As blessed as I feel to be pregnant, it is hard giving up some of my favorite things, including wine, sushi and copious amounts of coffee. Did you accidentally drink during early pregnancy? Read more here.
Tens of thousands of searches about coffee during pregnancy take place each month. Mainly, women (and maybe men) are wondering if coffee is safe during pregnancy.
Long story short, it’s safe to drink coffee during pregnancy. *sigh of relief* However, as with garlic, not too much! The World Health Organization recommends pregnant women drink less than 300 milligrams of coffee per day, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests 200 milligrams, which equals about one 10-ounce cup.
During my first pregnancy (which I lost at 15 weeks, but not because of coffee!), I wanted to behave like the perfect pregnant woman. Therefore, I tried to completely give up coffee. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”
The abstinence didn’t last long since I suffer from serious fatigue during the first trimester. Like, hard-to-open-my-eyes-and-keep-them-open fatigue. So, after some VERY long days, I went back to drinking coffee. One cup per day makes a HUGE difference.
If you drink coffee while pregnant, get ready for some judgement. The judgement could come from your significant other, from friends or from some random guy at the coffee shop. Try to ignore! Nobody (except maybe your doctor) knows what’s best for you and your babe.
Data On Coffee During Pregnancy
Oddly enough in this day and age, data is relatively inconclusive regarding the effect of coffee on a fetus. Some experts say more than 150 mg per day is too much, whereas others say more than 300 mg per day is too much. Data regarding alcohol and pregnancy, coffee and pregnancy, etc. is often inconclusive or debatable because most studies are observational since it wouldn’t be ethical to give one group of pregnant women coffee and/or alcohol.
I found one randomized controlled trial by Bech and colleagues performed in 2007, which found no significant differences for mean birth weight or mean length of gestation between women in the decaffeinated coffee group (whose mean caffeine intake was 182 mg lower than that of the other group) and women in the caffeinated coffee group. See full article here.
As always, consult with your healthcare provider on the best course of action. Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, increasing your blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, depending on your unique situation, it may be advisable to stay away from coffee (and tea and soft drinks) all together! If that’s your case, I’m sorry 🙂