Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

We want to do what’s best for our growing baby inside of us. Once we get that positive pregnancy result, we clean up every bit of our lives to be sure our babies have the healthiest start possible. (See foods to avoid while pregnant!) And so many of us wonder: is it safe to drink coffee while pregnant?

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve seen the love, devotion, and urgency many mamas have around their morning Joe. We can give up a lot when we’re pregnant, but please don’t touch our caffeine!

Let’s look at the research around caffeine and coffee while pregnant, what a midwife has to say, and how other natural mamas in our community have handled it.

The Research on Pregnancy and Caffeine

Unlike the research on chocolate during pregnancy, the evidence is conflicting around drinking coffee while pregnant.

The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study with 562 women who miscarried at 6-12 weeks. The researchers found that more than 5 cups of coffee increased the mom’s risk of miscarriage (1). Now, keep in mind, that’s a lot of coffee, probably more than most people consume, and certainly not advised for a pregnant mama. (There was also a 2001 study that showed that consuming more than 300 mg of coffee while pregnant doubled a woman’s risk for miscarriage in first trimester (2).)

Up until 2008, the general consensus was a few cups of coffee was fine during pregnancy. Then, a study led by Dr. De-Kun Li from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research told a different story. This study was unique because for the first time, early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, which often lead to a natural caffeine aversion, were taken into account so that researchers could determine the true effect of caffeine on miscarriage risk.

Looking at over 1,000 pregnant women, the study determined that “women who consumed 200 mg or more of caffeine (in any form) per day had twice the miscarriage risk as women who consumed no caffeine.” (3) To put this into perspective, 200mg of caffeine is the equivalent of more than two cups of most coffees, or five 12-ounce cans of soda.

Other potential risk factors for miscarriages were collected as well such as maternal age, smoking, alcohol consumption, hot tub use, and even exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy.

This study caused the March of Dimes to change their recommendations to consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine a day.

To counter this, another mega study compared 17 epidemiological studies on the fetal effects of caffeine consumption and found no causal association between caffeine intake of 300 mg or less and birth outcome. They dismissed Dr. De-Kun Li’s study because some of the reported miscarriages were just confirmed through maternal interview rather than from medical records. (4)

Coffee While Pregnant: What’s a Mama to Do?

Well, caffeine is a drug and it will cross the placenta. It can limit blood flow to the placenta, as well as increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also puts additional strain on the liver, which is already busy processing the increased hormonal demands related to pregnancy.

There are enough studies out there that show dangers with consumption of 300mg, from miscarriages to lower birth weights, so it would be wise to stick below this amount.

Better yet, stay below 200 mg of caffeine per day (e.g. less than two cups of coffee).

Or skip the coffee all together, especially in the first trimester when miscarriage is more likely. (5)

How Do YOU React to Caffeine?

As with everything, coffee while pregnant is really a personal decision based on your experiences with caffeine and a discussion with your healthcare provider. Some people, myself included, get jittery and wound up from just one cup. Other people can slam a venti double shot right before bed and sleep like a baby.

If caffeine made you anxious from before you became pregnant, it’s best to stay away from it. If you handle it well pre-pregnancy, you are probably fine having a cup with your morning meal.

Listen to Your Body

Some mamas may have to reduce or eliminate their intake of caffeine and coffee while pregnant based on their symptoms. Heart palpitations, anxiety, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive sweating and shakiness are good indications that you should dial the caffeine way back or get rid of it completely.

The most important thing is to listen to your body.

Keep in mind that there are some delicious herbal brews (check my recipe for dandelion root detox tea here) that taste similar to coffee, or you can try a decaffeinated coffee that uses the Swiss water method.

A Midwife’s Perspective on Drinking Coffee While Pregnant

Meghanne Reburn RM recommends that coffee drinkers err on the side of caution and consume no more than 200mg of caffeine per day. She states “I’d like to think that the body’s wisdom tells us that perhaps a little bit is okay, but too much isn’t safe.” (6) Her recommendation is to switch to bulletproof coffee because of the extra fat, lower toxic load, and the energy it can provide. Meghanne also advises not to drink your morning coffee before going for a glucose screening, as it can produce a false positive on the test.

Here’s What Other Natural Mamas Have to Say About Consuming Caffeine When Pregnant

I asked the moms on my Facebook page if they drank coffee while pregnant or changed their habits in any way, and over 600 moms chimed in!!! Talk about a hot topic. Here is a sample of their responses.

