How Much Caffeine is Safe During Pregnancy?

Woman sitting on a couch with a green coffee mug

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I don’t know about you, but I love coffee. Hot coffee. Iced coffee. Fancy blended “coffee” drinks from a certain coffee franchise…

How much caffeine is safe during pregnancy, though? It really depends on who you ask, but I’m going to talk about the general consensus here.

As a quick disclaimer, I am not a medical professional, so this shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. To get the best information, ask your doctor.

Is it ok to drink caffeine while pregnant?

The answer is probably, in small amounts. Experts say that pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200mg per day or below. While you should always ask your doctor for his/her personal recommendations, it’s relatively safe to assume that you can have a coffee in the morning while pregnant.

According to the experts, you don’t need to cut out caffeine completely. You just need to be super aware of how much you’re intaking throughout the day. Further down in the article, I’m going to quickly list some foods and drinks that contain caffeine and about how much caffeine each of them contain.

The final say as far as how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy? Most sources that I can find suggest limiting your caffeine intake to below 150mg-300mg per day. 200mg per day or below seems to be the average number being referenced as a guideline for pregnant women.

Why should I limit my caffeine intake during pregnancy? What are the risks?

Essentially, too much caffeine during pregnancy is related to the risk of low birth weight as well as birth defects and premature labor. Some also believe that too much caffeine during pregnancy is associated with a greater risk of miscarriage, but the studies done have conflicting results.

The caffeine you take in crosses the placenta and reaches your baby, who is not able to metabolize it as well as you can. Remember that it’s a stimulant and can keep your baby awake. 

That combined with the risks mentioned above mean that it’s smart to be aware of how much caffeine you’re taking in daily, throughout your pregnancy.

How much caffeine is in my coffee/tea?

These numbers are estimates and the amount of caffeine in your drinks depends on the brand and the brew. To get a more accurate idea of how much caffeine your favorite drink has in it, look it up online! Here’s the Starbucks menu, which will tell you approximately how much caffeine is in each of their drinks. (Look like a grande latte has about 150mg!)

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) of black coffee: 100-165mg
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) of decaf: 2-5mg
  • 1 oz. of espresso: 50-65mg
  • Small latte (8 oz.): 75-130mg
  • 1 cup green tea (8 oz.): 30-50mg
  • 1 cup black tea (8 oz.): 30-50mg

What other food and drinks have caffeine in them?

  • Chocolate + candy bars containing chocolate
  • Coffee ice cream
  • Soda
  • Excedrin (OTC pain reliever)
  • Energy drinks
  • Matcha powder/drinks
  • Many energy bars (Cliff bars, etc.)
  • Some hot chocolate
  • Energy-boosting waters with guarana and other stimulants (Like some vitamin water)

Caffeine and pregnancy: At the end of the day

Definitely talk to your healthcare provider about how much caffeine is safe during your pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different, but it seems like the number deemed as “safe” is anything below 200mg of caffeine per day.

I’m expecting twins and I’m doing everything I can to reduce the risk of preterm labor since I’m already at a higher risk for it. I sometimes have a coffee in the morning, but usually decaf. 

Occasionally I have a candy bar or a cup of tea. It’s not fun and I miss “real” lattes and frappuccinos, but I’m doing what I feel like I have to do.

If you have already experienced preterm labor or you’re expecting multiples like me, be sure to ask your doctor about how much caffeine is safe, just to be sure.



Hey! I'm a freelance writer and a mom of three. I've been blogging for over 10 years now and def I write posts here about working from home as a parent, mindful parenting, and tips for how to develop a more sustainable home.

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