Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

By Marcus Deeprose

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A cup of coffee in the morning is the perfect starter of the day or the latte macchiato is the best afternoon company for many. This ritual of having coffee boosts their energy and some expectant mothers do not want to go without it. Coffee may be one of the favorite beverages for many but can you drink coffee while pregnant?

Can I drink Coffee while I am pregnant?

After the consumption of coffee, pregnant women will feel more alert, just like the unborn child will do. The caffeine is absorbed in the small intestine. Caffeine gets to the baby’s bloodstream through the placenta. Metabolizing coffee takes longer for the body of pregnant women. About 18 hours are needed to break down half of the caffeine, while the unborn baby can take much longer, so it can build up.

So, if you’re someone who drinks coffee at any time of the day, you’re permanently caffeinated including night time.

How Caffeine works in the body when consumed?

Caffeine is a stimulating substance present in coffee, black tea, and chocolate. It helps you to stay awake and boosts your energy. After the consumption of coffee, some of the caffeine present in it is absorbed in the stomach. Caffeine consumption makes the blood pressure rise and accelerates the heartbeat accelerates, and also nerve cells in the brain are stimulated.

Caffeine in coffee is transmitted to the unborn child. 

When a pregnant woman consumes coffee, the caffeine in it enters the placenta and thus can get into the unborn baby’s bloodstream. Almost the same amount of caffeine is present in the baby’s body as the child bearer. Thus, the invigorating effect can affect the child and in turn, make the baby quite restless.

Moreover, caffeine consumption immediately after or before a complete meal can affect the absorption of essential nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and calcium. To avoid this aftereffect of caffeine one should not consume coffee, black or green tea, or even cola immediately after or before a meal.

How much amount can you drink coffee while pregnant?

The best part of the story is that pregnant women do not need to completely give up on coffee because it has caffeine in it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already stated that pregnant women can consume around 300 mg of caffeine a day. This makes a total of around three cups of coffee in total. Overall, the lesser the consumption of coffee, the better it is but the given amount won’t harm the baby.

Risks of drinking coffee while pregnant

In recent research and studies, caffeine could be a reason for obesity in children or can arise behavioural problems such as hyperactivity in children. However, the actual scenario of the data is thin, and the studies, surveys, and research activities performed are not conclusive enough. The reason is, that caffeine consumption was not measured in a systematic manner these are completely based on self-reports of pregnant women. As the experiences of different pregnant women can be different the results so far do not stand on a general ground to be compared.

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So, to sum up, the answer till now to whether can you drink coffee while pregnant is still quite unclear to date as of now, as to how much coffee is an adequate amount to consume a day. But caffeine consumption of more than the given amount can definitely be harmful. Studies from England and Norway, have that excess coffee consumption that has caffeine can result in less weight in children born as the placenta is inadequately supplied with blood with a risk of premature birth. Moreover, the results of a US study have even more drastic results like an increased rate of miscarriage. As caffeine affects the blood flow to the placenta and the process of the metabolic rate of the unborn baby, it can trigger a miscarriage.

On looking at an even broad picture, regular and high consumption of coffee can lead to more urine production and can also lead to sleepless nights and headaches. The fetus does not have a liver enzyme which makes the process of breaking down the enzyme even longer, which is about 20 times more than usual. Also, the absorption from the consumed food is inhibited.

Do medicines containing caffeine have a similar effect as coffee?

Medicines used for pain relief, and migraine headaches which help to keep you awake contain caffeine. Consuming such medicines while you’re pregnant can lead to severe issues. So, if you’re pregnant you may consult to a health expert before consuming these.

Even some herbal products have caffeine added to it, this includes guarana leaves, yerba mate etcetera. The quantity of caffeine in a few herbal products is still undetermined so it is prescribed to pregnant women to not go for all herbal products without knowing the caffeine amount in them. 

How does Coffee Affect Folic Acid?

Folic acid is needed for the development of a child, Vitamin B in it ensures the development of the unborn baby’s nervous tissues. A deficiency in the same can be a reason for affecting nerve tissues and leading to serious development disorders for the same. Many people have believed the myth about coffee being the reason for the deficiency of folic acid, however, this is not true. Coffee does not affect the folic acid balance in the body in a negative manner.

Also Read: The Secret To Pour Over Coffee – Grind Your Own Beans

Folic acid deficiency is definitely something to be concerned about, so if you’re going through the same make sure to have a healthy diet. Consume food which are having rich nutrients in it, for example, add green vegetables like cabbage to your diet.

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Alternatives to coffee consumption

According to doctors, an early morning walk in the fresh air or yoga exercise can be done instead of a morning coffee. These activities help in healthy circulation as well as overall mental peace.

