Can I drink caffeine when I’m pregnant?
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Melissa Little

Pediatric and Antenatal Dietician. She is a spokesperson for the British Dietetics Association on TV and in print. Member of the parliamentary group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood at Westminster for the UK Government.
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Pregnancy Health

Can I drink caffeine when I’m pregnant?

Whether caffeine is safe during pregnancy is a hotly debated topic. We present the guidelines here.
Video Tutorial
In Short
Caffeine consumption should be limited during pregnancy.

The maximum amount of caffeine consumed should be 200mg a day.

Equivalent to one strong coffee, two instant coffees, three cups of tea (including green tea).

Choose decaf if you don’t want to stop drinking tea or coffee.

How can caffeine affect a baby developing in the womb?

Caffeine consumption should be limited during pregnancy and the UK guidelines suggest that pregnant women shouldn’t exceed 200 mg of caffeine per day. This is the equivalent of one really strong cup of coffee, two cups of instant coffee or three cups of tea (green tea also contains caffeine).

Remember that some fizzy drinks and chocolate will also contain caffeine and should be limited too. If you like to drink tea or coffee and want more than this during your pregnancy, you can choose a decaffeinated version.

Aversion to coffee and tea during pregnancy

Interestingly, many tea and coffee loving women report they completely go off their favourite drink during pregnancy and cannot bear to drink it. Instead, they opt for natural caffeine free teas like mint tea and chamomile tea. One theory is that morning sickness and pregnancy taste changes are natural defence systems that stop you consuming harmful substances in order to protect your developing foetus. This is especially important in the first trimester when the baby would be most susceptible to toxins and substances in food.

One evolutionary theory is that morning sickness and pregnancy taste changes are adaptive and act as a natural defence of the developing foetus that helps to limit a women’s consumption of potentially harmful substances. This is especially important in the first trimester when the baby would be most susceptible to toxins and substances in food.

There is cross-cultural evidence that pregnant women around the world favour bland, starchy foods and avoid stronger flavours which arguably may contain harmful compounds.

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.