  • Before pregnancy, I drank an average of two cups of coffee a day. While pregnant, I cut all caffeine out of my diet. I didn’t even have decaf coffee, tea, sodas, even chocolate. After reading a number of studies pointing toward adverse effects for children as a result of caffeine exposure in utero, I figured better safe than sorry. – Ashley F.
  • I’m currently pregnant with my third. I cut back on coffee with my first two. One cup in the am. With this one I’m less strict. I have one or two cups in the morning and an occasional 1/2 caf. In the afternoon depending on how I feel. So far this has been a good pregnancy. I’m 38 weeks gained the recommended 25 pounds and my bp is 120/60. We shall see. If the baby comes out with three heads I’ll blame it on the coffee. – Rebecca C.D.
  • I never drank coffee regularly until I had 2 kids. I drank none with my first pregnancy and had maybe 5 total with my second, for those really sluggish mornings. As a holistic nutritionist who specializes in paediatrics and pregnancy, I don’t believe it is a problem to have 1 cup a day, unless you’re experiencing adrenal issues/stress then I’d avoid 100%. Also drinking organic while pregnant with organic cream and no sugar is very important. – Leigh M.
  • Decaffeinated coffee is more toxic than caffeine due to the chemical decaffeination process. So I sipped on a cup of regular coffee everyday. – Sheena R.
  • For all my three pregnancies I despised coffee like the plague for the the first and second trimester (the time when caffeine has been linked to slight increased risk of miscarriage – so my body was working with me. Also only felt like eating super clean). With my Third I was able to drink One cup In the morning and One In the afternoon in my third trimester – felt perfectly comfortable and safe doing that. Had a healthy 8lb baby delivered naturally. Of course I’m from Europe where recommendations are decrease caffeine but up to three cups of coffee a day during pregnancy is fine!!! The US guidelines seem very strict. – Ann C.E.
  • I couldn’t! I am a coffee lover through and through, but with both my pregnancies, by 6 weeks, the smell of coffee made me totally sick. I couldn’t even walk by a Starbucks. My hubby made coffee for himself in the boot room and then eventually switched to tea for pregnancy number 1. For number 2, we were living on the in-laws property at the time so he walked over to their kitchen each morning for his coffee while I hung my head over the porcelain throne each day. 🙂 The day after I delivered, I could tolerate the smell and have a cup again. Weird, but I guess its just something my body did not want while pregnant. – The Natural Wolf
  • Tried to limit it to 1 cup of organic coffee per day at the most, towards the end did more like a cup of coffee twice a week. Did it bullet proof style with grass fed butter and virgin coconut oil to help get in extra high quality fats (especially on days when my diet didn’t include enough.) My comfort zone for doing so was based off studies done in south american countries where coffee consumption is considered normal culturally. Do not feel like it adversely affected me or our babies. – Stephanie W.T.
  • With my last pregnancy, I only very occasionally had it, after my first tri had passed. I did have it in my previous two pregnancies a bit more, but after I miscarried my second pregnancy and read some scientific research possibly linking caffeine with an increased risk in miscarriage, I just couldn’t allow myself to drink it all willy nilly. I felt like I owed it to my baby AND myself to cut back so that there wouldn’t be any guilt or blame in that aspect if something went wrong in any future pregnancies. – Cassaundra R.
  • My most colicky, fidgety, cranky, worst-sleeping baby was the one with whom I cut out all caffeine. With baby #3 I kept on drinking it and he was the most mellow!! – Kiva S.
  • I’m a huge fan of coffee and just had my first child this last June. I had an aversion to coffee before I knew I was pregnant. It didn’t taste as good as it usually did. So just knew something was up! and I found out I was pregnant with my little girl. I immediately stopped drinking it and started looking for a good decaf coffee. – Kaila L.R.

How About You?

Did you drink coffee while pregnant? Did you give it up? Or change your habits? Share your experience in the comments below!

