If you love coffee but have recently found out that you are pregnant, you may be wondering whether or not it is safe to continue enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, especially if you’re feeling particularly tired. Can you drink coffee while pregnant? While you might need to cut down on the amount of coffee that you drink each day if you tend to have a lot, the good news is that you don’t have to complete give up drinking it when you are pregnant. When it comes to how much coffee you can drink while pregnant, there are several studies that suggest you do not need to cut it out altogether as a small amount of caffeine will not cause any harm. Of course, if you drink a lot of coffee and are wondering is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant, the best thing that you can probably do is switch to decaf coffee while pregnant more often, so you’re not missing out on the taste but cutting down on caffeine consumption.
Drinking Coffee While Pregnant
Can a pregnant woman drink coffee? How much caffeine can you have while pregnant? Your main priority right now is probably to make sure that you eventually have a healthy baby, but at the same time, you might be wondering is it bad to drink coffee while pregnant, especially if you are suffering from pregnancy fatigue in the first trimester and just want a little pick-me-up to keep you going. You’ll be glad to hear that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that it’s okay to drink a limited amount of caffeinated coffee while pregnant, but do try and keep it under 200mg per day, or no more than are 12oz of coffee daily depending on the type of brand. Don’t forget to count caffeine that you are getting from other sources, too, such as chocolate, soda, and tea. Check the labels of foods like energy bars, as more and more items with added caffeine are appearing on the shelves.
Is Caffeine Safe for the Baby?
When you are pregnant, you’re no longer just thinking about what is good for you, but also what is good for your baby. Because of this, it’s crucial to keep your caffeine limit low when pregnant, since drinking too much coffee with caffeine can cause problems for both you and your developing baby. When it comes to how much coffee can a pregnant woman have, it’s best to stick to a strict limit of no more than 200mg per day since excessive caffeine consumption can increase your risk of miscarriage. It can also increase the risk of low birth weight and even stillbirth, so it’s important to be careful. Between 8-12oz of coffee per day is safe for a developing baby. Experts recommend sticking to just one cup per day to leave yourself some room for anything else you may consume with caffeine in it.
Is Decaf Coffee OK When Pregnant?
Is decaf coffee OK when pregnant? If you love the taste of coffee and don’t want to give up drinking more than one cup per day, a good alternative is to switch to decaf or low-caf coffee instead so you can have more. However, bear in mind that decaf coffee is not completely caffeine-free, and low-caf or half-caf coffee contains some, but less caffeine compared to a regular coffee. So, can you drink decaf coffee while pregnant? You absolutely can and it should be perfectly safe, but it’s a good idea to keep the 200mg per day limit in mind. While you are unlikely to get anywhere near this if you’re exclusively drinking decaf coffee, you will need to work out how much you can have if you opt for low-caffeine or half-caffeine.
Can Coffee Be Beneficial When Pregnant?
While there aren’t any pregnancy-specific health benefits to consuming coffee, the caffeine boost in the morning can be helpful if that is what you are used to. Be vigilant when it comes to how you feel and notice if you are finding yourself in more need of a caffeine kick to feel energetic enough to do everyday activities. While tiredness and fatigue is very normal during pregnancy, it can also mean that you need to get more sleep, your iron levels are low, or you are under a lot of stress. It can be worth speaking to your healthcare provider if you start to feel increasingly like you can’t get through the day without a cup of coffee. While you do need to keep track of the caffeine you’re consuming while pregnant to make sure that you don’t overdo it, there’s no need to cut it out completely and it can certainly help if you are feeling especially tired.
If you are used to having a cup of coffee when you get up in the morning, then there’s no need to stop doing this just because you are pregnant. Cutting it out completely is not usually necessary unless advised to by your healthcare provider. In fact, this can sometimes leave you dealing with caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches or feeling groggy that you probably won’t to avoid when you’re pregnant. You should be safe to continue to have a regular cup of coffee in the morning with no risk as long as you aren’t having more than 200mg of caffeine a day.
Consuming Coffee Safely While Pregnant
Is it bad to drink coffee while pregnant? While there’s nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee and being aware of your caffeine limit, there are some safety precautions to consider when figuring out how much coffee you can drink while pregnant. Caffeine will cross the placenta, meaning that it enters the baby’s bloodstream, and the digestive system of the developing fetus is not yet able to efficiently metabolize caffeine. This is why it is important to make sure that you do not consume any more than 200mg of caffeine per day, as any more will present a risk that can impact the health and wellbeing of both yourself and your baby while pregnant. Some of the main things to be aware of include:
If you are like most people, you might drink coffee to help you wake up. However, this can make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Since pregnancy can make some people more tired and a changing body shape in the later stages can make it harder to get comfortable to sleep at night, it’s best to avoid consuming caffeine after around noon each day to avoid it affecting your sleep and to make sure that you are getting the rest you need.
Consuming caffeine can cause a small and temporary rise in blood pressure, which is most noticeable in people who do not normally consume caffeine as their body is not used to it. It is worth speaking to your healthcare provider about caffeine consumption if you are pregnant and have a history of high blood pressure.
When you consume caffeine, this increases the body’s production of cortisol, which in turn triggers your stress responses. While this protects you when it’s in small and infrequent spurts, if the stress response is chronic, it can increase your risk of some health issues. If you’re stressed during pregnancy, this can also affect your baby.
Low Birth Weight
Consuming over 200mg of caffeine daily will increase your risk of delivering a baby with a low birth weight, at less than five pounds eight ounces. Babies born with a low birth weight have a higher risk of several health problems including jaundice and breathing problems.
Consuming a lot of caffeine can also increase your risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. This is due to the fact that catecholamine hormones are released by caffeine, which can increase the potential for pregnancy loss.
When Can I Start Drinking More Coffee Again?
If you have cut out coffee or reduced your caffeine consumption while pregnant, then you will be glad to hear that after giving birth, you will usually be able to start drinking coffee or more coffee again. However, if you are breastfeeding, experts recommend limiting your consumption to 400mg or less of caffeine on a daily basis and keeping an eye on your baby since caffeine will affect each one differently. The good news is that you can safely have more caffeine while breastfeeding compared to when you were pregnant, since very little caffeine actually comes into breast milk. Along with this, it’s important to be careful of the effects of too much caffeine like the jitters and insomnia, especially if you’ve not had any coffee while pregnant or switch to decaf, as this will be difficult to deal with postpartum.
Overall, experts agree that limiting your caffeine intake while pregnant to no more than 200mg per day is safe for both you and baby. So, you do not have to give coffee up completely.