I have had many patients ask me if coffee is safe during pregnancy. Is drinking coffee while pregnant safe? The answer is YES! However, the amount of caffeine we recommend during pregnancy differs than pre-pregnancy. When I reviewed the medical evidence, I found that that there may actually be health benefits to drinking coffee! But if too much caffeine during pregnancy is consumed, there may be adverse health outcomes.
Excess caffeine in pregnancy and the effects on fetal development
A study published by the British Medical Journal in 2017 suggested that there are many health benefits to drinking coffee, but there may be adverse effects to consuming high amounts of caffeine consumed during pregnancy.
In this study, higher consumption of caffeine during pregnancy was associated with low birth weight, preterm birth in the first and second trimester, and pregnancy loss.
How much caffeine can you have pregnant?
Drinking coffee while pregnant is safe if done in moderation. Another study (a 2017 systematic review) found that consumption of up to 300 mg caffeine/day was not associated with adverse outcomes in healthy pregnant women.
Other sources such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend less than 200 mg/day of caffeine in pregnancy.
I am pregnant with baby number two now and limit my caffeine intake to one cup per day, and make sure it is below 200mg/day.
Wikoff D, Welsh BT, Henderson R, et al. Systematic review of the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption in healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. Food Chem Toxicol 2017; 109:585.
https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5024 – accessed June 8 2019