Sources:

1 – http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199911253412202
2 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14629312
3 – http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(07)02025-X/fulltext
4 – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bdrb.20288/full#bib122
5 – http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/caffeine-during-pregnancy/
6 – http://cavegirlplusone.com/blog/2013/9/8/part-2-caffeine-coffee-and-tea-during-your-paleo-pregnancy

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79 Comments

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  1. With both of my pregnancies so far I’ve detested the smell of coffee in the first trimester, didn’t mind it and had an occasional cup in the second, and relied on it to get through my day in the third (actually that last part has just been my second pregnancy – I have a toddler to keep up with now). I’ve always kept it to no more than 2 coffees in a day but usually only do 1 (and don’t often even finish that cup). And I don’t drink it every day, though lately it’s definitely been a more regular thing as I find myself beyond exhausted (I’m 34 weeks). Obviously it just depends on the person and how it impacts them, but it’s alwways a good idea (in my opinion) to keep it under 200-300 mg a day. (I usually stay under 200mg personally). Like anything in pregnancy, we just need to research and make the decision that is best for our own lives/bodies.

  2. Did anyone else totally lose interest in chocolate during pregnancy?? I used to be a chocolate fiend – had it every day – up until a couple weeks before finding out the big news. I’m 5 months now, and overall have had less than 5 bites of chocolate. I guess my body just knows…

  3. With my first baby I stop drinking coffe, but wait, then I knew i was cheating with caffeine because I didnt stop drinking sodas and candy, much less, but I still did it. My first born was perfectly healthy.
    Now, im in second trimester with my 2nd second baby, this time I did drop the soda and candy, and only once a week have a latte, capuccino or mocha, since they have much less caffeine. About chocolate, i have one square of 70% cacao on a emergency day, we all know the energy it’s not the same with the second! So far, doctor says my pregnancy is going great.

  4. We have 4 living children and 3 angel babies. With our first two, I drank 1 cup of espresso a day while TTC and when morning sickness hit around 6-7 weeks I couldn’t even stand the smell of coffee. But after the first trimester was able to return to 1 cup a day. With our nest two I was able to drink my one cup of organic espresso each morning right through. When we decided we wanted one more little person to complete our family, I did the ‘right’ thing and went off all caffeine for 6 months prior to TTC and stayed off it right through. I had three early miscarriages in a row. So, after mc no.3. I decided I was going to return to my 1 cup a day – but am now having it as a bullet proof with 20g each of grass fed butter and coconut oil, and grass fed gelatin with my shot of organic espresso. Currently 8 weeks pregnant, so not past my danger time, but so far all is going well.

  5. Nice to read your blog! Intake of coffee during pregnancy really impact the growth of baby.

  6. This time around I’m slipping a little black tea in the morning (not even a whole cup — a few sips do the trick). I was a mess at work with pregnancy fatigue the first time around and I can’t afford to be that checked out this time around re: career responsibilities.

  7. It’s nice to know that coffee doesn’t pass through the mother’s glands the same way other things do so it doesn’t particularly affect the baby.. or it shouldn’t. Especially for mothers who go back to work so soon after childbirth, it would be insane not to expect them to keep up with their regular pick-me-up while working in a fast paced environment.

  8. I’m not sure if others have commented on this already, but it would be helpful to provide some context about the finding that caffeine use increases the chance of miscarriage by 50%. What is the baseline risk to begin with? If it’s 1%, then an increase of 50 percent raises the risk to 1.5%. But if it’s 20%, a 50 percent increase leads to a risk of 30%. These are two very different scenarios. A fifty percent increase is also different than a risk of fifty percent. I can imagine that someone might read this article quickly and mistakenly think that drinking more than 200 mg of caffeine raises the risk of miscarriage to 50%, which is not what you are saying. More information about the baseline risk would be helpful for clarifying this.

  9. I actually have had an overactive gag reflex since about week 10. The ONLY sure fire way to stop the incessant gagging is a daily coffee. If I skipped it, I’d be dry heaving and eventually throwing up by the afternoon. I wasn’t overly nauseous, and it stopped about week 20, but I’m 35 weeks and still get gaggy if I miss my coffee. We get dark roast at home, and I have lattes or Americanos if I can when out, since they have the least caffeine when compared to slow brew or drip coffees, and lighter roasts

  10. I’m 25 weeks with my third child. I tried to cut back with my first, but it was too hard. I drank 3-5 cups a day and had a 9.5 lb healthy baby born at 42 weeks at home. My second baby I drank a ton of coffee and had a 10.2 lb baby – BTW I am not huge! I’m 5’7 140 not pregnant. I just have HUGE babies. So with this pregnancy I am not stressing it. I am a big coffee drinker (black coffee, organic beans) and I always have been. I think it is one of those things not worth stressing too much over.

