Can You Drink Coffee When You're Pregnant?

See what doctors have to say.

Can You Drink Coffee When Pregnant? getty

So many of us have made it a daily habit to go for a "Dunkin' Donuts run" or hit the Starbucks for a latte. Coffee is just in our culture! But what happens when you've got a baby on the way? Can you drink coffee when pregnant?

A big fan of tea but stuck with hideous Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I wasn't up for much to drink or eat when I was pregnant, so I didn't need to worry about caffeine consumption. But for my other friends, the camp was divided into:"I'm not touching the stuff" vs. "This kid won't come out of me without sampling a frappuccino in utero."


But what do the experts — OB/GYNs and midwives — have to say about pregnant ladies having a cup of coffee, or two? I spoke to four different professionals, from OB/GYNs to fertility specialists and midwives, to get the 411 on caffeine and pregnancy.

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The good news? For those of you who need yours light and sweet or oh-so dark, it looks like having a cup a day gets the go-ahead. However, it does come with some precautions. Can you drink coffee when pregnant? Read on to see.

1. Always watch your intake amount.



Dr. Kendra Segura, "Your OB/GYN Next Door," says overall, drinking coffee while expecting is okay. You can have a cup of coffee, but measure that amount.

"Keep it limited to 200mg per day. Why? Too much caffeine has been implicated in miscarriage. In later pregnancy, too much caffeine consumption can also be associated with ADHD, as well as small gestational age to name a few."

2. Be mindful of caffeine in other beverages and foods.

Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN and Women's Health Expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, says, "Limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee/tea a day during pregnancy. And also, be aware of the amounts of caffeine in other foods and beverages you consume so you can stay under 200mg of caffeine a day."

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3. Don't quit cold turkey.

Patricia A. Evans, NP, CNM, Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, also expressed that consuming 200mg or less of caffeine a day is considered a safe amount. But the relationship between caffeine and low-birth weight is still undetermined.

Her one great piece of advice for all of you coffee addicts? When you're trying to leave the caffeine behind, it's best "Not to suddenly quit coffee cold turkey if you find yourself pregnant, as you may end up with severe withdrawal headaches." That's good advice for us all.

4. Limit yourself to one beverage a day.



"One caffeinated beverage a day has always been accepted for all pregnant patients, and never been shown to cause issues while pregnant or even during the period of conception," says Dr. Shahin Ghadir. In fact, it's her rule of thumb.

So, what's the consensus? Can you drink coffee when pregnant? Overall, every professional stressed that keeping your caffeine limits to 200mg and less per day is the safest route.

However, there seem to be concerns in the medical field of caffeine's relationship with low-birth weight, miscarriage, as well as ADHD. With that in mind, keep your coffee in habit and check. Don't panic, but be mindful of how much you're drinking.


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Laura Lifshitz will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for YourTango, New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more. Her own website is