For pregnant women whose afternoon company might be a cup of coffee can switch to herbal tea, these are caffeine-free, refreshing, natural, and good for health as well. However, makes sure to not add mate leaves or guarana extract as both contain high amounts of caffeine. 

With a high population being addicted to coffee and finding it hard to avoid it during their pregnancy, there are women who are quite aware and concerned about the effects of coffee on the body and completely avoid it as well. Also, some women avoid coffee during pregnancy to avoid nausea.

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In case you are one of those women, who are highly habitual to a cup of coffee a day, then you can go for grain coffee. Decaffeinated coffee is also a good alternative but excess of that can lead to stomach problems as well. Even decaffeinated coffee is not completely caffeine-free, so less consumption of that will be preferable.

A perfect tasty alternative to coffee, which does not have health issues or side effects aligned with its consumption can be a healthy energy drink, like squeezed juices. All you need to keep in mind before having it is whether it is made from fresh fruits or not. Though preparing juices can be a tiresome task for sure, it’s preferable when it is compared to buying them from outside, it can have a risk of having herm and bacteria in it, even the packed juices are to be checked whether they are out of date.

Can breastfeeding women drink coffee?

Being considerate about coffee consumption is not restricted to the duration of pregnancy. Even after giving birth to a child women need to be checking the amount of caffeine consumed by they because they need to breastfeed the child. Indirect consumption of caffeine through breastfeeding by the child can be harmful to the child to some extent.

The German Nutrition Society has stated that coffee consumption by breastfeeding women can be more than by pregnant women as per the mass evidence survey and observation. Paediatricians in Thuringia have also confirmed that there is no proper study or report of how much coffee can be termed as safe for breastfeeding mothers. However, it’s better to have a monitored observation of your consumption to avoid further health issues.

Also Read: What Is Medium Roast Coffee, And What Are The Benefits?

As we know, we mainly consume coffee to stay awake or get an instant energy boost if needed as coffee has an invigorating effect. Similarly, it can have the same effect if a child consumes it in direct or indirect form, it can lead to sleep disorder, stomach ache, and gastric issues in infants.


To conclude, the whole idea of women having coffee during pregnancy is quite complicated. So, the answer to the question of whether can you drink coffee while pregnant has got clear to you to some extent. Since the effect of the consumption of caffeine present in coffee is still not clear to some extent it’s better to avoid it than to take risks. Even after the child’s birth, it’s important to look after the same during the course of breastfeeding as indirect consumption can also lead to health issues for the child. 

Coffee may be a very good company and a habit for a lot but it’s better to avoid its addiction during pregnancy and in an overall manner as well because overconsumption can have sleeping disorder issues for an adult as well. Herbal products are preferred only after checking the caffeine content in them, and a replacement for coffee with fresh and healthy juices would be the best option. This might be a tough choice for people to avoid it but is good for them in terms of health in long term.

Also Read: French Vanilla Coffee – The Endless Bliss Of Vanilla Flavor


Q 1) Will drinking coffee while pregnant make your baby sick?

Ans: Drinking coffee while pregnant is safe, but you should consider consuming only moderate amounts of caffeine. With that being said, caffeine in itself does not make your baby sick, it’s the other ingredients found in coffee that are more concerning.

Q 2) how often can I drink decaf coffee while pregnant?

Ans: Drinking decaf coffee while pregnant is safe as long as you follow the guidelines that your doctor or midwife provides you with. Always talk to your healthcare provider about what is safe for you in terms of caffeine and pregnancy so that you can sleep better, be healthier, and enjoy your time with your baby.

Q 3) can you drink coffee in the early stages of pregnancy?

Ans: Yes, you can drink coffee in the early stages of pregnancy. A cup of coffee is a relatively low-risk and the caffeine content is going to be lower than you’re used to. In later stages, it’s entirely possible but keep in mind that caffeine might interfere with your baby’s growth.

Q 4) Can I have Starbucks while pregnant?

Ans: There is no telling whether you could drink coffee while pregnant or not. However, caffeine does have its risks during pregnancy. No matter what brand of coffee you choose to drink, it’s still wise to avoid any caffeinated beverage during your pregnancy. so That’s up to you!

Q 5). Can a pregnant woman take coffee with milk?

Ans: Yes, however it is recommended that pregnant woman with a regular milk intake as milk contains nutrients babies need and sugar can come in handy when you’re feeling tired.

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Marcus Deeprose is a passionate entrepreneur who believes in the power of great coffee to bring people together. He has dedicated himself to providing high-quality information and advice on all aspects of the coffee experience from brewing to sourcing. Marcus also enjoys sharing his knowledge of coffee through public talks and workshops, where he is able to educate his audience and foster meaningful connections within the coffee community. No matter the setting, Marcus seeks to bring joy and passion to every cup of coffee.

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