  11. I’ve never been a regular coffee drinker, it’s always been a treat or a social drink and so I’ve never relied on it as an energy booster. My first 2 pregnancies (12 years ago!) I completely went off the smell of coffee. Now nearly 40 and 3rd pregnancy, I’m wanting one small cup of milky coffee everyday and I’m thinking what’s this about?! And oh the smell of coffee… just divine!

  12. I’m 18 weeks pregnant and I’ve had a total of three cups of coffee my entire pregnancy. I didn’t have a single drop in my first trimester, but now I’m in my second trimester and miscarriage is less common I have a very watered down coffee when I’m feeling extra tired in the morning. I drink red raspberry tea twice a day instead of coffee. It’s good for baby and caffeine free.

  13. I am 8 weeks pregnant I am pretty sensitive to some things but I love the smell of coffee, I have some days where I don’t want to touch caffeine not too many though.

  14. I’m 18weeks pregnant I just feel like drinking coffee what should I do to stop feeling like that

    • I too crave coffee. My mom drank it with me, and proclaim I always fought my sleep as a baby. Until this day I’m not a napper!! That’s until I conceived. I couldn’t stop napping. Now that I’m 8wks I crave coffee. My mom say STOP IT or you’ll regret it. But I’m like 1st time mommy…. I wouldn’t care if my baby cried too much or fought sleep (as I’m a 5th child) I consume 1cup a day. I don’t think it would hurt….

  15. I ate chocolate and drank coffe, at 1 of my prenatal appointments the baby was skipping a heartbeat so I was scheduled for a level 2 sonogram to check for heat defects. At the sonogram appointment they took picture after picture of the baby’s heart then the guy looks at me and says “you drink coffee and are eating chocolate, Stop!” I did stop and the next appointment the baby’s heartbeat was totally normal. Very scary, I hope this helps.

    • Thanks for sharing! Yes, this is scary. This is why it’s important for moms to pay attention to their particular symptoms when they drink coffee or eat chocolate. Some can drink a cup and then go to bed. Others would be up all night and have a fast heart rate. It really varies!

  16. I love coffee but am not a daily drinker, so I have one or two (at the most) a week. Tea is my weakness, and they have caffeine too. I usually take one or two cups a day but cut it out during my second pregnancy because of gestational diabetes, and I can’t stand unsweetened tea. Unsweetened latte is much more tolerable.

  17. I loved coffee before I got pregnant and would usually drink 3 cups per day. once I got pregnant I couldn’t stand coffee my whole first trimester!! Then it slowly sounded much more appealing the second trimester, and I allowed myself 1 a cup in the mornings. By the end of my second and into my third trimester (currently 34 weeks) I have allowed myself 1 cup in the morning and then half decaf some afternoons. I work full time and often commute over an hour. Sometimes that afternoon cup is needed to drive home safely!! 🙂

    • I was the exact same way. I gave up coffee with no side effects my first and second trimester due to the smell and taste feeling off (not necessarily making me nauseous, just not tasting good). One morning during my third trimester my husband’s coffee was brewing and smelt amazing. I had a 1/2 cup and now continue do so every morning.

  18. I drink coffee everyday, often a 1/2-caf venti something from Starbucks and often iced tea, too. I aim for 200 mg or less, but don’t beat myself up if I go over on occasion.

  19. With my first I cut out caffeine/ coffee completely. With my second pregnancy I allowed myself one cup a day (I was working full time with a 8-17 month old at home) I needed something to get me through my stressful day. This time I stay at home and allow myself 2 cups if needed. Some days I barely drink one. It depends how well the toddlers slept.

    The funny thing is that my first was my crankiness baby. He just turned 3 and only started sleeping through the night around 2.5 years. My youngest has always been a better sleeper

  20. What are your thoughts on coffee/espresso while breastfeeding? I’d love to hear your take

    • Espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee. I dabbled with caffeine with Griffin and it did seem like he was more restless. I think it’s probably tied to the mom. If you can handle caffeine well, your child will probably be fine since your system has metabolized it well. This is just a theory 😉 But, overall, I believe in moderation, caffeine is fine while nursing.

