How Bad Is It To Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

There are so many dos and don'ts associated with pregnancy that it can be hard to keep track of them all (via Healthline). You can't drink alcohol, sit in a hot tub, or eat deli meat. Furthermore, you certainly can't smoke, eat raw meat, or consume unpasteurized dairy products. But do you also have to give up coffee?

Prior to pregnancy, many people rely on their morning cup of joe to help them get through the day, but is it safe to continue to consume caffeine while pregnant? As it turns out, drinking coffee while pregnant may not be as bad as you might think (via Cleveland Clinic). Doctors previously recommended avoiding coffee and caffeine during pregnancy, but guidance has since changed. That being said, you'll still want to speak to your own doctor before you make any dietary changes during your pregnancy. They can give you information on whether drinks, like coffee, can have an impact on your health.

How much coffee can you drink while pregnant?

While research is limited due to potential ethical violations, experts agree that moderate caffeine consumption seems to be relatively safe during pregnancy and is not a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth (via Cleveland Clinic). According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant people can safely consume up to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. To put that into perspective, an 8-ounce cup of instant or filtered coffee typically contains 100 to 140 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the brand.

This means you can safely drink at least 1 cup of brewed coffee. If you are going to drink coffee during your pregnancy, however, you should let your doctor know so they can monitor your caffeine intake. Some people may find that caffeine affects them differently during pregnancy than it did before. If you find that you no longer tolerate caffeine as well as you once did, your doctor might suggest drinking less than 200 milligrams per day.

"My advice to patients is: no more than one, and on occasion, two caffeinated drinks a day during pregnancy," Dr. Michele Hakakha, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Beverly Hills, California, told Parents. "Always avoid something that might be potentially dangerous to your developing fetus." If you're worried about your caffeine intake but still want to drink coffee, you can switch to decaf or limit your caffeine consumption.