Photo by Karin Pedersen Photography

Many patients ask me if drinking coffee is safe during pregnancy.  The answer is YES! However, the amount of caffeine we recommend during pregnancy is different from non-pregnant women.  

Excess Caffeine In Pregnancy And The Effects On Fetal Development

A study published by the British Medical Journal in 2017 suggested that while there are health benefits to drinking coffee, there may be adverse effects to the fetus if 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. 

The potential risks of drinking too much coffee while pregnant outweigh the potential benefits.  

How Much Caffeine Can You Have Pregnant?

Drinking coffee while pregnant is safe if done in moderation. A 2017 systematic review found that consumption of up to 300 mg caffeine per 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 per day of caffeine in pregnancy.  This is less than 2 cups of coffee per day.

During my pregnancies, I try to limit my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee per day, and make sure it is below 200mg per day.

This post was co-authored by  Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc and Erin Manchuk, BScPharm, BCGP.

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