  21. Hello lovely ladies:
    My Dr, friends, family and even doula has always stated that as long as you do things in moderation during pregnancy, its ok to continue in pregnancy. Of course, this involves the fact that I’m a coffee LOVER. Girls, you do not need to stop your life of coffee just because of pregnancy. All we need to do is monitor it. I went from drinking 3 strong coffees a day (pre pregnancy) to having an entire aversion to it. I could not believe that the thought, smell, or taste of coffee would get me to the point of wanting to throw up. I had 4 months of morning sickness with this pregnancy (This is my 3rd) but after that 4 month period I tried an “iced latte” and I LOVED it again. Due to the fact that I was such a heavy coffee drinker before my pregnancy, its safe to say its OK to indulge in my usual morning brew. A light roast is always better, as its not dark and the caffeine is a little less than regular or dark brew. Sometimes I do need a little afternoon pick me up and I will have another coffee. I switch it to Iced coffee at times, and sometimes its just the taste I want so I just get and Iced Decaf Coffee. It really helps satisfy the craving (if the taste is all you want). So just to recap, its ok as long as its all in moderation. Drink plenty of water through the day too :). Pregnancy is tough enough as it is, don’t feel like you have to stop the simple things that keep you happy and going like COFFEE. Wishing all you mamas beautiful pregnancies.

    • Light roast have more caffeine. A dark roast has been roasted longer, causing it to have less caffeine. Google Starbucks blonde roast caffeine vs it’s dark roast… Or any general light roast will have more…

  22. I love coffee but I decided to cut it off during my first pregnancy. Recently I’ve being drinking a little amount of coffee because I have really low blood pressure, the Doctor says that is normal to have LBP during the second trimester but mine is very low. The only thing that seems to help is coffee. I’m drinking a lot of water and eating regularly but coffee is the only thing that regulates my BP. If you know of anything else that I can do to raise my BP let me know.

  23. I drank a cup of latte every morning when I was pregnant with my first child. A cup of latte that contained 1 shot of expresso. (about 80 mg of caffeine). And it was my routine for pretty much most of my pregnancy. Sometimes I would have a cup of coffee (100 mg caffeine) but not more than that.
    I worked full time while I was pregnant, so I needed the extra boost, and I COULD not do without it. My little girl was born on-time, weighing 8 lbs. 9 oz. She is now two, and very smart. I don’t see a problem as of yet. However, I would recommend doing everything in moderation. Too much of anything is bad whether you are pregnant or not!
    I do not plan drinking any caffeine with my next pregnancy, because I will only work part time:)
    Good luck to all moms out there trying to do your best~

    • Amen! Sounds like you found a great, moderate way to enjoy yourself and get through your pregnancy with grace. That’s what it is about!

  24. What about chocolate?

  25. Hehehehe oh my goodness Allie, that is so cute!!! Love it! <3

  26. I’m a coffee drinker, not a heavy though, just about 1 cup per day, is just that my boss is a coffee connoisseur so he gets the green beans from who knows where, he toast them himself and bring the toasted ground beans still warm to make some coffee at the office, I mean, how can I say no to that? Anyways, I had aversion to coffee all the first trimester, so I survived with hot chocolate and teas. At the end of my second trimester my coffee aversion disappear and now I’m back to my routine to have a cup of coffee per day, taking care not to drink more than that. Baby might kick a bit more after the coffee but not always. Thank you for sharing this information though, it is very complete! I love your website and I’m definitely going to follow it =)

  27. I’ve never drank coffee, I just didn’t like it. But now I’m pregnant, and I sometimes crave cappuccino. I think the craving has mostly to do with the milk in it 🙂 So I’m starting to eat more yoghurt to get enough protein and hopefully this craving will pass. (I only drink cappuccino maybe four times a week).
    In the Netherlands, they recommend no more than 2 cups of coffee a day (on websites etc), but my midwife said last week that’s really on the safe side, you can have no more than 4 cups of coffee and still be fine.
    I do drink lots of tea; I love yasmin green tea. Not sure how many cups of those are still fine…

  28. During pregnancy, I regularly drank coffee. I was sooo tired and some days it really seemed necessary! Thankfully, no harm was done…my twin boys were born at home as we hoped at 39 weeks (6 and 7 pounds!) and have always been extremely healthy. I rarely drink any caffeine now and our family has really embraced a real foods lifestyle since the boys were born. Benedict and Christopher will be 2 next week and are still nursing…as well as taking their fclo, snacking on kale, and enjoying homemade coconut bread as their “cake”.

    Thank you Mama Natural for all your informative. ..and often hilarious videos and posts! I found you a month ago and you are an inspiration!

