been blamed as a possible cause of miscarriage or premature birth.

How much caffeine do you get from coffee, tea and chocolate?

  • 1 cup of cup can range from 60 mg to 150 mg, depending on how it is made. Instant coffee has the least amount of caffeine compared to percolated or filter drip which is higher
  • 1 cup of tea can range from 20 mg of caffeine for weak tea and up to 100 mg of caffeine for strong tea
  • 1 milk chocolate bar has about 10-15 mg of caffeine
  • 1 dark chocolate bar can have about 40-50 mg of caffeine

You may find that your food preferences change dramatically during your pregnancy and might not even find your usual cup of coffee appealing.   If you do drink coffee, make sure to drink no more than two cups (500 ml) per day.

a version of this article appeared in Best in Baby Biz

About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

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"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Andrea is an excellent teacher and motivator. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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