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Is Caffeine Off-limits During Pregnancy?

Is Caffeine Off-limits During Pregnancy?

Over 50% of Americans drink coffee every day, so that leaves a large percentage of newly pregnant or soon-to-be moms questioning if their morning cup of joe could be harmful to their baby. We asked Dr. Johnathan Wise, an OB/GYN at Baton Rouge General, to share his take on caffeine consumption during pregnancy.

Dr. Wise cautioned that caffeine can interfere with sleep for you and your baby. And it’s a diuretic, which will make you urinate more often, possibly causing a loss of important minerals like calcium. But it’s considered safe to consume 200 milligrams of caffeine a day during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Not sure what 200 milligrams of caffeine looks like? You’re not alone! There is caffeine in many types of drinks (also in chocolate) and the amount can vary depending on the serving size, the brand, or how it was brewed. Here is a helpful guide:

  • Coffee drinks like a 16-oz latte can have up to 350 mg of caffeine, and 8 oz. of regular brewed coffee can range from 100 up to 200 mg of caffeine. This can vary widely based on the type of coffee and how it’s made.
  • Tea can have 30 mg to 130 mg of caffeine in a 12-oz cup.
  • The darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine content. An ounce of dark chocolate averages about 12 mg, while milk chocolate averages 9 mg.
  • Many soft drinks have caffeine, sometimes up to 50 mg each.
  • The total caffeine in an energy drink may be more than the recommended amount.

If you’re still concerned about the effects of caffeine during your pregnancy, be sure to keep track of day-to-day consumption and discuss with your OB/GYN if you have questions.