    • WOW, mama Jill! You go girl! Welcome and so glad you’re here 🙂 Xoxo

  29. I am becoming more and more convinced that there is no one right way of eating for everyone. I think it has to do with our genetics and lineage and all of that. That explains why one diet works wonders for one person, and causes issues for another. And why some people can consume copious amounts of caffeine without feeling anything and why one person can take a few sips and wind up wired and on edge for hours. I am one of the former and can sip coffee all day and still sleep at night, while my husband will be up for hours if he has more than a small 8 oz serving very early in the morning.

    All of that to say… wouldn’t the developing fetus be much the same? The studies are so conflicting, so that makes me wonder if some are just predisposed to not handling caffeine well. I also wonder if there is any correlation between how well a woman handles her caffeine in terms of bodily response and how well her baby in utero might handle it. As in, if you had consumed coffee during your pregnancies, would your risk have been greater than say, mine, because our responses to caffeine are so different? Is it the mother’s response to caffeine that causes the issues (increased heart rate, etc…) or the caffeine itself? Or both?

    I am basically rambling and pulling stuff out of thin air here. 😉

  30. During my first pregnancy I was so unbelievably sick that I couldn’t keep down coffee at all. Which was a quick adjustment for this 1/2 a pot a day drinker. Near the end when I started to feel better I would drink one small cup a day and just kind of sip on it all day. Now with my second pregnancy I feel tremendously better but I have cut back to drinking between 1-2 cups a day. I think that if you have no underlying health issues and you are monitoring your caffine intake coffee is fine.

  31. During my first pregnancy I drank alot of caffeine trying to settle my stomach. I had my smallest weighing baby. For my other 4 pregnancy I had moderate amts of caffeine (2 cups a day) and all babies were a good size. I did miscarry one baby between 3 and 4 but caffeine intake was normal.

  32. Heya!
    We’re trying to conceive at the moment, but this coffee debate did interest me. I’m an English Girl and love my tea!
    I don’t drink coffee, just about 4 cups of strong English tea everyday. Does the same research apply for tea as it does for coffee? Is it purely the caffeine factor or is there certain chemicals in coffee that makes it more dangerous for pregnant ladies? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • After a quick google search I found that a cup of black tea has about 50 mg of caffeine. As long as you stay under the recommended 200, you should be fine. But if you have any aversions, obviously listen to your body. (Just thought I’d reply in case she didn’t get to).

    • Hi Lia

      When I was trying to get pregnant I switched to Clipper organic decaf tea which you can get at Sainsburys. It’s organic and you can rest assured that the decaffeination process is safe too…and their tea bags are also unbleached. If, like me you like your tea a bit like builders tea, you may need to use 2bags in a big mug!

    • Tea contains fluoride.

    • I read somewhere that the antioxidants in tea that are usually good for you can negatively impact your body’s ability to absorb iron – a mineral you need a higher level of while pregnant. So you need to avoid drinking too much tea for that reason as well, or try to consume more iron with your diet. Vitamin C helps absorb iron, so having a glass of orange juice with your meat &veggies is always a good idea.

    • It’s caffeine so tea would count. Try doing half and half 🙂

  33. While pregnant with my first, and only so far, I was surprised by my lack of interest in coffee. I LOVED it before I became pregnant. So much so that our wedding was coffee themed! But once the pregnancy was in full gear, I just lost interest until towards the very end when a cup here and there was just ~nice~.

    My approach to the pregnancy was really all things in moderation. A cup here and there of coffee, if I so desired, a sip of beer or wine, and I even snagged some of hubby’s sushi one evening. My baby girl is just amazing!

  34. Could anyone give a recommendation for a yummy and safe decaf coffee? I like my coffee strong with cream, not sweet. I am breastfeeding and find regular makes my boy wake up at night.

      • Thank you for this referral for safe decaf, buying me some SwissWater right now!

    • Like others have said, any are fine that are made by the Swiss water process. I would do organic as well.

  35. I couldn’t stand coffee during pregnancy; for some reason, I just didn’t feel like having any. I also didn’t drink any tea except for rooibos.

    Someone had commented that recommendations are different in Europe, which is very true. I wonder, though, what is the actual “cup” they talk about in Europe, because where I’m from in EU, we use small cups about the size of a desilitre. Over here in the states, people always think my cups are minuscule.

    • So true! And some cultures coffee is much stronger… there’s also a big difference in the caffeine content in 1 cup of Starbucks vs. Folgers.

  36. Cool! Thanks for the research. Would you happen to know any studies that relate to drinking wine during pregnancy? I’ve always wondered why some doctors/midwives say yes-one glass is fine, and some say to absolutely abstain? I’m wondering if it would be the same as drinking other fermented beverages like Kombucha? My research has been inconclusive, have you found anything rock hard?

    • I’m an RM, and the advice I give to clients about drinking during pregnancy is that while it has been proven that too much alcohol will adversely affect your fetus, there is no way to tell which glass of wine it will be that might be the “too much” point. So for one person it could be the 30th glass of wine they drink, and for another it could be the 300th. There is just no way to be certain. That’s why some doctors and midwives will say there is no safe amount, because there isn’t a way to be sure, while others will say the likelihood is very small that the occasional drink will do any harm. It’s up to each woman and her personal comfort level with risk.

  37. I didn’t consume caffeine while pregnant, but I have started to while exclusively breastfeeding my daughter, I’m wondering if there are any concerns while breastfeeding? I started when she was older, around 10 months.

    • The only issue is that it can stimulate some children and they won’t sleep as long :0

  38. I’m pregnant with my 2nd and in both pregnancies I’ve had the occasional caffeinated drink about 2-3 times per week, which is what I consume outwith pregnancy as well. My biggest concern about drinking caffeine during pregnancy is making sure I drink it without adding lots of sugar or other junk- so instead of having a peppermint mocha, I’ll have a latte with almond milk; instead of a sugary iced tea, I’ll have a green tea with lemon. There are far more studies linking complications of pregnancy to high sugar intake than to moderate caffeine intake.

  39. I love coffee. I love my organically grown coffee from my best friends farm on the big island in the morning steaming hot out of my french press. I go to bed at night excited to have that cup of deliciousness. I’m not a coffee or caffine abuser but that morning ritual is as part of my routine as is peeing and brushing my teeth. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant- my first child. At about 6 weeks I woke up one morning and the ritual pull was gone. I had no desire for coffee. Zero, Ziltch. This was so shocking to me that I still made some. I drank maybe 1/4 cup and was done. I realized I actually wanted something lighter and was pulled towards tea- herbal, decaf or maybe chai. I listened to my body. I think this is so so important- perhaps the most important thing that expecting moms can do. Listen. Listen to what your body craves. There is great wisdom here and we have not been taught to listen and know that our bodies are communicating with us. The desire for coffee did return. Sometimes I want it and sometimes I don’t. When I want it I allow myself the drink and savor every sip. That being said- drinking a pot a day probably not so good. I personally dont believe that drinking 1 or 2 cups of coffee that is grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is going to be harmful. I also believe very strongly in the mind body connection. Often times what we believe to be true we create to be true.
    I’m super grateful for this thread and article. Thank you for sharing your passion with the world- we are all benefiting from it!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! Congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Thank you!!!! I am in week 11 and I have a craving for coffee but just can’t give in to it Bc of the possible harm it will do to my baby. I had previously miscarried (didn’t drink coffee then either) and I am so cautious again this time around! Reading this just proves I’m doing the right thing for me and my baby.
      So thankful for mamanatural.com and all the good info that comes through! 🙂

  40. I found a really yummy organic Swiss press decaf (water processing so no chemicals!) to have every now and then to cure the craving and cut out caffeine otherwise. Xo

  41. I’m glad you brought this issue up, Genevieve. It was a concern of my own when I was pregnant, so I did my own research on this issue at the time. As a result of that research, I decided to give coffee up during my pregnancy, but I did not give up caffeine altogether. Instead I limited myself to occasional, very small quantities in certain chocolates or teas. Being an educator and continuing to work until 3.5 weeks before I gave birth, I enjoyed the boost. However, I did listen to my body and I was unwilling to take the risks of taking in caffeine in the large quantities found in coffee. Despite my greatest efforts to be healthy, I give all glory to God for my very healthy pregnancy & my healthy baby boy!

  42. I used to work long hours when I was a journalist and everyone drank so much coffee and it made their breath stink! 😉 I’ve never been a coffee drinker so didn’t have to stop during pregnancy, but kudos to anyone who makes any effort to do what’s best for their bodies and babies. Especially when it’s tough! Here’s to healthy babies and mamas and families!

  43. I used to drink what my husband called ‘birthday cake coffee’ – lots of sugar. (before I was crunchy! that happened when I met my midwife 🙂 My sweet tooth majorly went away with my first pregnancy, so coffee didn’t sound good. A few months after having my daughter I started back with mostly decaf, and weaned myself off the sugar. I couldn’t believe I did it but now I LOVE coffee with no sugar. Just half and half – no plain milk for me, thankyouverymuch 😉 I only drink decaf, and buy organic and water-processed on amazon. It still didn’t sound very good throughout my second pregnancy though. For me it’s always been about the taste and never the caffeine.

  44. What do you think about green tea during pregnancy – that has caffeine but in a lower amount.

  45. I’m 24 weeks pregnant. I love Starbucks, and now I’m a bit freaked out, because this whole time I’ve been proud of myself for only ordering the Tall coffee. Well I just looked up the amount of caffeine and there are actually 260 mg of caffeine in a tall coffee. I’ve heard up to 12 oz a day, but I guess Starbucks is more potent. You can order a “Short” which is 8 oz and 175 mg caffeine.

  46. Pregnant right now with my 2nd and will take a small sip every few weeks. Usually at the sample station at Trader Joes 🙂 But other than that I don’t because I don’t really need it and so I figure better to be safe. Although with my first pregnancy I did drink a cup a day during my second trimester and into the beginning of my third. I don’t think that it affected anything negatively. I sure do miss the taste of it though!! Coffee with yummy cream! Mmmm…

    • That depends on what you get though. I drink tall white cocksure mochas from Starbucks, and the full caffeine version has 75 mg (let’s say 100 rounded up, because it probably depends on who makes the coffee). I usually get half caf, so that’s really only about 50 mg per day–about 13 mg more than a Barqs root beer. Maybe just go for something with less caffeine in it, or get half caffeinated?

      • Well that’s lovely. Sorry guys, autocorrect on my phone…that’s supposed to be chocolate 🙂

  47. I am currently in first trimester and am limiting myself to 1/2 cup of coffee per day. Mama with NO coffee is a pretty crabby mama and my 1 year old and my husband need me to be able to interact happily with them. With my first, I cut caffeine out 100% but it’s much harder to do that this time around when I am still getting up in the middle of the night with my first child.

  48. I must have one cup!!!! Ahhhhhh!!! During the first trimester I abstain, but after that a cup I need! Especially to get up with other young ones! Decafe just couldn’t cut it for me..

  49. I had 1-2 cups of weak coffee w lots of milk to help with the pregnancy headaches and exhaustion. I tried giving it up altogether, and was MISERABLE. But with 12 hour shifts as a nurse and a busy 7 month old, I feel like I really need the caffeine-a-thon now! How much coffee do you guys think is safe while breastfeeding???

    • I have one to two cups while breastfeeding with all four of my babies… They turn out just perfect!

  50. Such an interesting post! My husband and I do not have children yet, but I will keep this in mind when (God willing) we are expecting!

  51. I am a regular coffee drinker (plus I work at Starbucks!). I am currently pregnant and drink one 12 oz. cup of coffee in the morning and a tea in the afternoon. When I was having morning sickness, I wanted nothing to do with coffee. But I get terrible migraines and the only thing that helps is caffeine. So now drink that cup in the morning not for the energy but to keep headaches at bay.

  52. I drank two cups of coffee most days and had zero health problems during my pregnancy. All my numbers were always top of the line and I had a healthy 9lb 8oz baby boy. We did have a 24 hour labor but other than that all was well.

  53. During my 7th pregnancy I read something along the lines of for each cup of coffee you drink during pregnancy, it can prolong your labor by one hour. I did not drink coffee with my 1st and 2nd children, and had pretty normal labors. With my 3rd, 4th and 5th children I drank coffee throughout my pregnancy and had LONG labors with them including weeks of prodromal labor. For my 6th child I didn’t drink any coffee and his labor was my shortest labor yet and no prodromal labor. I have had two miscarriages and with both I was avoiding drinking coffee, so it did not play a role in the miscarriages.

    • Interesting. My past two labors were my longest, and those were my highest coffee pregnancies. Although, they were also my easiest. Neither really hurt until the last hour. So I might keep the coffee. Lol.

  54. I usually give up my coffee or cut WAY back the first twelve weeks. After that, I have coffee, but no more than a cup or so per day. And not everyday. Although, it was right after my last pregnancy I saw your post on Dandy Blend. I ordered some the same day, as hubby had been harping on my caffeine intake (grumble) . I actually really liked it, and may substitute that and organic matcha green tea if we have any more babies.

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